This Is Your Brain on Drugs

The effort to make Rudy Giuliani appeal to social conservatives seems to result in some truly stupid commentary:

Social conservatives will probably be drawn to Giuliani in ever greater numbers as the campaign progresses. Many of them will conclude that he is more likely to advance their agenda than nearly anyone else their party could nominate. They will reach this conclusion because it is probably true.


A president who fully grasps both the value of human life and the destructive nature of the homosexual “rights” movement isn’t necessarily of much use to the social right. Consider the example of the present incumbent.

George W. Bush has socially conservative opinions but he avoids confrontation with the cultural left the way cats avoid water. Even when he does the right thing he feels compelled to do it in an apologetic, almost cringing way that empowers his enemies and dispirits his supporters.

He will nominate sound judges (most of the time) but never make the case that
Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned because it is the cornerstone of the left’s profoundly destructive jurisprudence of judicial supremacy. He will stand against federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research but never articulate the strong libertarian basis for that stand or attack the callous disdain his political opponents show for the inherent value of human life. He will say as little as humanly possible about the drive for “gay marriage.”

No arguments on the huge social disappointment that is George W. Bush, but Bush’s record indicates that he doesn’t “fully grasp” social issues more so than that a candidate who does “fully grasp” them has some inherent flaw.

Social conservatives could benefit from the presidency of someone who agrees with them less but fights for them more. This is the crux of Giuliani’s appeal to the social right and every other Republican constituency. He is a fighter, and Republicans of all sorts are sick and tired of turning the other cheek and seeking common cause with the enemy both at home and abroad.

Unlike any current or former president named Bush, Rudy Giuliani has never been afraid to appall the left. He may very well be ideally situated to puncture two of the left’s most cherished idiocies and hand social conservatives near total victory in the long-running culture war. The first of those idiocies has to do with abortion the second with “gay rights.”

Being a fighter is useless if it’s not on the battles that need to be fought.

The “pro-choice” argument has always been incoherent because it depends on the absurd idea that there can be a constitutional right to do wrong. Rational and decent people can believe that abortion should be legal, but only a monster or a moron can maintain that a civilized nation should celebrate abortion as a constitutional right.

No, the pro-choice argument is incoherent because babies are distinct individuals from their mothers, deserving of their own protection. We actually have the constitutional right to do all sorts of wrongs: ugly speech, leading a life of greed & self-promotion, promiscuous consensual sex…

Social conservatives don’t need a president who will mount a crusade to re-criminalize abortion nationwide. They need a president who can persuade the American people that proclaiming a constitutional right to abort is barbaric. In all the decades since Roe v. Wade no politician has ever made this point clearly and forcefully.

I seem to recall a politician named
Ron…but I’m sure I’m just remembering something wrong…

Giuliani could be the first. He could argue that there can’t be a right to do wrong more persuasively and with much less political risk than any pro-life true believer. Just as it took a career anti-Communist to normalize relations with China, it may take a politician with no pro-life credentials to terminate Harry Blackmun’s reign of error. By fighting for the proposition that Roe v. Wade has distorted our constitutional law long enough, Giuliani could do more to defeat the culture of death than any of his Republican predecessors.

Rudy in his own words: “I think [Roe v. Wade is] up to the court to decide. I think that it’s been precedent for a very, very long time. There are questions about the way it was decided and some of the bases for it. At this point, it’s precedent. It’s going to be very interesting to see what Chief Justice Roberts and what Justices Scalia and Alito do with it. I think probably they’re going to limit it rather than overturn it. In other words, they’ll accept some of the limitations that different states have placed on it or the federal government has placed on it.” Now there’s somebody ready to take the fight to the abortionists on Roe! Give me a break.

The animating idea of the “gay rights” movement is every bit as ridiculous as the case for the right to “choose.” The left would have us believe that society has no grounds for its ancient disapproval of homosexuality. If society approves of heterosexual relationships that typically serve to create and sustain families it must also approve of homosexual relationships that typically do not serve that purpose. Those of us who approve of one and not the other are bigots in need of punishment and reeducation.

Nobody ever makes this argument. When clearly stated it is self-refuting nonsense.
Nevertheless, the left cheerfully assumes that all disapproval of homosexuality is bigotry. It goes on its merry way agitating for changes in law and society which would suppress every expression of this society’s distaste for homosexuality and eliminate every distinction between traditional marriage and other sexual relationships.

Rudy Giuliani has long been sympathetic with the movement to make society less hostile to homosexuals. This shouldn’t trouble social conservatives. I’ve never met one who burned with hatred for same sex couples and longed to make sodomy a capital crime. The caricatures of the left notwithstanding, there is no substantial conservative constituency which is hostile to homosexual individuals.

Social conservatives don’t need a president fond of quoting Leviticus, 18:22 and fulminating about abominations. They need president who understands that the moral distinction between sex which creates and sustains families and every other sort of sex is a key part of this society’s foundation. They need a president who can make the case that society can’t always treat homosexuals the same as everyone else because in one important respect they aren’t the same as everyone else.

This is a case that can’t effectively be made by a born-again Christian or a Mormon. Too many hearts and minds are barred shut against any discussion of sexual morality which has exposed religious roots. It may take a notorious sinner with vaguely unconventional views and a very secular image to tell America the obvious in a convincing way. If he chooses to lead in this area Giuliani could make himself a hero to the social right without repudiating any statements or actions in his past.

The fact that Giuliani could win social conservatives by defending the right to disapprove of homosexuality and attacking
Roe v. Wade doesn’t mean that he will. If he does, however, his campaign might well prove unstoppable. It will be interesting to see how he chooses to proceed.

The whole problem with this crap argument is that it speculates Giuliani will do things which there’s zero evidence he’ll actually do. Sorry, but I expect more from a president than “if.”

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