/ Are social conservatives ever right?

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MG - on 05 Feb 2013
With the gay marriage debate in mind, has there ever been a clear cut case where a change in the law to make it more liberal from a social point view, ever been a bad thing?
EeeByGum - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG: I suppose it depends if you are on the 'have' or 'have not' side of the fence.

I really don't understand the argument against gay marriage at all. I can't even empathise.
MG - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to MG) I suppose it depends if you are on the 'have' or 'have not' side of the fence.
>

Well may be but are there people who still regret suicide being decriminalised, or women being allowed to vote, or divorce being possible? All were opposed with the same venom or worse than gay marriage but seem quite normal now.
Pero - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG: Possibly the social conservatives make things so hard to change that only things that are genuinely for the better get through. Perhaps a bit like a rigorous drugs test that ensures that safe drugs get on the market! At the cost of slowing up the availability of life-saving medicines.

There do seem to be a number of no-brainers at the moment that are still vehemently opposed: gay marriage, women bishops, priests getting married.

The opposition to them won't stop them happening eventually, but perhaps ensure that they are genuinely for the good.

AWR on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
Uncontrolled immigration?
Dauphin - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

I never understand this - they want no state involvement in health, education, employment but expect the state to enforce millenia old supersitions about who can have sex with each other or call a partnership marriage.

D
lummox - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin: That's the beauty of the right and its much vaunted libertarianism....
doz generale - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> I never understand this - they want no state involvement in health, education, employment but expect the state to enforce millenia old supersitions about who can have sex with each other or call a partnership marriage.
>
> D

Similarly many conservatives are very anti abortion but don't want the state to help fund the upbringing of children born into poverty. Doesn't really make sense seeing as unwanted pregnancy wont just go away. I would hate to see return of forced adoption or illegal back street abortions.

I do however agree with the immigration point raised above
mkean - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to lummox:
That's the beauty of the right and its much vaunted libertarianism....

Your post displays the fundamental flaw in leftist collectivisation, you've applied single broad definition which only actually fits a minority. Well done, have a free Mao suit.

Or of course you could have written something insightful about the balancing act of passing a bill through our factionalised democracy and the way that compromise often leads to daft sounding solutions.

;-)

lummox - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to mkean: hope that's given you a warm glow inside...
The New NickB - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:

I am not sure I understand your argument, slavery could have been abolished say 100 years earlier, but did the opposition to abolish make abolishing it 100 years and a few million lives later a better thing?
mkean - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:
With the gay marriage debate in mind, has there ever been a clear cut case where a change in the law to make it more liberal from a social point view, ever been a bad thing?

The German legalisation of zoophilia mentioned above is the only obvious example. I think unregulated migration doesn't count as it benefits the global population and levels the playing field, even if it temporarily disadvantages the less fortunate proportion of the recipient countries.

How about the removal of the legislation requiring a flag waver to walk infront of motorcars, that has caused thousands of preventable fatalities?

Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: Social conservatives are often in a position of power or for some reason are serving those in powerful positions. Being against uncontrolled immigration however, isn't socially conservative per se. There are many potential reasons for being against uncontrolled immigration, a social conservative point of view would be against its due to a fear of foreign cultures or simple prejudice. However, one could also argue it is an unwise policy until the shameful lack of housing is addressed or any number of other economic arguments which could still maintain a desire to see unassimilated difference. Social conservative blame the migrants, though a social democrat/communist whatever could still be against unrestricted immigration because they deem the economic situation to be unsuitable for such a policy.

Pero - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Not sure what slavery's got to do it. Slavery persisted because it made so many people very rich. No one has much to gain financially from an opposition to gay marriage.

aln - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Slavery persists because it makes so many people very rich.

I think that's more accurate.
Jon Stewart - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to MG)
> Uncontrolled immigration?

When or where was this policy ever implemented?

Currently, if you're a non-EU national and you want to move here, you're basically going to struggle.

If you're an EU national, then you can move here, because we're in Europe.

What happened in recent years is that there was a long period of economic growth during which industry said to govt that they wanted slack control of economic migration and that's what they got.

Now we're bust we want tight controls and in policy terms, that's what we've got.

The system has always been weak and it is easy to get around the policies (sham students, sham marriages, sham work permits, etc) but that's not a policy that's a failure to implement one.

So what seems to many people like "uncontrolled immigration" is just a function of economics, and the people who lobbied govt for slack policies were just interested in their businesses, they may have been social conservatives or liberals. Govt policy dances to the tune of big business first (that's how we get economic growth) voters' desires (aka the tabloid press) second.

Now there are black and brown people everywhere you look (people who were invited to work in periods of growth, and their families) it's a popular view that there is or has been a policy of "uncontrolled immigration" but it is simply, factually untrue. And the only meaningful policy change available to reduce immigration is to leave Europe, and there's certainly a debate about that going on.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

> Are social conservatives ever right?

Aren't conservatives always right? On the right, that is.
craigloon - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Nicely put.
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winhill - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

I remember when the social conservatives were the ones who wanted to get married.

I'm not sure this isn't still the case.

Interesting juxto between odious Roger Gale arguing for the de-coupling of marriage and sex and a similar argument from the guardian's Adam Smith Institute libertarian:

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Thanet-North-MP-Roger-Gale-hero-villain/story-18089340-detail/story.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/06/gay-marriage-out-hands-state

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