Markets in Everything, Including Life

 

I had a conversation the other day with the folks at MTV about why I think the GOP got its voters wrong. Much of it will be familiar to you if you listen to The Federalist Radio Hour, but here’s a portion of it that sparked some controversy.

“I think the real problem is that a lot of the religiously minded [wanted and still want] to use the power of government to try to create the society that they wished [existed] within the United States. This is not something that’s new, of course. Now, there’s a good side to that, which is, of course, the civil rights movement, and the kind of effort that you saw America’s Christians play in that role. You saw it, of course, in the antislavery movement, well before that. But you also saw it in [those who were] basically being busybodies about the way people live their lives. The question I would [ask] to social conservatives is: Are you confident that the way you view a life well-lived is a compelling enough model that it will win on its own merits?

“One of the things we have in this modern, individualistic age is a recognition that happiness can look very different for very different people. Happiness is not necessarily about how much money you make, happiness isn’t necessarily about these aspects of your life. I think that one of the errors that social conservatives made — particularly Christian social conservatives — was a belief that they needed to use the power of government to try to shore up the various things that they believe make up a life well-lived. The whole design of our government policies were sort of engineered toward this 1950s/1960s perspective on what living looks like, and I think the social conservatives basically [tried] to make that something that was very much enshrined and entrenched in our policy. As opposed to recognizing that, hey, if that type of lifestyle is something that is ultimately rewarding to people, and something that makes them happy, then they’re going to follow that path more often than not, and that you don’t need to use the engine of government to push them in that direction.”

I had some critical responses via email about this, but this nice fellow at Ricochet with a jet avatar took it a bit further.

I don’t know if Domenech was trying to sell me, but he failed. The first error is mistaking necessity for desire. By his own admission, using the government to engineer the good life wasn’t the Christians’ idea. It was done in the 1950s and 1960s, right in the middle of the great millennialist withdrawal. Christians as a category didn’t re-enter American political debates until that using of the government to enforce a particular way of life began to infringe on their way of life. Exactly when isn’t clear — we could date it to Roe v. Wade in 1973, or the Silent Majority speech in 1969. There are probably arguments for earlier dates, too — but it is clearly post Eisenhower, and the use of government to enforce a way of life began in the New Deal. So what I want to do is go home, be allowed to govern my city and state as I like, and be left alone. But it is abundantly clear that this is not possible. The government, from the feds to the locals, in every policy area from schools to immigration, is going to dictate a way of life to me. The government is far too powerful, and all attempts to weaken it have failed.

I hear this view voiced occasionally, and it always puzzles me, because the history is quite wrong. Christians entered political debates in meaningful ways at many points in our nation’s history, certainly not “post-Eisenhower” – the MTV interview was edited for length, so it left off a bit where I discussed their positive impact as a movement for abolition of slavery in the 19thCentury, and their negative impact as a force or prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th– and to say that they did not have an organized impact until the end of the 1960s is balderdash. And as for his main point: because of the New Deal and the progressive project, conservatives are supposed to just give up on federalism? Just because the government is powerful, we of necessity should abandon the localist project which existed for the majority of the history of our country? This is absurd and unprincipled.

As for the argument that localism and federalism will not work in a post-Roe environment: somehow our localities and states have managed to remain very different in all sorts of characteristics, despite this often overwhelming federal government. It’s true that being liberal is essentially meaningless now given the array of puritanical political correctness movements and tribalist tendencies on the left which seek to stamp out our differences, and yes, there is far less appetite for a live and let live culture. But this does not necessarily demand a counter response that uses government to impose a way of life on the people, in a way that will inevitably lead to swinging back and forth depending on who occupies the White House.

We should never trust government more than people and markets to work out what the life well lived looks like. I think people should be free to worship their god, teach their kids, buy their guns, grow their pot, sell their raw milk, horde their gold, and freely associate with other people to decide how much gambling, hookers, and blow they want in their neighborhood, so we can all decide where to live accordingly.

One more point: In the responses, a fellow named KC Mulville responded: “Domenech found himself on MTV and tried to ingratiate himself with their audience by indulging them in their prejudices about social conservative hypocrisy.” Actually, no – I’ve been voicing this opinion for years, repeatedly – it was part of remarks I gave at Cato, Reason, and the Heritage Foundation over the years. Here’s what I wrote in The Transom from January 16, 2014.

If you’re confident that marriage and childrearing is better not just in aggregate but generally, at the individual level – that it isn’t just necessary for the country, but is good for people – then people should choose them because they want to have them, not because they’re browbeat into having them. Getting government out of the way and letting the market work is a great approach which allows people to vote with their feet – and that’s not just true when it comes to the economy.

Don’t call it a comeback – I’ve been here for years.


Originally posted in The Transom newsletter, April 19. You can subscribe here.

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Members have made 56 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of MarciN Member

    I agree with much that you’ve written.

    However, human beings are social creatures, and they do compare their financial situation to that of the people around them. If people have much less than the people around them have, they are going to be unhappy about it.

    • #1
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:47 am
    • Like2 likes
  2. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Worth noting that this piece is quite a compliment to Sabrdance. I subscribe to The Transom and listen to the Radio Hour daily (an irony yesterday that our conversation rolled out while a superb hour focused on the present set of religious liberty cases before SCOTUS). Domenech doesn’t play the Jon Stewart game of scouring the country for silly strawmen but engages with serious people with meaningful ideas.

    Two questions:

    First, should social conservatives bet all their chips on federalism given the 228 year trajectory of federal/state/local decisionmaking power? This is, of course, just as key a question for libertarians, many of whom celebrate (or at least pocket) the “victories” when five justices impose First and Fourteenth Amendment preferences on 300 million Americans.

    Second, even after the federalism argument is won to some meaningful degree, at what point can Christians freely associate with others to determine social and economic policies. Somewhere between the federal government and the level of the intentional community, but where? State, county, municipality, homeowner’s association? And which economic, social and cultural decisionmaking is still imposed by 5 men in robes?

    • #2
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:50 am
    • Like8 likes
  3. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Nah. That quote doesn’t absolve from the criticisms we mentioned. If it turns out that you always held those views, then pandering isn’t the objection. (Shallowness is.)

    Again, it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views, when the social conservatives have spent all their time objecting to the progressive movement shoving their views down our throat. It isn’t the progressives who are being forced by government power to oblige some other people’s social agenda.

    And to answer your question

    The question I would [ask] to social conservatives is: Are you confident that the way you view a life well-lived is a compelling enough model that it will win on its own merits?

    That’s a sophomoric straw man. First, it assumes that promoting a lifestyle is what conservatives were trying to do, or that this is what all political involvement is aiming to do. But more importantly, if the progressive-individualist “model” is winning in the culture by being superior, why did it need Roe v. Wade or Obergefell to change laws that were passed by legislative majorities? When those issues came up for popular vote, the traditionalist side usually won. It wasn’t until Supreme Court decisions suppressed the opposition that the “issue” went the progressive way.

    If anything, it is the progressive side whose agenda can’t win on its own, and relies on government to impose it.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:51 am
    • Like23 likes
  4. Profile photo of Typical Anomaly Member

    “I think the real problem is that a lot of the religiously minded [wanted and still want] to use the power of government to try to create the society that they wished [existed] within the United States. This is not something that’s new, of course.”

    If you posit the religiously minded want to use government to achieve their desired end and leave at that, the implied counterpoint is the non-religiously minded don’t want to use government for those purposes. A fallacy is unavoidable when key terms are not defined.

    Who gets to decide who the religiously minded are? Do not dismiss this. For an atheist, to acknowledge a divine power defines “religiously minded.” To the pragmatist who coincidentally lives a life in accord with the mores of a religious persuasion, this term applies to their version of “extremists” but not to the nice guy next door who goes to church, but embraces a similar kind of useful life.

    My point? This is very subjective from the get-go. A principle or doctrine built around it will be cheered by those who agree and dismissed by the ones who hold a different view. You can’t establish an orthodoxy among people who can’t agree on terms (hate speech, anyone?). I reject the very premise, @bendomenech.

    Yes, it’s opinion journalism, but you can’t acknowledge individualism in the piece and predicate your point on a society with homogenous opinions, can you?

    • #4
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:52 am
    • Like8 likes
  5. Profile photo of Typical Anomaly Member

    So as to avoid only complaining, as I did in #4, I will address the broader theme of the OP.

    Markets in everything? Really? Is the full libertarian approach any kind of possible for the US? If it’s all choice and freedom, then the only taxes I should pay would be to provide for the maintenance of legislators and judges and provision for the common defense. Or something close to that. No entitlements. Benevolent support must arise from free will donation in the private sector. In a nation with so very many recipients of some government money, food, subsidy, housing, etc., can we even entertain such a notion?

    Or is it markets (choice) for those who choose that path and coercion (taxation), regulation and control for the others? Choice always demands responsibility and ‘Murica isn’t good at responsibility right now.

    • #5
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:08 am
    • Like2 likes
  6. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    And which economic, social and cultural decisionmaking is still imposed by 5 men in robes?

    In my experience, libertarians often do not care whether a law is created by an electoral majority or by unelected judges. It’s all government and it’s all bad, as far as many libertarians are concerned. Or, if they happen to like the law, then it’s good, but it all depends on whether they agree with the law or not: they don’t seem to believe that voters have more of a right to create laws than judges do.I don’t know how how the author of this post feels about it; would be curious to find out.

    • #6
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:54 am
    • Like7 likes
  7. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views

    How is that absurd? 129,000,000 voted for either Clinton or Trump in the last election. While I’m sure some social conservatives sat out, a great many of them marched in that number.

    • #7
    • April 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    • LikeLike
  8. Profile photo of Front Seat Cat Member

    Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but our founders included careful wording that works for all. For a civil society to function, you have to have laws, and they come from somewhere. It so happens that many of ours were based upon the teachings of the Bible. Look at the inscriptions in our political institutions. Harvard, the first college, was created to rear up clergy. The first hospital was Christian-based.

    I do care how much blow or hookers are in my neighborhood, as I don’t want those things legalized, and they’re not in most states for good reason. Modern society can evolve for the better and worse. We have better medical breakthroughs, but worse manners and tolerance. The most intolerant in society shout the loudest how intolerant others are. Civil breakdown and divisions erode societies just as much as epidemics or natural disasters.

    As far as MTV goes, it used to be a great music channel. Now it’s trash. Take a tour of DC, Philadelphia, Boston, and other states and record how many founding documents and principals you can find etched in stone. It would make a great post. This is also a well-researched article on the subject:

    http://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/did-america-have-christian-founding

    The founders were careful to protect the rights of all, including atheists. You are right, your life is what you make it, but no other country allows you that freedom more than the US.

    • #8
    • April 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    • Like7 likes
  9. Profile photo of Manny Member

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    And which economic, social and cultural decisionmaking is still imposed by 5 men in robes?

    In my experience, libertarians often do not care whether a law is created by an electoral majority or by unelected judges. It’s all government and it’s all bad, as far as many libertarians are concerned. Or, if they happen to like the law, then it’s good, but it all depends on whether they agree with the law or not: they don’t seem to believe that voters have more of a right to create laws than judges do.I don’t know how how the author of this post feels about it; would be curious to find out.

    Four hundred likes for that comment! Absolutely.

    • #9
    • April 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    • Like2 likes
  10. Profile photo of Manny Member

    No, markets are not everything. To you that makes sense because you’re a moral relativist. But this is the fallacy of Libertarianism, that something that may apply in economics is equally applicable in social life. People ultimately vote for and on values. Legislation is not just about laws, but about codifying cultural values.

    • #10
    • April 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    • Like6 likes
  11. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member

    I am unexpectedly honored to have Domenech respond to me. I am also happy he took the criticism seriously.

    I’ll start by noting a new phrase I learned the other day: disagree and commit. If everyone is still willing to push for the localism project, that I think it’s a lost cause doesn’t mean I won’t help.

    However, I still disagree.

    1.) Domenech cites the prohibition era as if it is a rebuttal to the claim that Christians entered politics in the late 1960s. Christianity in the US fragmented after Prohibition, and by the 1920s, the evangelical and fundamentalists began the process of withdrawing from American politics -they founded institutions Bryan College and tried to live separate lives from the rest of the world. The precipitating incident for this is disputed, but the 1925 Scopes Trial is a convenient start of the Great Withdrawal. They believed that if they left the world alone, the world would leave them alone. They were wrong, and so returned to politics in the 1960s.

    2.) This also demonstrates the failure of “unprincipled” as an objection. The withdrawal was principled. It might well have killed us all, and the return was too little too late. Yes, for now, our states have managed to maintain some distinctiveness, but everyone knew if Clinton had won, much of that distinctiveness would have been ground under by Dept of Ed letters -who cares the letters violate the law? -and other edicts.

    • #11
    • April 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    • Like13 likes
  12. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Manny (View Comment):
    No, markets are not everything. To you that makes sense because you’re a moral relativist.

    That’s an unfair charge. If you have a positive conception of human nature, and perhaps even a belief in the Judeo-Christian creation of man, why would you not believe that human families and communities will be more peaceable, prosperous and moral without the brute force of a national capital imposing its preferences?

    For me, being a conservatarian means being happy there are libertarians in the world and just as happy there are no libertarians in the room. But are libertarians any more inconsistent on the federalism question than conservatives? Some applauded Obergefell. Some, like Domenech, didn’t. The Federalist published the best set of “takes” on the ruling (Domenech is just a flat-out superb editor) few of which supported Kennedy’s ruling.

    If a solidly conservative court were to overrule Roe and then overturn state laws permitted abortion, impose strict censorship protocols on the internet, prohibit states from legally recognizing same-sex partnerships and prohibit state courts from using disparate impact analysis or issuing race-based remedies, wouldn’t many social conservatives cheer and have few federalism qualms.

    We are all somewhat incoherent if we are trying to have some positive effect on an often chaotic political world.

    • #12
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    • Like2 likes
  13. Profile photo of Postmodern Hoplite Member

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views, when the social conservatives have spent all their time objecting to the progressive movement shoving their views down our throat. It isn’t the progressives who are being forced by government power to oblige some other people’s social agenda.

    Well, said, @KC Mullville – This was my objection to Domenech’s OP as well. It is the Progressives that have consistently used the abusive power of government to advance their ethical, moral and legal agendas.

    • #13
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    • Like7 likes
  14. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views, when the social conservatives have spent all their time objecting to the progressive movement shoving their views down our throat. It isn’t the progressives who are being forced by government power to oblige some other people’s social agenda.

    Well, said, @KC Mullville – This was my objection to Domenech’s OP as well. It is the Progressives that have consistently used the abusive power of government to advance their ethical, moral and legal agendas.

    Do you deny the equal and opposite reaction?

    To say that progressives do something is not to say that anti-progressives don’t do it.

    • #14
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    • Like3 likes
  15. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Casey (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views

    How is that absurd? 129,000,000 voted for either Clinton or Trump in the last election. While I’m sure some social conservatives sat out, a great many of them marched in that number.

    Big difference between voting in a democratic election versus dropping an unreviewable Supreme Court bomb. Socons like me don’t worry about elections as much as the Court, and we don’t consider democratic elections to be the problem. Besides, they’re always open to an election in two years. But the Supreme Court sets cultural policy without any chance of review.

    That’s another of my objections to Domenech’s criticisms. All of the damage to what Domenech labels as our “model” of the good life has been done at the Supreme Court, especially when Anthony Kennedy magically intuits what he thinks is sweet mystery of life. It has nothing to do with some imaginary social or political bullying on conservatives’ part.

    • #15
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    • Like11 likes
  16. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member

    KC Mulville (View Comment):

    Casey (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    it’s an absurd depiction of social conservatism to allege that they want to use government to impose their views

    How is that absurd? 129,000,000 voted for either Clinton or Trump in the last election. While I’m sure some social conservatives sat out, a great many of them marched in that number.

    Big difference between voting in a democratic election versus dropping an unreviewable Supreme Court bomb. Socons like me don’t worry about elections as much as the Court, and we don’t consider democratic elections to be the problem. Besides, they’re always open to an election in two years. But the Supreme Court sets cultural policy without any chance of review.

    That’s another of my objections to Domenech’s criticisms. All of the damage to what Domenech labels as our “model” of the good life has been done at the Supreme Court, especially when Anthony Kennedy magically intuits what he thinks is sweet mystery of life. It has nothing to do with some imaginary social or political bullying.

    More to the point -it has been clear for some time that a way of life will be imposed. Sitting out may be principled, but it doesn’t stop a way of life being imposed, it just guarantees it will be someone else’s.

    • #16
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    • Like4 likes
  17. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    Big difference between voting in a democratic election versus dropping an unreviewable Supreme Court bomb. Socons like me don’t worry about elections as much as the Court, and we don’t consider democratic elections to be the problem.

    So do you want a court that does what you want instead of what they want?

    • #17
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    • LikeLike
  18. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    Christianity was the norm, prayers were widely practiced in schools and public places, abortion was illegal in most states and was being reversed in some, marriage here as in all of the world forever was between men and women. So individually resisting the assault on these things is not imposing one’s religious views on everybody else. Secular liberals set out to collectively impose their views on the nation. So I’ve never understood the argument that social conservatives were imposing their views. It’s just the opposite. Religious views are personal, some things show up in law, like don’t kill or steal, but most don’t and religious folks think that’s right. Markets and personal religious views have much in common. They are based on individual choice and require freedom. Progressives views on markets and religion have much in common as well. They want their views imposed on everybody else, they want to run the economy from above for their own religious like reasons, but their religion is collectivist, rigid, faddish rather than evolved over the millennia and when married to state power is totalitarian.

    • #18
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    • Like9 likes
  19. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    More to the point -it has been clear for some time that a way of life will be imposed. Sitting out may be principled, but it doesn’t stop a way of life being imposed, it just guarantees it will be someone else’s.

    Exactly, this is the binary argument. Trump and supporters want to control, Clinton and hers want to control differently.

    Folks like @peterrobinson and @larryarnn said we had no choice but to ditch conservativism and pick a side in order to get policies that we liked or at least avoid policies they liked. Lots of people bought that and here we are.

    But I would disagree that this was something new. I think it is pretty clear now that very few Republicans were conservative. Conservatives were just temporarily over-represented in top party positions and voters accepted. But those voters always dreamed of ruling.

    • #19
    • April 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    • Like5 likes
  20. Profile photo of TG Thatcher
    TG

    Casey (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    More to the point -it has been clear for some time that a way of life will be imposed. Sitting out may be principled, but it doesn’t stop a way of life being imposed, it just guarantees it will be someone else’s.

    Exactly, this is the binary argument. Trump and supporters want to control, Clinton and hers want to control differently.

    Folks like @peterrobinson and @larryarnn said we had no choice but to ditch conservativism and pick a side in order to get policies that we liked or at least avoid policies they liked. Lots of people bought that and here we are.

    But I would disagree that this was something new. I think it is pretty clear now that very few Republicans were conservative. Conservatives were just temporarily over-represented in top party positions and voters accepted. But those voters always dreamed of ruling.

    It’s human. Every person wants his/her own personal way. And, as Jonathan Haidt , among others, has pointed out, we get pretty good at creating structures of reasoning that support – or appear to support – what we want. If we (and the people around us) are fortunate, we learn to modulate and steer our own desires and extend courtesy and compassion to our fellow human beings.

    The trick is establishing communications, so we can negotiate and compromise with one another where we cannot maintain or create insulating space.

    • #20
    • April 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm
    • Like4 likes
  21. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    TG (View Comment):
    It’s human.

    Yes, it’s the essence of conservatism. Everybody wants to rule the world. And conservatives recognize and want to frustrate that instinct.

    But somewhere along the way, conservatives stopped recognizing that instinct in themselves. And that’s where we’ve run into problems.

    • #21
    • April 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm
    • Like2 likes
  22. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Casey (View Comment): So do you want a court that does what you want instead of what they want?

    False choice. I don’t want the Court to impose at all.

    The Court’s authority is based on upholding the laws that have already been passed by the legislature. We’ve already wrangled among ourselves through a democratic process; it isn’t the Court’s authority to dismiss that process and rely instead on their own moral theories.

    There are traditional moralists and then there are conservatives, and although we frequently have the same goals, we are not the same. I advocate a traditional morality, but as a conservative, I specifically refuse to empower government to impose any morality that the people haven’t consented to. I can do both at the same time.

    • #22
    • April 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm
    • Like11 likes
  23. Profile photo of Joe P Member

    Manny (View Comment):
    No, markets are not everything. To you that makes sense because you’re a moral relativist. But this is the fallacy of Libertarianism, that something that may apply in economics is equally applicable in social life. People ultimately vote for and on values. Legislation is not just about laws, but about codifying cultural values.

    Where has Ben Domenech said he’s a moral relativist? I’m asking because:

    1. I’m not familiar enough with him to know if he has said he is one.

    2. Moral relativism is not required for or implied by the argument he made in this post.

    • #23
    • April 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm
    • Like4 likes
  24. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    we are not the same.

    Exactly a false choice to prompt your exact answer. And I too am conservative and agree with you. But we must understand that we are few.

    At least 129 of 200m registered voters want one of those choices. Not absurd to recognize that.

    • #24
    • April 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    • Like1 like
  25. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    About Markets. Anyone who doesn’t trust “the market” doesn’t trust Human Beings. Markets are simply individuals and groups of Human Beings making decisions about how to live their lives, and earn a livelihood. I have always believed that Progressives are basically anti-Human. They believe the environmental wackos who think that humans are a blot on the planet and need to be diminished, and they distrust markets because they distrust all humans other than themselves. They try to re-shape people, believing that humans are perfectible and they know how to do it. Everything they do stems from that.

    • #25
    • April 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm
    • Like1 like
  26. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    Personally, I suspect that the liberal accusation that conservatives are trying to impose their (our) Christian lifestyle on others comes from their assumption that the Christian lifestyle is inherently oppressive. There is no evidence that conservatives are trying to impose anything. But what happens is that liberals find traditional morality to be oppressive on its own, and therefore when social conservatives uphold traditional morality, liberals conflate that into a hazy generalization that conservatives are actively oppressing people.

    For the record, I don’t see traditional morality as inherently oppressive. That’s why when I’m accused of imposing Christianity by government, I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder what the hell they’re thinking.

    • #26
    • April 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm
    • Like8 likes
  27. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member

    Casey (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    we are not the same.

    Exactly a false choice to prompt your exact answer. And I too am conservative and agree with you. But we must understand that we are few.

    At least 129 of 200m registered voters want one of those choices. Not absurd to recognize that.

    Facts not in evidence. “None of the above” wasn’t on the ballot. Plenty of people here didn’t like Trump, but voted for him anyway because they lived in swing states, and decided that the imposition of a way of life that was indifferent to our way of life was preferable to one actively hostile.

    And I will continue voting that way until someone provides me another option.

    An actual option. Not a protest, not a joke. Produce a plan where by we reliably end the ability of the federal government to impose its will on me and my community, where we can reliably maintain and support the localist and federalist systems, and I’ll be on board. As I said up thread -even if you don’t come up with a plan, but at least everyone wants to try it, I’ll help however I can.

    But no one has this plan. The power will exist regardless of your wishing it doesn’t. Therefore, it can be in the hands of those who want to use it against us, or it can be in our hands, or in indifferent hands. Your choice.

    • #27
    • April 19, 2017 at 6:34 pm
    • Like2 likes
  28. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    There is no evidence that conservatives are trying to impose anything.

    Right, conservatives are opposed to imposing. (Except in cases where imposing frustrates imposition.)

    But not everyone opposed to liberalism is conservative. We got caught in that assumption.

    We need not continue to be caught.

    • #28
    • April 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm
    • Like1 like
  29. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    None of the above” wasn’t on the ballot. Plenty of people here didn’t like Trump, but voted for him anyway because they lived in swing states, and decided that the imposition of a way of life that was indifferent to our way of life was preferable to one actively hostile.

    Well, both were actively hostile to conservatism. That’s not arguable. Trump couldn’t have won without being actively hostile to conservatism. Conservatism is what people hate.

    • #29
    • April 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    • Like1 like
  30. Profile photo of Matt White Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Casey (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    we are not the same.

    Exactly a false choice to prompt your exact answer. And I too am conservative and agree with you. But we must understand that we are few.

    At least 129 of 200m registered voters want one of those choices. Not absurd to recognize that.

    Facts not in evidence. “None of the above” wasn’t on the ballot. Plenty of people here didn’t like Trump, but voted for him anyway because they lived in swing states, and decided that the imposition of a way of life that was indifferent to our way of life was preferable to one actively hostile.

    But no one has this plan. The power will exist regardless of your wishing it doesn’t. Therefore, it can be in the hands of those who want to use it against us, or it can be in our hands, or in indifferent hands. Your choice.

    I get the suggestion that a vote for Clinton was a vote to impose progressive values on the nation, but is the premise here that a vote for Trump was a vote to impose Christian morals on the nation? That seems wrong.

    • #30
    • April 19, 2017 at 8:17 pm
    • Like7 likes
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