It’s over. It may take a while for the body to stop twitching, but make no mistake: American conservatism is dead.
This conclusion hit me like a bad metaphor when I read an article by illustrious, legendary, and liberty-loving journalist extraordinaire Joseph Farah regarding the banning of gay conservatives from the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. Titling his piece “S.E. Cupp’s no conservative,” Farah criticizes a half-dozen or so conservatives over their support for gay marriage.
Farah means well. But he inadvertently exhibits the very flaw that is sinking conservatism: confusing traditional values with morality legislation.
This unholy marriage of church and state is itself more antithetical to conservative values than the kind of marriage it seeks to prevent. Conservatism is the combination of liberty, personal responsibility, and family values. Unfortunately, legislating said family values undermines liberty, the very idea upon which this great nation was founded. Even worse, American society is slowly but surely growing more accepting of alternative lifestyles, and less tolerant of traditional values. The growing hostility towards family values isn’t because the youth of today are inherently morally depraved. They’re just tired of having these values forced upon them by a cruel and overreaching government.
Unfortunately, the conservative leadership just doesn’t get it. Instead of spreading liberty on the political front and promoting conservative values on the personal front, they have made the critical mistake of promoting the values on the political front at the expense of liberty. This is evidenced by the rise to prominence of such theocratic dictator wannabees as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who merely pay lip service to the concept of liberty, while supporting government intrusion in every realm. If there exists a more devastating one-two knockout punch to conservatism’s chance of surviving into the next generation, I have yet to see it.
Liberty is rising. Its brave stand is the only thing that will come between encroaching socialism and a bright American future. Conservatives would do well to rediscover liberty as their raison d’être, and take the fight for family values out of the realm of government and back where it belongs: in the hearts and minds of the people. Otherwise, conservatism has earned itself a one-way ticket to the yawning grave of history.
Photo credit: Pak Gwei