Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Makes A Conservative?

In an article published on Focus On the Families Citizen Link, the social conservatives have assumed that they will win the war for the very heart of conservatism. As Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President of government and public policy at FOTF said, 
“It’s hard to see how a group like GOProud — purposely undermining the issue of marriage — can have a place at this conference,” 
And then Al Cardenas, the incoming chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the group which runs CPAC, states that,
 “I’m not going to — for the sake of being inclusive — change the principles that have made the      movement what it is.”
My question is, what happens when a movement does not become as monolithic as it supposes itself to be. What happens, and has already happened, when someone from the libertarian wing of Conservatism is pro-gay marriage. Does that make him less of a conservative? It seems as though to the social conservatives, as well as to Al Cardenas, it does. 

But then it must be asked,  to be a conservative, must you believe all things that are conservative? Or are you allowed to pick and choose what is the best policy. If you have to meet a certain list of criteria, could it not be said that conservatism the enemy of free thought and discourse?

Is there a place within conservatism for those who disagree with any of the three branches - the social conservatives, the fiscal conservatives, the neo-conservatives - or must all of those who agree with one and not the others be left out in the political cold.  What do you all think?

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