Tag Archives: Fusionism

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.

Sample:

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.

Excerpt:

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.

Supply-side economist Larry Kudlow: marriage is pro-economic-growth

Here’s a Real Clear Politics editorial from one of the biggest supply-side economics boosters out there.

Excerpt:

The greatest economic challenge of our time is how to restore economic growth. Over the past dozen years, average real growth has slowed to 1.8 percent annually, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and congresses. It’s a bipartisan problem.

And it’s a new one. For the past 50 years or so, the American economy grew at just less than 3.5 percent per year. But we’re now experiencing one of the longest slow-growth periods in the past 100 years. Excluding the Great Depression, I bet it is the longest slow-growth period in a century.

There are any number of fiscal and monetary prescriptions for restoring economic growth. As a Reagan supply sider, I would recommend lower marginal tax rates, lighter regulations, limited government and a sound dollar.

But I want to add this to the list: marriage. I have come to believe that marriage is a key element of a stronger economy.

Like any good economist, he’s got the numbers to back it up, too:

Naomi Schaefer Riley writes that “children of married parents are more likely to graduate high school, less likely to go to jail and more likely to delay sexual activity. And of course, children of unmarried parents are more than five times as likely to live in poverty.”

Economic writer Robert Samuelson notes that single-parent families have exploded, that more than 40 percent of births now go to the unwed, and that the flight from marriage “may have subtracted from happiness.” Citing a study from Isabel Sawhill, he notes that some unwed mothers “will have multiple partners and subject their children ‘to a degree of relationship chaos and instability that is hard to grasp.'”

Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore writes “that marriage with a devoted husband and wife in the home is a far better social program than food stamps, Medicaid, public housing or even all of the combined.” Moore points to a Heritage study showing how welfare households are much more likely to have no one working at all, with social assistance becoming a substitute for work.

A recent report from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies, authored by W. Bradford Wilcox and Robert Lerman, reveals that married men have higher average incomes, seem to be more productive at work and work more and earn more. Wilcox and Lerman write that 51 percent of the 1980-2000 decline in male employment is due to the drop in marriage rates, and is highest among unmarried men. They find that “differing employment rates among married and unmarried men aren’t simply due to education levels or race, either.”

They conclude: “Promoting the importance of marriage, looking for ways to reduce marriage penalties in current means-tested welfare programs and engaging leaders at every level to find ways to strengthen marriage in their communities, are other critical steps to take to restore a culture of marriage.”

I’ll only add this, as I did at the Coolidge Foundation dinner: While restoring economic growth may be the great challenge of our time, this goal will never be realized until we restore marriage.

In short, marriage is pro-growth. We can’t do without it.

In case you missed it, there was a nice new study linking marriage to economic growth. It was put out by the American Enterprise Institute, a fiscally conservative think tank. It’s getting to be that fiscal conservatives are more interested in social conservatism than the reverse. Now if only we could get pro-lifers and pro-natural-marriage people to come towards lower taxes, smaller government, less restrictive regulations and a stronger dollar. How about it, social conservatives? Can you you run your family better when government leaves you more money in your pocket? Fiscal conservatism and social conservatism go together like peanut butter and jelly.

By the way, if you’d like to read a remarkable booklet put out by the Heritage Foundation called “Indivisible”, click here. In it, you’ll find well-known social conservatives advocating for fiscal conservatism, and well-known fiscal conservatives advocating for social conservatism. The essays are short and easy to understand. They don’t try to prove everything, just one little point per essay. You’ll find lots of names you recognize in it, like Jennifer Roback Morse, Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan and Jay Richards.

Wall Street Journal covers the demographic crisis in America

Mary sent me this socially conservative article in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

The nation’s falling fertility rate underlies many of our most difficult problems. Once a country’s fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift. You get more old people than young people. And eventually, as the bloated cohort of old people dies off, population begins to contract. This dual problem—a population that is disproportionately old and shrinking overall—has enormous economic, political and cultural consequences.

[…]Low-fertility societies don’t innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don’t invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don’t have enough workers to pay for the retirees. They cannot project power because they lack the money to pay for defense and the military-age manpower to serve in their armed forces.

[…]If you want to see what happens to a country once it hurls itself off the demographic cliff, look at Japan, with a fertility rate of 1.3. In the 1980s, everyone assumed the Japanese were on a path to owning the world. But the country’s robust economic facade concealed a crumbling demographic structure.

The Japanese fertility rate began dipping beneath the replacement rate in 1960 for a number of complicated reasons (including a postwar push by the West to lower Japan’s fertility rate, the soaring cost of having children and an overall decline in the marriage rate). By the 1980s, it was already clear that the country would eventually undergo a population contraction. In 1984, demographer Naohiro Ogawa warned that, “Owing to a decrease in the growth rate of the labor force…Japan’s economy is likely to slow down.” He predicted annual growth rates of 1% or even 0% in the first quarter of the 2000s.

From 1950 to 1973, Japan’s total-factor productivity—a good measure of economic dynamism—increased by an average of 5.4% per year. From 1990 to 2006, it increased by just 0.63% per year. Since 1991, Japan’s rate of GDP growth has exceeded 2.5% in only four years; its annual rate of growth has averaged 1.03%.

Because of its dismal fertility rate, Japan’s population peaked in 2008; it has already shrunk by a million since then. Last year, for the first time, the Japanese bought more adult diapers than diapers for babies, and more than half the country was categorized as “depopulated marginal land.” At the current fertility rate, by 2100 Japan’s population will be less than half what it is now.

If the Wintery Knight blog stands for anything it stands for 1) defending Christianity with reasons and evidence and 2) promoting fusionism, which is the view that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives are allies who need to understand each other’s views so that we can work together. Well, fiscal conservatives, now you know that social conservative issues are your problem. Conservativism is a seamless garment.

Free “Indivisible” booklet explains fiscal and social conservatism

Are you a fusionist? I am. A fusionist is someone who thinks that social conservatism and fiscal conservatism go together hand in hand. You can’t be just one or the other – you have to be both. Because if you want to achieve one goal, you’ll achieve it better by also working on the other goal in parallel.

Here’s how the new VP Paul Ryan explains it during a June 2009 the Hudson Institute conference speech:

A “libertarian” who wants limited government should embrace the means to his freedom: thriving mediating institutions that create the moral preconditions for economic markets and choice. A “social issues” conservative with a zeal for righteousness should insist on a free market economy to supply the material needs for families, schools, and churches that inspire moral and spiritual life. In a nutshell, the notion of separating the social from the economic issues is a false choice. They stem from the same root.

Now here is a nice booklet about fusionism put out by the Heritage Foundation, my favorite think tank. The booklet is called “Indivisible” and the book chapters are all available as individual PDFs.

Here’s the booklet description:

What do marriage, family, and religion have to do with property, free exchange, and profit? Washington policy circles may separate these into so-called “social” and “economic” issue sets, but for millions of Americans the dividing lines fade away in the reality of everyday life. Together these core social and economic ideas form the foundation of American liberty. Indivisible is a unique set of essays by well-known social and economic conservatives—each writing from the other’s perspective—to show the interdependence of these principles in advancing freedom and human dignity.

So the social conservatives are writing about fiscal issues, and the fiscal conservatives are writing about social issues.

Here’s the list of people and topics:

Civil Society
Moral Arguments for Limiting Government
Joseph G. Lehman
Download PDF
Wages
The Value of Wages
Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Download PDF
Rule of Law
Economic Prosperity Requires the Rule
of Law
J. Kenneth Blackwell
Download PDF
Religion
Why Faith Is a Good Investment
Arthur Brooks, Ph.D., and Robin Currie
Download PDF
Life
The Cause of Life Can’t be Severed from the Cause of Freedom
Representative Paul Ryan
Download PDF
International Trade
Why Trade Works for Family, Community, and Sovereignty
Ramesh Ponnuru
Download PDF
Free Exchange
Morality and Economic Freedom
Jim Daly with Glenn T. Stanton
Download PDF
Culture
A Culture of Responsibility
Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.
Download PDF
Marriage
The Limited-Government Case for Marriage
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Download PDF
Property
Property and the Pursuit of Happiness
Representative Michele Bachmann
Download PDF
Profit
Prophets and Profit
Marvin Olasky, Ph.D.
Download PDF
Environment
Conserving Creation
Tony Perkins
Download PDF
Family
Washington’s War on the Family and Free Enterprise
Stephen Moore
Download PDF
Education
A Unified Vision for Education Choice
Randy Hicks
Download PDF

And Jay Richards gave the introduction.

My two favorite chapters are Jennifer Roback Morse and Michele Bachmann, of course. I have the actual printed booklet, and it’s all wrinkled on the edges because I read it while doing post-workout cardio. The essays are just 4-6 pages long.