The conversations always include this line: "I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative."
Sounds reasonable; I might have said it myself 30 or 40 years ago. I hear it from friends, acquaintances and strangers. Trouble is, there ain’t no such thing. Liberals are for helping people, for providing support to those unable to help themselves, and that costs money.
Conservatives want low taxes and debt reduction and few (if any) social support programs. The two positions are mutually exclusive.
That same speaker will often also say: "I’m conservative but not a Republican. I’m registered Independent." A good response would be: "And when’s the last time you voted for a Democrat in a national or statewide election?"
The thing that conservatives/Republicans have to remember is that you get only one vote. A vote for a fiscal conservative cannot be made without also voting for:
n Assault rifles in every pickup truck and carrying handguns into church.
n A Supreme Court hell-bent on overturning Roe v. Wade.
n The overturn of Obamacare, to be replaced by, well, nothing. Nearly 50 million Americans will remain without health insurance.
n The denial of scientific achievement. Casting your lot with the Christian crazies who insist that science is a series of unproven myths ("the world is 6000 years old.
n Privatizing social security (Bush’s idea; how would that have worked out in the crash of 2008-09?)
n Wars started for no apparent reason.
n The continued destruction of the American middle class.
I could go on, but you get the point. You simply can’t compartmentalize your political support by casting votes for the positions you favor but withholding votes for those you do not. You get but one vote (except in Florida, where you frequently get none), not a series of mini-votes.
Remember this on Nov. 6: If low taxes and debt reduction are that important to you, more important than anything else, then cast your only vote for Romney because lower taxes is the one campaign promise Republicans will keep. (Not debt reduction; debt will rise regardless of who’s in the White House.) Just don’t forget that you’re buying the whole package. You don’t get one without all the others.
And, yes, if Republicans complete the dismantling of over 80 years of social progress - it will be your fault. Not mine. But we’ll both suffer for it.