Not so long ago, the prevailing political fashion dictated that a Republican elected official who spent his entire career advancing big government -- while also advocating such things as legalized abortion -- should insist on describing himself as a "fiscal conservative."
In reality, no such creature ever existed.
Examination of the actual voting records of professional politicians who called themselves "fiscal conservatives" invariably produced copious evidence they were anything but conservative.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania exemplified the type. When he appeared on CNN in 1995 to tell Larry King he would be seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, Specter declared, "I'm an economic fiscal conservative and a social libertarian."
In relatively recent times, Specter provided a good indicator of what he meant by "fiscal conservative" when he voted -- while still a Republican -- for President Barack Obama's $787 billion "stimulus" law.
But perhaps Specter's defining moment as a "fiscal conservative and social libertarian" came in 2007 when he voted against an amendment to a foreign-aid bill that prohibited funding "any organization or program which, as determined by the president, supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."
Specter's fiscally conservative, social-libertarian principles evidently forbade him from voting to stop the federal government from taking money from American taxpayers and handing it over to international organizations that help foreign regimes in programs aimed at tracking down expectant mothers and, against the will of those mothers, slaughtering their unborn children.
Yet even more incoherent than the old concept of the "fiscal conservative" is a new concept exemplified by a group of political actors who insist on taking up the name conservative, affixing some adjective to it and then seeking to advance elements of the homosexual-activist agenda. In fact, there can be no such thing as a pro-gay-agenda conservative.
By definition, conservatives are against the gay agenda because the gay agenda ultimately seeks to overturn the moral order that makes freedom possible. Fidelity to the natural law -- including in the laws of our land -- is at the very core of what conservatives seek to conserve.