Is Bigotry Necessary to the Conservative Cause?

Roger L. Simon » Election 2009: The Strange Case of NY23

Well… I might as well say it… social conservatism. America is a fiscally conservative country – now perhaps more than ever, and with much justification – but not a socially conservative one. No, I don’t mean to say it’s socially liberal. It’s not. It’s socially laissez-faire (just as its mostly fiscally laissez-faire). Whether we’re pro-choice, pro-life or whatever we are, most of us want the government out of our bedrooms, just as we want it out of our wallets.

One view, which I’d like to believe. On the other hand…

Did Gay Marriage Hurt Scozzafava in NY-23? – Maggie Gallagher – The Corner on National Review Online

Did Gay Marriage Hurt Scozzafava in NY-23? [Maggie Gallagher]

NY-23. Does it mean nothing? Does it mean anything? Is the district more Republican than conservative? More libertarian than anything else?

I dunno. So I did a poll. Politico’s Ben Smith just reported it under the headline, “NOM poll: Marriage a wedge in NY-23”:

As conservative groups scramble to take credit for their roles in Doug Hoffman’s surge, the National Organization for Marriage sends on a poll indicating that Dede Scozzfava’s stance on marriage put her well out of line with the district, not to mention the Republican Party.

The QEV Analytics poll of 318 voters in the district found, the group says, that: 52 percent oppose gay marriage, 35 percent favor gay marriage, 13 percent responded “don’t know/refuse.”


Half of Hoffman’s supporters (50%) say that Dede Scozzafava’s support for the legalization of same-sex marriage was a factor in their decision not to support her. Similarly, 45% of Hoffman’s supporters say that his position on same-sex marriage was a factor in their decision to vote for him. Only 11% of Owens voters say his position on same-sex marriage was a factor in their decision to support him.

I still maintain that a conservative platform that rests solidly on “Get the government out of my wallet and my bedroom” is the approach that will bring the greatest number of Americans to our banner.

But I do realize that some conservatives are as adamant about not supporting any candidate who refuses to ban abortion or gay rights as I am about refusing to support leftists and statists in GOP clothing like Dede Scozzafava. The puzzle I’m trying to figure out is how necessary such folks are to a conservative victory. At the moment, I just don’t know.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Is Bigotry Necessary to the Conservative Cause? — 1 Comment

  1. It is unknown but here is what I believe. The Republicans need to go fiscally small government and socially small government. If they say that the 10th amendment allows abortions and gay marriage and the state should butt out, then the religious right has nowhere to go. They vote for whoever. But the attraction to the Perot voters would be huge. If the Repubs double down by saying that abortion, like gun rights, includes a big dose of personal responsibility, then they get some of the religious right back. I really believe that if the SCOTUS had not used their aversion to the 10th to decide Roe and ended up with “penumbras” of privacy, there would not have been as big of an argument over abortion rights.

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