Conservatives And America’s Social Fabric

The New York Times’ pet “conservative,” David Brooks, wrote a really odd column — odd for a “conservative” anyway — complaining that the Right doesn’t care about social issues. Here’s the closing part of his column,

That language of community, institutions and social fabric has been lost, and now we hear only distant echoes — when social conservatives talk about family bonds or when John McCain talks at a forum about national service.

If Republicans are going to fully modernize, they’re probably going to have to follow the route the British Conservatives have already trod and project a conservatism that emphasizes society as well as individuals, security as well as freedom, a social revival and not just an economic one and the community as opposed to the state.

Conservatives aren’t interested in the “social fabric?” I thought Brooks lived in New York, not on another planet. Has he not heard of gay marriage? The culture of life? An emphasis on patriotism? The war on drugs? Welfare? Standing up for Christians who have been treated unfairly? Opposing offensive art made with taxpayer dollars? The strong conservative stance against crime, obscenity, prostitution, gambling, etc., etc.? These are all quality of life issues that tie directly into protecting society.

If anything, the Right is practically obsessive about the “social fabric” compared to Libertarians and more importantly liberals, who, as Thomas Sowell has noted, care very little about such things,

“If the truth is boring, civilization is irksome. The constraints inherent in civilized living are frustrating in innumerable ways. Yet those with the vision of the anointed often see these constraints as only arbitrary impositions, things from which they–and we all–can be ‘liberated.’ The social disintegration which has followed in the wake of such liberation has seldom provoked any serious reconsideration of the whole set of assumptions–the vision–which led to such disasters. That vision is too well insulated from feedback.”

It’s bad enough when liberals either deliberately misinterpret or prove to be simply incapable of understanding conservatives, but it’s really inexcusable for someone who’s supposed to be 1 of the 2 conservatives writing for the New York Times to get something this basic — this wrong.

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