Jonah Goldberg says that secular conservatives, economic conservatives, and libertarians should get off the case of social conservatives. He writes, in part:
This is not to say that one can’t be a moderate on this issue or that and be a Republican. But the idea that social liberalism and economic conservatism can coexist easily is not well supported by the evidence. For example, in Congress and in state legislatures, the more pro-life you are, the more likely you are to be a free-market, low-tax conservative. The more pro-choice you are, the more likely it is that you will be remarkably generous with other people’s money.
Goldberg also argues that pushing social conservatives to moderate their views is self-defeating because“The religious right is much more likely to stop being ‘right’ than stop being religious.”
I think I’ll ruminate on this for a while, but my initial reaction is that Goldberg mistakes or misstates what we (and by “we” I mean all conservatives or quasi-libertarians who, whatever their views on the merits, don’t get out of bed in the morning politically mostly to fight on issues like abortion, gay marriage, and prayer in schools) generally want from hardcore social/religious conservatives. We’re certainly not asking them to abandon their views, we’re asking them to realize they are in a political coalition that needs to win the votes of persuadable voters who have economically and fiscally conservative tendencies but may not agree with, say, teaching “intelligent design” in schools. Put another way, we’re just asking them to tone it down a bit.
Update: Inserted the link. Might be helpful.