August 17, 2015
Mark Steyn explains once again why being ‘socially liberal, fiscally conservative’ is impossible in the real world
Mark Steyn writes:
In practice, they usually turn out to be not all that “fiscally conservative” because it turns out the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag.
Suppose there were a countervailing force to the fiscally conservative, socially liberal type? Fiscally liberal, socially (or at any rate culturally) conservative. Recent elections in Europe suggest there’s no shortage of voters who like their welfare checks, free health care, state pension plans …but don’t see what any of that has to do with letting the country fill up with fanatical Muslims hot for sharia and female genital mutilation. Once upon a time the old left-wing parties represented that interest, but the British Labour Party and most European social democratic parties abandoned that market when they got hot for multiculturalism and diversity.
Is there a similar constituency in America? In other words, people who like their Medicare and food stamps …but, like Trump, think there are too many unskilled Mexican peasants flooding into a country with ever diminishing social mobility and no hope of economic improvement without a credential that requires taking on a quarter-million dollars in debt. As Trump’s detractors see it, he’s just a reality-show buffoon with a portfolio of incoherent attitudes that display no coherent worldview. But very few people go around with a philosophically consistent attitude to life: Your approach to, say, health insurance is determined less by abstract principles than by whether you can afford it. Likewise, your attitude to the DREAMers may owe more to whether your local school district is collapsing under the weight of all this heartwarming diversity.