On Social Issues, Neal Boortz is Lost

NealBoortzby Trevor Thomas   12/30/13
While substituting for Sean Hannity recently, Neal Boortz went into another of his “libertarian” rants against “social” conservatives. Taking note of the recent flak involving Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, while pleading that the fate of the republic may depend upon republicans retaking the U.S. Senate, Boortz forebodingly predicted that republicans would fail in this task because, “they [republicans] simply cannot resist the urge, the impulse to get into this social conservatism.”

Long known for his disdain of the “social” (I prefer “moral”) issues, like many others, Boortz masquerades as libertarian while in reality being nothing more than a liberal on the moral issues of our time.

Contrary to what self-described libertarians such as Boortz and John Stossel would have us believe, if conservatives simply shut up about issues like abortion and marriage and focus on things like debt and fiscal responsibility, there’s no guarantee when it comes to election time. It is a long-held myth, typically perpetuated by self-described liberals in the mainstream media but also by self-described libertarians, that whenever the moral issues are prominent in elections, conservatives lose. As I have noted before, Jeffrey Bell in his book The Case for Polarized Politics helps dispel this myth.

“Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964,” notes Bell. “The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. . . . When social issues came into the mix—I would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.”

Bell concludes, as have many others, that American social conservatism began in response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Thus, it is unsurprising that all of the most significant “social” issues in America today are sexual issues. Abortion, homosexuality, marriage, contraception, and the like, are not hot political topics merely because they relate to people’s personal lives. They are hot political topics because they reside deep within the moral realm of our culture.

Whether liberals or libertarians admit it, somebody’s morality is going to govern us. Libertarians would do well to examine America’s history before ranting about the morality of today’s [Christian] conservatives. Like our founders, most conservatives today understand well that religion (especially Christianity) is an indispensible tenet of liberty.

America’s “Schoolmaster” Noah Webster bore this out in his 1832 History of the United States when he wrote that “our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.” Webster rightly concluded that, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles…to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”

Additionally, and again contrary to popular myth and what pundits like Mr. Boortz would have us believe, Christian conservatives aren’t the aggressors in the so-called “culture wars.” It has been liberals with the aid of those like-minded in our courts and our media who have forced their moral views on our culture. Whether it’s abortion, the environment, public displays of religion, marriage, or other issues, liberals have taken the view of what is typically a small minority and imposed their will on the country.

In more ways than one, the results have been disastrous and (speaking of debt) expensive. As an example, consider the environment and the myth of man-made global warming. Starting out with a small minority, through judicial fiat and a relentless media campaign, liberals began preaching that through the use of fossil fuels, human beings were warming the globe and that (of course) drastic political measures needed to be taken to “save the planet.”

Though most Americans do not consider global warming a significant issue for our government, decades of propaganda have taken a toll on our nation. For too long, conservatives didn’t do enough to combat the tactics of liberals on this issue, and today far too many Americans believe the lie that the actions of humans are warming the planet. So much so that, the last republican-elected president, George W. Bush, signed a significant piece of legislation that was premised on the notion of man-made global warming.

After signing the Energy Independence and Security Act, President Bush declared, “Today…We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding production of renewable fuels and giving future generations a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

According to the New York Times, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi echoed Bush’s sentiments by describing “the bill as groundbreaking because it would reduce oil imports, cut production of the gases that scientists blame for global warming and significantly increase the efficiency of the nation’s auto fleet.”

Boortz would do well to note that this is what happens when conservatives acquiesce to the positions of liberals. We get conservatives at the highest level parroting liberal speak and the government spending billions of dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist—even telling us what light bulbs we can use. However, this is nothing compared to the slaughter of tens of millions of children in the womb or the legal redefinition of the institution upon which our republic rests.

So-called libertarians like Boortz can moan and groan about the moral positions of “social” conservatives all they want, but it doesn’t change the facts. All law is rooted in some morality; thus somebody’s morality is going to “determine the fate of this republic.” Libertarians need to decide with whom it’s easier to live: those who share the morality of the vast majority of our founders, who gave us the greatest document for self governance ever created by men; or those who seek fundamentally to change this republic into something that conservatives and libertarians both will lament.
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Trevor Grant Thomas At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com email: tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com
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17 Responses to On Social Issues, Neal Boortz is Lost

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Not much I can add to what Trevor said or what this person at American Thinker said:

    This is the fundamental flaw in the logic of Libertarianism. The Moral Issues are not “religious insanity”. If you want to hoe the row of “fiscal sanity” one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the Family. The Moral Issues are all attacks on two ideas, the most obvious is the “religiously insane” notion that sex is sacred and only moral within the bonds of marriage. But this line of attack is, in many ways, secondary to, even a smokescreen for, the primary goal of those forcing the Moral Issues. The primary goal of the leftists pushing the Moral Issues in the “culture war” today is to eliminate the two institutions (the Family and the Church) they see as the competitors to the State, which the leftists believe should be the ONLY institution of human society.

    The Family was the original human institution. Before there were States, before there were Churches or Temples, before there were Schools, Arts, or Markets there were families (and that is true whether you believe in the first few chapters of Genesis or the first few chapters of Darwin’s Descent of Man). As families grouped together to form societies and civilizations the various roles of the family, entertaining, educating, working, defending splintered off into whole institutions of their own. But the Family maintains the central role of Civilization: creating and raising the next generation to carry the civilization into the future.

    The left seeks to bring all human institutions under the umbrella of the State. The Libertarians seem content with letting the left go about the task of dismantling the family because they either see the Market or the Individual as the primary institution of human society. But the Market only views human beings as economic actors, which, incidentally is all Marx saw humans as, not as people. Economic actors are easy to dehumanize, which is why countries founded on Marxist principles become not the stateless utopia (stateless utopia is also a commonality between communism and libertarianism) but the most brutal, humanity crushing, blood soaked totalitarian tyrannies.

    The Family and the Church are the two institutions which elevate humans as individually significant, unique, being endowed with Rights, because they recognize that there is something fundamentally special, even sacred, about human beings. If that notion is “religious insanity” than the notion of “human rights” is also “religious insanity”. Perhaps this is why professional ethicists want to argue for “personal rights” that are dependent upon nebulous concepts of “person-hood” and “quality of life”. It lets them assert the morality of executing unborn children (or even already born children) because they aren’t enough of a person yet, or euthanizing the elderly or infirm because it is somehow more “dignified” to encourage sick and depressed cancer patients to off themselves instead of burden the people around them with their continued presence since their reduced “quality of life” means they aren’t really people anymore. Then, using the same logic, grant the rights we used to call “Human Rights” to animals because they exhibit “person-hood” traits.

    And if humans are in some way “sacred”, as “religiously insane” as you might consider that view, then the biological act that creates humans is also in some way, shape, or form “sacred” as well (and why the Guy who invented sex designed for it to occur within the bonds of a family). Most sane people recognize that sex is qualitatively more than just people engaged in physical acts that cause sensations of pleasure, whether they’re religious or not.

    If the State doesn’t protect the Family as a separate social institution then the State will REPLACE the Family as the institution that raises the next generation of children. And how long with the individual or the market remain free of the State, at that point?

    The “religious insanity” you dismiss is the foundation of the fundamental rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. The “fiscal sanity” of a small and limited government that sees as it’s only true purpose as protecting those rights cannot happen without recognizing and protecting the Natural Family and the Freedom of (not from) religion. They not only go “hand in hand”, they are inextricably linked.

    I’ve invited this person to write an article based on the above. Whether that happens or not, I thought this was a most eloquent and wise post.

    • steve lancaster says:

      To the self-styled social conservative. I find it troubling that you so readily attack libertarians. Libertarians are your natural allies on almost every issue of importance. I suggest you read or re-read my first post on mostly libertarian point of view. Yes, there are issues that we differ on, but the central social issues of our times, abortion, taxes, government spying, freedom of speech and the liberty of the individual we are in agreement.

      Yes, there are issues we disagree, marriage; my view is not a government issue, but one for the individuals involved. In its most basic form it is a contract between two or more people. If any than a civil ceremony is asked, say of a church it is the decision of the church to agree that the people requesting a religious ceremony meet the standards of the church, not the other way around. In other words if you want the sanction of the Church of Christ, then you best be a man and woman. If you want a wedding cake from a bakery, and the bakery refuses to make it because of the theme; that is their right go somewhere else.

      Some posters have ascribed altogether too much power to libertarians. To read their posts you would think that libertarian thinking controls every election and that the only reason conservatives have lost is because libertarians “split the vote”. I find that laughable, as when social democrats lose elections they say the same thing. It seems that libertarians are out rigging elections and poisoning wells against both sides. How can we be so powerful and yet seldom get more than 3 or 4% of the vote on a good day? Lastly, I post under my real name, not some nom de guerre. My thoughts are my own, based on a career in government and private industry. I don’t apologize for them and I am open to real discussion.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    What libertarians like Boortz carefully refuse to see is that the social conservatism they abhor is far more popular (hence the overwhelmingly negative responses to the lavender thought police regarding Chick=fil-A and Duck Dynasty) than the economic conservatism they espouse (as seen in the powerful support for minimum wage increases). This may be hard to see, admittedly, if everyone you know lives in Los Angeles or Manhattan. We might call that Pauline Kael Syndrome.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I agree, Timothy.

      But even if there are a large number of people who reflexively vote against so-called “social issues,” reflexes can be changed. It boggles the mind just how wimpy and milquetoast Republicans have become. Have they not watched how a relatively small number of stormtroopers from the Left have changed society?

      Leadership (except for Ted Cruz and a blessed few others) is missing in the G.O.P. And, to my mind, the conservative media has turned into a bunch of limp-wristed wimps as well.

      The GOP can’t let these bastards on the Left define them. Go on the offensive. If abortion is wrong (and it is), say so. Make the case. Have a flashcard ready, if need be, that shows a 4-week-old unborn child. If gay marriage is wrong (and it is), say so boldly. If dependency upon government is bad for people and this nation (and it is), then be forthright about it. Lead, don’t follow.

      The problem is, our culture and the university system has produced this crop of milquetoast RINO “centrists” that we see now who are generally as opposed to conservatism as libertarians are. This is why it was so personally painful to see Jonah join their ranks to some extent. These RINOs don’t actually believe in anything but the outward form of “being polite.” Instead of trying to change the culture for the better, they’ve acquiesced to it. They are collaborators with the enemies of freedom.

      And libertarians are not our friend in this fight either. They have shown time after time to have their own kooky agenda, one that tends to align with the Left.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I’ve pointed out a number of times on the blog sites (including once yesterday on NRO) that the GOP’s major failing is their inability to push their message, instead trusting to the honesty of newsliars (the lowest civil occupation in America).

        Incidentally, this seems as good a place as any to mention that Matt Barber delivered 10 limericks as a year-end review, which are available on townhall.com — including 2 on the GLAAD-Duck Dynasty dispute, 1 on homosexual marriage, and 1 on Ted Cruz and the squishes’ reaction to him.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Here’s a link to Matt’s limericks. I love this one:

          M – S – N – B – C is on cable,
          Spinning news, weaving yarns and tall fables,
          With an agenda from Sodom,
          And ratings rock bottom,
          They have hosts that are questionably stable.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            That was certainly a good one, but so were several others. My one question on that is: can there really be any question about the stability of MSNBC’s news anchors?

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    The libertarian schizophrenia between economic and social issues, as if they were mutually exclusive in their compartmentalization, is baffling. Are they unaware that social liberalism on issues such as: abortion, drugs, divorce, the family, produce the very pathologies that have plagued America and have transformed her from a republic to a centralized value neutral socialist democracy? The seeds that are planted by libertarianism’s social liberalism have within them the ability to poison any economic system by altering the rational character of its voters.

    Therefore, even a minimalist regime infected with the contagion of immorality and the loss of self sufficiency could not long remain so and would gradually succumb to the moral indolence that leads to the people’s crying out for the paternalism of the welfare state. In believing that economics is the prime mover of civilization, libertarians succumb to the Marxian analysis by letting it creep in through the back door. Politics is about much more than money, since in the classical sense it requires prudent wisdom to balance a sustainable system of growth, harmony, and the all important cultivation of virtue. In such a way, the moral cannot be severed from the political. We would do well to consider this.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Rothbardian Libertarians are either theoretical dreamers who spin utopian dreams about a place and race which never have and never could exist, or materialist brats who want the advantages of an organized society, but do not want any restrictions on their passions regardless of how these affect others. Sounds like the attitude of about a two year old.

    When will these delusional people understand that free market theory and economics came out of our Western Culture, not the other way around?

    The Occident is not and accident. Rothbard and his ilk added virtually nothing to our great heritage and would do much to destroy it. Their infantile musings must be shown to be the lies and fantasies which they are. Does anybody else have the feeling that many of them are somehow involved with L. Ron Hubbard’s group?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      When will these delusional people understand that free market theory and economics came out of our Western Culture, not the other way around?

      That’s an important point. Whether we see these things as a hierarchy of values/institutions or the many pieces that go into the making of a jigsaw puzzle, the free market is not the be-all, end-all of our civilization.

      It is an extremely important part, however. And it’s not so much the “free market” that is the thing — a concept that can too easily become disembodied from what it is: the right of people to make their own decisions. In this context, the market is just a natural outgrowth of that freedom. The same with the supposed “middle class.” You hear our idiot politicians (in both parties) talking about it. But it is not a thing to be watered like a houseplant. It’s something (a variety of things) that arises out of economic opportunity combined with political freedom and — last but not least — these things alchemically transformed into A Good Community when backed by people with good morals.

      Libertarians forget the moral aspect or — due to their libertine proclivities — want to forget it. And how is a good morality engendered? Let’s be honest. It’s not by watching that clown, Jon Stewart, on TV. It’s not by watching Oprah. It’s not something you get when you wear a colored ribbon and walk in a victim-of-the-week parade. And you don’t get it from government schools (quite the opposite). You get it from traditional religion — Christian or Jewish religion, to be exact.

      Unless we rein in our own animalistic appetites, we will quickly find ourselves wards of the nanny. And I agree with Mr. Kung that the libertarian spirit, such as it is, exudes a juvenilism, a resistance to growing up and becoming a man. As a buddy of mine said, there are two things a man needs to outgrow: bed wetting and pop smoking.

  5. Kurt NY says:

    The recent incident with Duck Dynasty points out the fallacy of those who call for an end to the culture wars. If you ask them, those such as GLAAD who most vociferously called to fire Phil Robertson and to subject him to the usual leftist processes of thought police, self-criticism, and political re-education would just as loudly proclaim their allegiance to the First Amendment as would you or I. However, they find what was said so abhorrent as to constitute something beyond the pale which must be banned.

    If we are honest with ourselves, the prevailing moral order in any society will always exercise a degree of censorship over speech. Even though now mostly eviscerated, we still see the remains of the old system in censorship of certain words on TV and even now networks, as debauched as they are, still approach certain subjects gingerly.

    The First Amendment establishes wider tolerance than any other society on earth but still does not provide absolutes. Indeed, it was the misguided attempt to do so that probably opened the flood gates for the counter culture to begin the process of taking over our culture. Which, now that it has mostly done so, is now busily imposing its own morality on the rest of us.

    Recognized de jure or not, culture will always impose limits. And we must decide whether those limits should be those of traditional Judeo-Christian morality or the New Age/counter culture politically correct BS towards which we seem to be heading.

  6. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Trevor, Brad, Tim, Glenn, and KFZ have pretty much said it all, and I’ve gone on at considerable length in Libertarianism Minus Conservatism = Zero, so I won’t say more about Neal Boortz here. There was an article on NRO (my New Year’s resolution will be to spend far less time there in 2014) today by Quin Hillyer that might interest everyone here. Basically, he detailed the Chamber of Commerce’s war against us Conservatives, and he deplored it, I’m glad to say. But his prescription was for some sort of reconciliation between us and the GOP Establishment, which I think is badly mistaken. The Republican Establishment has declared war on us, and I think defeating them in battle is a far better plan.

    There were, by the way, a few Boortz-style commentators who were claiming that Social Conservatives had cost Republicans some victories, even though Hillyer’s article specifically pointed out that the only Republican victory in the Presidential popular vote in the past twenty years (Bush in 2004) was entirely due to Social Conservatives – something I’ve been saying for so long I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing me repeat it. Rest assured I did not allow their fatuous assertions to go unchallenged.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think the Establishment and the grassroots voters need to find a way to get back together — but the former needs to realize that the latter mostly are NOT partisans, but instead inspired by one or another issue. As I pointed out in my own response to Hillyer, the danger of the Esablishment ignoring the grassroots is that they can quite happily go elsewhere, such as the Constitution Party, or even (for example, if the Cheap Labor Lobby gets their way) making common cause (sort of) with those lousy Occupiers.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There was an article on NRO (my New Year’s resolution will be to spend far less time there in 2014)

      I have been de-RINOfying as well, Nik. I read that article by Hillyer. He makes some good points. I also read an article by Thomas Sowell in which he concludes:

      In our two-party system, everything depends on whether the Republicans step up to the plate and act like responsible adults who understand that ObamaCare represents a historic crossroads that will determine what kind of people we are going to be, for this generation and generations yet unborn — citizens or subjects.

      This means that Republicans have to decide whether their top priority is internal strife among the different wings of the party — another circular firing squad — or whether either wing puts the country first.

      That sounds nice. But there are irreconcilable differences between those who want to abide by our Constitution, and believe in the traditional definition of freedom, and those who predominate in the Republican Party who are either statists of one sort or another, are complete non-ideological opportunists, or are just plain cowards.

      We don’t need to split the difference with these people. We need to run them out off office and out of the Republican Party bureaucracy. A phrase comes to mind that Reagan used in regards to the Communists of the Soviet Union: “We win, they lose.”

      The Republican Party is run by money and the desire for power, not the desire to restore America, as founded (a freedom-based limited-government republic). The uncorrupted voices at NRO include Andy McCarthy and Mark Steyn. There are others (or others who act that way some of the time — Rich Lowry actually has a decent socially conservative article up…which is once again merely descriptive, not proscriptive — aka business as usual on the wobbly right).

      But for the most part, the “conservative” media is often little more than a book selling club…an outgrowth of, and megaphone for, the moneyed establishment. And when they are not this, they are often going off on flights of intellectual fancy (Goldberg).

      Thus this site with its intelligent and ideologically sound members. One has to start somewhere.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    I just read a short piece on Town Hall on libertarians, Tea Partiers, and Christian conservatives. One thing they found is that 44% of libertarians consider religion unimportant in their lives, far more than for Tea Partiers (11%) and of course the religious conservatives (1%). But still, 53% of libertarians said religion is important in their lives. It’s a reminder that libertarians are a diverse group (though their leaders might have given different responses).

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      ” It’s a reminder that libertarians are a diverse group (though their leaders might have given different responses).”

      This is why I have tried to narrow the definition somewhat. The term Libertarian as Steve uses it has virtually no meaning in serious political or cultural discussion.

      I have been referring to the more extreme Rothbardian space cadet types who seem to truly believe they are not subject to anyone other than themselves and that all personal choice is neutral i.e. there are no morals.

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