Tag Archives: Social Conservatism

Trump gets 5% in straw poll of informed voters at Values Voters Summit

Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Texas Senator Ted Cruz

I was actually thinking of going to this annual Washington conference of value voters, because the speakers line up so closely with my values. You might think that it’s all social conservatism, but this is actually a really good place to find good talks on the free market system, as well as peace through strength foreign policy.

Anyway, they took a poll of the values voters, and Ted Cruz won:

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit straw poll for the third year in a row on Saturday, a strong showing of support from evangelical voters for his 2016 presidential bid.

The firebrand Texas senator won a whopping 35 percent in the poll of summit-goers, ahead of runner-up Ben Carson’s 18 percent. That margin is significantly wider than last year, where he edged out Carson by just 5 percentage points.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) took third with 14 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) with 13 percent. Real estate magnate Donald Trump finished a distant fifth with 5 percent.

Carson won the event’s poll for vice president, his second consecutive win for that category.

Family Research Council Action president Tony Perkins announced the results Saturday afternoon to applause from the conference’s attendees. Perkins’ group organized the three-day event.

Eight GOP presidential candidates took to the summit stage in order to make their case to the religious conservative audience—Cruz, Carson, Trump, Rubio, Huckabee, as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), and Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.).

The results confirm Cruz, Carson and Huckabee’s strength among religious conservative voters. Each rely on the voting bloc as a core piece of their electorate, but the huge win for Cruz is likely encouraging considering recent polls showing the senator outside of the top tier with evangelicals.

But the figures are surprising for both Rubio and Trump. Rubio’s finish shows him continuing to make gains with religious conservative voters as he rises in national polling. But the result is a disappointment for Trump, who had led with evangelicals in two recent polls.

The Values Voter Summit though is Cruz country and several conference-goers mentioned his name first as the person they trust most on issues important to social conservatives when interviewed by The Hill during the event.

[…]A handful of candidates didn’t attend the summit—Jeb Bush, Govs. Chris Christie (N.J.), John Kasich (Ohio) and Carly Fiorina.

The ones that didn’t attend are, not surprisingly, the same ones I marked as social moderates. Better than a Democrat, not as good as real conservatives like Jindal or Cruz.

Anyway, Cruz’s speech was awesome:

And his list of Day One promises was also amazing.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) electrified conservatives at the Values Voters Summit in Washington on Friday as he laid out plans for his first day in the White House.

Cruz vowed to rescind all of President Obama’s “illegal and unconstitutional executive actions,” said he would order the Department of Justice to prosecute Planned Parenthood, instruct the DOJ and Internal Revenue Service to end religious persecution of citizens, “rip to shreds” the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Upon each declaration, Cruz received huge applause and a standing ovation.

“That’s just day one,” Cruz said. “There are 365 days in the year, four years in a presidential term, four years in a second term. By the end of eight years, this ballroom is going to be a whole lot bigger. By the end of eight years, there will be a whole lot of reporters and journalists who have checked themselves into therapy.”

And if the idea of connecting with socially conservative voters is appealing to you, be sure to go to FRC.org and subscribe the daily and weekend podcasts. These podcasts are my favorites, along with The Weekly Standard podcast.

My original list of favorite candidates in the 2016 GOP primary:

  1. Walker
  2. Jindal
  3. Perry
  4. Cruz
  5. Rubio

I really hope Jindal, Cruz or Rubio can take this thing, because I don’t want to have to be promoting someone I am not excited about.

Why fiscal conservatives should care about abortion rights

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this report

One reason to care is that abortion providers get taxpayer funds. Consider this report on Planned Parenthood funding, which was reported by Life News.


In a new report published by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the pro-life legal group lays out the various ways Planned Parenthood has engaged in abuse and potential fraud with American tax-dollars. The report alleges that 45 public audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates, and 57 known audits of state family planning programs, found that a “total of more than $129.7 million in waste, abuse, and potential fraud in federal and state family planning funding programs, the lion’s share of which goes to Planned Parenthood.”

Additionally, the report says that $14.4 billion of Planned Parenthood’s federal Medicaid expenditures were improper payments and the abortion company engaged in other billing violations, including “billing in excess of actual acquisition cost or other statutorily approved costs for contraceptives and Plan B products, inappropriately billing for services that were not medically necessary or not provided at all, and duplicate billing.”

ADF’s report, Profit. No Matter What., reads, “Updates in this 2015 edition include a new federal audit of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, specifically aimed at Planned Parenthood of North Texas; new federal audits of state family planning programs in California and Nebraska, totaling nearly $12 million; and more complete information on Planned Parenthood and other abortion and family planning facilities’ other financial malfeasance.”

Fiscal conservatives are opposed to government waste. We shouldn’t be handing taxpayer money to organizations that engage in fraud and abuse. If you’re against government waste and fraud, then you’re against government waste and fraud in abortion. I know pro-choice libertarians who want to remove government funding for abortions for precisely this reason.

Now let me give a reason. Everyone understands that when you have this much debt, and so many entitlement programs going bankrupt, that we cannot afford to eliminate the next generation of works. Who will pay for these entitlement programs if there are no workers? We are competing with all the other left-leaning countries for skilled immigrants. That may be part of the solution, but it is not the full solution. Not only should we not be aborting the next generation of taxpayers who have to keep these programs afloat, we should also be encouraging natural marriage, since this is the best environment to raise future workers who are moral and well-adjusted. Divorce and single motherhood are not good for raising the next generation of productive workers. Many social issues play a part in the economy.

A primer for social conservatives who want to argue for their views with economics

Somehow I missed this editorial from Ross Douthat, which appeared in the radically leftist New York Times. He responds to the charge that conservatives don’t make economic arguments for their socially conservative views, even though the data is there to support such arguments. What he writes is a pretty good primer on evidential arguments for social conservatives. My regular readers will recognize some of the names he mentions from previous posts on this blog.


Here are a few (of many) possible answers. The first is that social conservatives actually do make such arguments, even if the phrase “negative externalities” isn’t deployed with quite the frequency Caplan would like. Look at any prominent document on changing family structures, for instance, from The Moynihan Report down through Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s famous “Dan Quayle Was Right” to the “marriage gap” arguments of today, and you’ll find an intense focus on the socioeconomic costs of the trends the writers are describing and/or deploring. Indeed, the entire corpus of socially-conservative intellectual efforts, from 1970s-era neoconservatives like Richard John Neuhaus and James Q. Wilson down to the present era, is shot through with arguments that are, if not purely economic, at least heavily informed by economic questions.

Right now, whether you’re reading Jonathan Last on demography or Kay Hymowitz on young manhood or Brad Wilcox on marriage and middle America or Mark Regnerus on the market for premarital sex, the case for social conservatism is reliably — perhaps even too reliably, I fear, in some of my own work — framed in the language of costs and benefits, mobility and opportunity, education and income and life outcomes. (And likewise on issues that fall within the socially-conservative penumbra, like immigration, crime, and drugs.)

But note that very few of the writers and intellectuals I’ve just mentioned are practicing economists: They’re political scientists, sociologists, journalists, and so forth. (Arguably the most influential socially-conservative champion of free market economics in the last generation, Michael Novak, earned degrees in theology and philosophy, not economics itself.)

In a previous NYT piece, he had also linked to a new 2014 study from the Journal of Sexual Research which showed how delaying sexual activity improves relationship quality and stability.


While recent studies have suggested that the timing of sexual initiation within a couple’s romantic relationship has important associations with later relationship success, few studies have examined how such timing is associated with relationship quality among unmarried couples. Using a sample of 10,932 individuals in unmarried, romantic relationships, we examined how four sexual-timing patterns (i.e., having sex prior to dating, initiating sex on the first date or shortly after, having sex after a few weeks of dating, and sexual abstinence) were associated with relationship satisfaction, stability, and communication in dating relationships. Results suggested that waiting to initiate sexual intimacy in unmarried relationships was generally associated with positive outcomes. This effect was strongly moderated by relationship length, with individuals who reported early sexual initiation reporting increasingly lower outcomes in relationships of longer than two years.

That’s nothing new, but it shows that research falsifies the standard leftist/feminist narrative about recreational sex being normal and healthy. The sexual revolution is very much an idealistic flight from reality. Reality is generally more conservative than the leftists present in their sterile classrooms and popular culture entertainment. You’re not going to see the conclusions of mainstream research reflected in a feminist university professor’s angry rhetoric, or in TV shows and movies written by privileged radicals who have made all the wrong choices in life.

Assistant to Kermit Gosnell admits to killing ten born-alive babies

WARNING: this story is really horrific. Reader discretion is advised.

CNS News points out that Gosnell joked with his staff about later-term abortions.


Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist now on trial in Philadelphia charged with seven counts of first-degree murder–he allegedly cut the spinal cords of late-term aborted babies who were born alive–apparently used to joke about the large size of some the infants he aborted and in one case, according to what a co-worker told the grand jury, said, “This baby is big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop.”

Gosnell, 72, who ran a multi-million dollar abortion business in West Philadelphia, was arrested on Jan. 19, 2011, and his trial started Monday, Mar. 18, 2013. The first-degree murder counts refer to seven late-term aborted babies who were born alive and then killed, their spinal cords cut with scissors.

Gosnell is also charged with the third-degree murder of a pregnant woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who died after being given a pain killer at Gosnell’s office. He also faces several counts of conspiracy and violation of Pennsylvania’s law against post-24-week abortions.

In testimony on Monday, Adrienne Moton, who used to work for Gosnell at the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia, said she recalled one baby – “Baby Boy A” – who was aborted  in July 2008. Baby A was so large, Moton took a photo of the child with her cell phone before Gosnell took the baby out of the room.

“I just saw a big baby boy. He had that color, that color that a baby has,” Moton said in court. “I just felt he could have had a chance. … He could have been born any day.”

Moten described how she helped to kill at least 10 born-alive babies by cutting their spinal cords.

More on the story from Life Site News.


The grand jury report includes the account of another of Gosnell’s employees, Kareema Cross, describing the moment of Baby A’s birth:

After the baby was expelled, Cross noticed that he was breathing, though not for long. After about 10 to 20 seconds, while the mother was asleep, “the doctor just slit the  neck,” said Cross. Gosnell put the boy’s body in a shoebox. Cross described the baby as so big that his feet and arms hung out over the sides of the container. Cross said that she saw the baby move after his neck was cut, and after the doctor placed it in the shoebox. Gosnell told her, “it’s the baby’s reflexes. It’s not really moving.”

A neonatologist who testified on behalf of the grand jury said that Gosnell’s explanation for the baby’s movements was false, and that in all likelihood Gosnell failed immediately to kill the baby, and that his “few moments of life were spent in excruciating pain.”

The neonatologist also estimated the baby’s age as around 32 weeks gestation.

[…]Gosnell’s lawyer is arguing that the prosecution can’t prove that any of the seven babies he stands accused of murdering were born alive. He told the courtroom yesterday that the prosecution of his client is a racist-inspired “lynching.”

Gosnell is calling the charges against him an “elitist, racist prosecution”.

New study: divorcing after kids turn seven causes them to underform at school

Dina sent me news of this interesting study from Medical Daily.


Kids whose parents divorce after they turn seven are significantly more likely to suffer a drop in performance at school, a UK government sponsored study has revealed.

The latest research sponsored by the UK education department linked exposure to parental divorce or constant arguing among parents after the age of seven to “lower educational attainment” in secondary or high school, according to The Telegraph.

The study conducted by the Childhood Wellbeing Research Center found that a variety of family factors affected children’s education performance and behavior.

Researchers also found that while children who have several brothers and sisters perform worse at school, they are not more likely to be poorly behaved.

The latest research sponsored by the UK education department linked exposure to parental divorce or constant arguing among parents after the age of seven to “lower educational attainment” in secondary or high school, according to The Telegraph.

The study conducted by the Childhood Wellbeing Research Center found that a variety of family factors affected children’s education performance and behavior.

Researchers also found that while children who have several brothers and sisters perform worse at school, they are not more likely to be poorly behaved.

Children who watch a lot of television were also found to have weaker verbal skulls, whereas children who have strict parents who enforce rules at home are more likely to have better verbal skills and have better scores on school tests. However, researchers noted that frequent punishment at home was linked to worse test scores and behavior at school.

Researchers found that parental skills were crucial in determining a child’s school performance and mothers and fathers could actively help to boost their children’s verbal skills by reading with them.

The good news is that children with the risk factors found in the report could benefit from extra help at school to “realize their potential”.

Researchers analyzed up to 40 factors on thousands of children and looked at how traumatic events like divorce or death and the family affected results in tests at the age of 14 and GCSEs (subject tests UK students need take to pass high school) at 16 and children’s behavior and well-being, based on parental questionnaires.

Researchers found that exposure to parental divorce after the age of seven was associated with worse behavior and worse GCSE test results. Based on the findings, researchers suggest that younger children may not be as affected as older kids because they are less able to understand the implications of divorce. Experts noted that the factors which affect test results at the age of seven are also likely to affect achievement later on in the child’s educational career.

“These findings highlight the continuing significance of family separation, conflict and dissolution on the educational attainment and wellbeing outcomes of young adolescents,” researchers wrote in the study, according to Daily Mail.

The study found that parenting skills, poverty and illness or disability had the most impact on a child’s success in school.

Social conservatives and Christians agree that it is important for us to minimize divorce, because of the negative impact that it has on children. We need to think through what policies make it easier and more profitable for people to get divorced, and then oppose those policies. Policies like no-fault divorce. We need to promote policies that discourage divorce, like tax incentives for marriage and mandatory shared-parenting laws. We know what is good. Now we who believe in the good have to advocate for laws and policies that promote the good. Children are depending on us to get informed and persuasive on these issues.

This study was also reported on in the UK Telegraph.