Thursday, November 09, 2006

On Social Conservatism

Is social conservatism less distasteful to liberals and progressives than economic conservatism? Or does it matter less, in the grand scheme of things?

The answer may depend on whom you ask. For white heterosexual men social conservatism is something which is annoying and may be harmful when children are taught religion in biology classes, but it's not going to impinge on their own lives that much. For the rest of us social conservatism is much more painful. In its extreme form it puts women and gays into tiny little boxes, puts the lid on those boxes and throws the keys away. And it keeps blacks at the bottom of the society.

For that reason it's hard for me to see certain liberals and progressives suggest that we should welcome social conservatives with open arms, without at least checking what they mean by being a "social" or "cultural" conservative. I'm not going to be in a big tent with someone who plans to put me into a box, sorry.