Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative

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"Socially liberal, fiscally conservative": It's a formula you've heard many times before, but what does it mean in practice? The Onion is here to help:

Yes, I believe roads should be privatized—as should fire departments, law enforcement, and basic water and sewer infrastructure. But I also believe the traditional "nuclear" family is an inadequate social safety net, and that every baby born should be raised by at least 14 people, including at least four gay men and/or lesbians. And Marxism should be taught in schools. But there should be no public schools. And everyone should be required by law to participate in women's empowerment seminars. But the heavily armed stormtroopers enforcing this law should be independent contractors. Down with the fat cats living high off government subsidies! Hands off my individualized, personal Larry-dollars! And also, hands off my uterus. Just because I'm a "man" doesn't mean I can't have a uterus.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: If You're into Sustainable Agriculture, End Farm Subsidies Now

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  1. the onion writer sounds like a manly man’s man (cue the deliverence theme) whose mistaken his solid-waste discharge orfice for a uterus. damn those confusing gerbils & banjos

  2. I don’t see a problem

  3. reductio ad Somalium

    1. Yeah, I made it to halfway through the 2nd paragraph.

  4. It’s a shame this is a joke because I agreed with every single word of it.

    1. And everyone should be required by law to participate in women’s empowerment seminars.

      Really? You agree with this?

  5. wait, privatized roads and fire departments….I want Egnatius Rufus employee for roads, fire and medicine

    1. We can handle all of your needs

  6. Haha! Now where are the fucking morning links?

  7. And don’t even get me started on public transportation.

    Now *that’s* funny.

  8. The Onion is usually just a mean-spirited partisan rag these days.

  9. The piece itself is lame. It reads like a caricature of the liberal caricature of libertarianism

    1. Maybe because it is?

      1. Spot-on observation is spot-on.

      2. I’m seeing only one level of caricature here, which means lame…the attempted satirist is trying to show that fiscal conservative and social liberal beliefs are incompatible.

        1. Aha I see the point of the article now. Changed my mind, the article is rather clever.

          Government is fiscally conservative in that it privatizes services. It advocates, rather forces on the public, socially liberal ideals, but said government is still tyrannical.

          The writer got it only half right. He did not go on to conclude that tyranny is the central issue, like you later explained.

          1. This.

            No mention of letting people choose their values for themselves. But that’s the most common misinterpretation of libertarianism there is, so you can’t necessarily hold it against him. A fish will always want to be a fish.

        2. the attempted satirist is trying to show that fiscal conservative and social liberal beliefs are incompatible.

          Huh?

          Do you see dead people Tulpa?

    2. Bullshit.

      It is a left wing caricature of a fiscal conservative and a right wing caricature of a social liberal.

      Its Strawman is fairly balanced from what I can see.

  10. Don’t you wish this was true: http://www.theonion.com/video/…..law,18979/

  11. Go Team Purple!

  12. Whoever coined the formulation “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” deserves to be non-coercively taken out and shot. Libertarianism is of course about choice vs. control, and has nothing to do with the left-right spectrum (even the Nolan chart is inadequate in this respect). Liberals aren’t consistently supporters of choice on social issues, and conservatives aren’t consistent supporters of choice in economic issues. And there are a whole host of issues that don’t neatly fit in either category (gun control and eminent domain being the most obvious).

    1. Very well explained, Tulpa, much better than I could attempt.

    2. Good point, I have to explain this concept to people all the time. I think choice vs. control is a very good place to start when educating people about Libertarianism.

    3. I think that’s the point of the article. Did you read the piece?

      1. Read the piece? Isn’t that against some kind of H&R house rule or something?

    4. But some people are just socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They like to have a government but want it small and for people to have lots of personal freedom. It’s not really a stance based on some underlying principle that must be upheld at all costs. They just don’t see a problem with vice or teh ghey but also don’t want high taxes, war, cumbersome regulations, or a police state.

  13. And Marxism should be taught in schools… And everyone should be required by law to participate in women’s empowerment seminars. But the heavily armed stormtroopers enforcing this law should be independent contractors.”

    This is “liberal” in that Nancy “Let them eat cake” Pelosi would love it, but not in the true sense of the word. And I don’t think any libertarian would support being “required by law” to attend empowerment seminars or to have our 4th Amendment rights trampled on by stormtroopers of any kind… what are they smoking over at the Onion, exactly?

    1. And I don’t think any libertarian would support being “required by law” to attend empowerment seminars or to have our 4th Amendment rights trampled on by stormtroopers of any kind

      It is not about libertarians. It is about the scare tactics employed by left and right wingers against each other.

  14. The Onion piece is brilliant, and anyone who thinks it’s about mocking libertarianism (or showing that “fiscal conservative and social liberal beliefs are incompatible”) needs to take the chip off his shoulder.

    1. I think the problem was titling the blog post Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative, which is not a phrase that actually appears in the article. Everyone needs to click through to see the real title of the Onion article and read it to understand.

    2. OK, I read the Onion piece all the way through; it truly sucks from start to finish. Just as earlier comments have surmised, the article is dreck.

    3. The Onion piece is brilliant

      Meh. Like most Onion pieces, it is too over the top. I prefer a more Mark Twainian satire, starting out believable and then inching farther and farther out on the branch until it breaks.

      1. That’s like Phil Hendrie bits, where a guest/character comes on sounding halfway normal and then dives into the most absurd and outrageous statements. And the callers fall for it. My faves are the Korean War veteran, the black preacher and the Latino guy who wants to be a cop and keeps repeating “mi barrio, mi barrio!”

        He did mention my name on his show a couple of months ago when I was quoted in a Fox News story on CPAC, saying that Romney and Palin were unelectable. That’s not exactly what I said, but Hendrie really ragged on me for that. “Romney’s the best thing you guys got, man!”

        1. saying that Romney and Palin were unelectable.

          Of all the Republican candidates Romney is the most likely to lose when put up against Obama.

          He is the least likely to attract independents.

  15. Hell yeah.

  16. The Onion piece is brilliant

    Meh. Reminds me of Ed Anger from the Weekly World News.

  17. My problem with the whole “social liberal/fiscal conservative” label is that, when push comes to shove and “socially liberal” conflicts with “fiscally conservative”, socially liberal always wins out.

    IOW, someone who claims to be SL/FC is really just another big-spending liberal, who’s kind of embarrassed about it, but not much.

    1. socially liberal always wins out.

      Because you can’t force your views on people if you don’t have money to pay for it and you can’t have money to pay for it unless you get it from otherwise more coercive means than the free market.

      This whole contradiction is the problem with this “FCSL” construction is a red herring. The more realistic version should be, “cheap and tolerant.”

      1. what i’ve always wondered about is that once in a while you find a republican who’s a fiscal conservative but is moderate to liberal socially (ie. bill weld, gary johnson, rudy (though hes a police state guy), etc) but you almost never find a democrat thats socially liberal and also fiscally conservative. The dems who are relatively fiscal conservative are also the ones who are relatively socially conservative. Why is that?

        1. The dems who are relatively fiscal conservative are also the ones who are relatively socially conservative.

          I think you need to give an example of this alleged breed of “relatively fiscally conservative Democrat”, because I don’t know any.

          If you understand economics and aren’t willing to pander to those who don’t understand it, you quit being a Democrat, as far as I can tell.

          1. i use the word “relative” very losely as in left crazy lefty than normal democrat. What i’m saying is, there seem to be cases where you get a socially moderate to liberal republican who is a fiscal conservative. I can’t really think of any socially liberal democrats who are also fiscally conservative.

            1. I think the problem is in equating “socially liberal” with liberals and “fiscally conservative” with conservatives.

              When I think of socially liberal I think, leave the gays alone to do whatever they want, and be whatever religion you want to be. Liberals, on the other hand, think force you to accept having gays around and force you to take religious studies classes to show you how dumb your current religion is. I really don’t see anything liberal or tolerant about their attitudes at all. More often then not, they just hate daddy.

              Conservatives live on the same side of the coin. The only reason conservatives agitate for smaller government is because the left is in power and they’re doing things with that power the conservatives don’t like (i.e., forcing them to accept gays). Conservatives don’t want a smaller government per se, they just want the lefty parts of government to be smaller. Then they can concentrate on cramming the 10 commandments down your throat and lynching homos.

              Neither side is for liberty.

    2. I’m listening to “The Tiber and the Potomac: Rome, America, and Empires of Trust“, a Modern Scholar course, and it’s interesting to hear just how central distrust of government was in the America character at the time of the founding. I knew this tidbit already, of course, but it’s instructive to consider how far we’ve moved away from that mindset.

      I wonder if the real problem is that we’ve moved away from being largely independent farmers to more interdependent, well, whatever we are now? I don’t advocate a return to an agricultural state–just wonder how we got so out of whack with our beginnings.

      1. i wonder if the farmer thing has something to do with it. Alomost everyone (white people anyway) where small landowning farmers. So everyone had property and disliked taxes, but at the same time society was pretty egalitarian. There wasnt a huge difference between wealth so the potlical foces of theft, jelousy and “fairness” weren’t that strong.

        1. I think it’s a big part of it. People who live more independent lives tend to demand more independence.

          1. we were fortunate to have the country be founded at the peak of 18th centrury enlightenment – now we’ve just been running on fumes. I dont think any nation in now could possibly be founded on such ideals.

            1. Yes, the collision of Enlightenment thinking, a practical mindset, and a largely independent-minded population resulted in the American experiment. Unlikely circumstances in today’s world.

              We need a Re-Enlightenment.

              1. Don’t forget a huge landmass to allow expansion, and overflowing with resources. That always helps with being independent.

                1. I don’t think that’s it, though the fact that we were on the frontier and away from most formal institutions likely was a factor.

      2. Independent farmers but also independent merchants and smugglers, especially in the cities in the North – not always in agreement with each other. Took a lot to eventually get everyone together and still only had around a third of the population behind the rebellion.

      3. Independent farmers but also independent merchants and smugglers, especially in the cities in the North – not always in agreement with each other. Took a lot to eventually get everyone together and still only had around a third of the population behind the rebellion.

      4. Independent farmers but also independent merchants and smugglers, especially in the cities in the North – not always in agreement with each other. Took a lot to eventually get everyone together and still only had around a third of the population behind the rebellion.

      5. Not just central distrust of government, but also how it was thought of as embarrassing for someone to seek public office.

        Of course, when you have a bunch of sycophants telling you how great you are, it changes one’s mindset.

  18. Jesse Walker loves to show us that he, unlike earnest right wingers, can laugh at this. Privatized storm troopers, ha, ha ,ha! Yeah, Jesse, you’re way too sophisticated and cool be be a real right winger.

    1. Whether you’re right-wing, left-wing, or neither should have no bearing on whether you laugh at the article.

  19. it’s instructive to consider how far we’ve moved away from that mindset.

    Public Government schools might be a factor.

    1. No doubt.

  20. “Chip”? To go by the comments, their shoulders must be sagging under enormous timbers, unvarnished with lots of splinters.

  21. I think it’s funny, although the writer confuses “socially liberal” with enforcing social liberalism with the law. It’s an understandable mistake. I’m incredible socially liberal, I practically want orgies in the middle of the street. But I understand you can’t force people legally to attend anti-racism and anti-misogyny seminars like the article implies.

    As for gay marriage, I don’t understand why you think it’s a religious issue. As an atheist who can someday get married, I question the fact that it’s a religious institution. Gay people should get the same tax breaks as heathens like me. If you want to take away government’s power to enforce marriage laws, fine, but it makes no sense to turn it into a religious issue.

  22. I like the bit about replacing the nuclear family and having all kids raised by at least 14 parents, including no less than 4 gays and/or lesbians. It’s just so … specific.

  23. I have this similar argument every time I meet another libertarian. Rarely do I find someone who’s always consistent with the philosophy.

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