It seems to me that the biggest obstacle to converting gays and lesbians to conservatism is that so few of its missionaries seem to believe in it themselves. Libertarian conservatives have a pretty good handle, for the most part, on what being a conservative has traditionally meant. They uphold individual responsibility, free will and the necessity of freedom for the preservation of truth. But social conservatives — though much noisier about their conservatism (some libertarians are so turned-off by the noise that they don’t even use the dreaded “c” word to describe themselves), are often very unclear about what they mean. Quite often even they don’t seem to know.
In talking with Leftists, it quickly becomes obvious that they’ve gotten their entire understanding of the political Right from social-conservative noise. This is why they’ve confused conservatism with blind reaction. But an awful lot of social conservatives labor under the same delusion.
When soc-cons mindlessly stereotype and demonize gays, for example, what they are really saying to us is, “It’s wrong for you to play identity politics — but it’s perfectly okay for us to do it.” Really? And why, one might ask, might that be?
In this sort of hypocrisy, the soc-cons have abandoned all principle. They cannot, of course, convey to others principles they themselves do not even bother trying to uphold. And in this failure, they reveal themselves to be as weak, intellectually lazy, self-absorbed and self-indulgent as the very Leftists they oppose. They may call themselves conservatives, but they think just like Leftist liberals.
This is an important insight, and though I only sketch it here I hope to flesh it out in some of my subsequent posts. Some soc-cons claim they do this impression of Leftism only to show real Leftists what it looks like, but that is not what Leftists see. What they see is that imitation is, indeed, the sincerest form of flattery. To them it is an endorsement of their philosophy and tactics. They see people calling themselves conservatives abandon the high ground and assume this means the high ground is uninhabitable.
Thus is the whole world pulled down into the depths. The soc-cons’ light has entirely gone out. It will be up to the libertarian conservatives to keep the torch alight — and to keep it shining.