Instead, national-virtue social conservatives have implicitly agreed to escalate every personal virtue issue to Washington, to be defined and enforced by the most powerful government in history—a federal government clearly hostile to traditional values. That strategy will consistently backfire. Washington has responded as all self-perpetuating, omnivorous federal governments do, taking every opportunity to install fake “virtues” and reduce freedom for 300 million Americans. Compulsory health care, anyone?
Much better for social conservatives to have adopted the Constitution-honoring “freedom nationally, virtue locally” political strategy.
But, because national-virtue social conservatives do not pursue “virtue locally and freedom nationally,” they deem the gay lobby at the national level a threat. It necessarily follows, then, that gays cannot possibly be allies with social conservatives at the national level in the pursuit of common freedom for all, while the two groups would then clash at the state or local level. No, once you determine that your task is to force 300 million Americans into conformity to your specific set of virtues, then your allies, including possible allies for the preservation of freedom, shrink to your small group of fellow-travelers.
If only this were a new thing. The self-defeating strategy of national-virtue social conservatives has been in place for decades. Have their efforts made our nation more virtuous? More free? No, the often-unintended fruit of their decades-long efforts is bitter—if not to them, then to many others who work alongside them.
The only strategic antidote, the only way to thwart a big government dedicated to enforcing its version of “virtues”—the only way for social conservatism to truly prevail—is “freedom nationally, virtue locally.”