2016 Republican Convention

Quiet Liberal Victories at the Republican Convention

Want to see how far feminism and gay liberation have come? Watch what passes without comment at the RNC.

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If you want to see how far along a social transformation has gone, you'll learn more by paying attention to the things conservatives accept than the things radicals propose. When Pat Buchanan spoke at the Republican national convention in 1992, his address was received—rightly—as a thumping culture-war broadside. But consider this passage from it:

Pat Buchanan

Then there was the legal secretary that I met at the Manchester airport on Christmas Day who came running up to me and said, "Mr. Buchanan, I'm going to vote for you." And then she broke down weeping, and she said, "I've lost my job; I don't have any money, and they're going to take away my little girl. What am I going to do?"

My friends, these people are our people. They don't read Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, but they come from the same schoolyards and the same playgrounds and towns as we came from. They share our beliefs and our convictions, our hopes and our dreams. These are the conservatives of the heart.

Working mothers once were met with widespread disapproval. But by 1992, a fiery jeremiad by the year's most prominent social conservative could casually complain that a mom had lost her job, and then embrace her as a "conservative of the heart." Not because Buchanan was some sort of closet feminist, but because this was a battle the feminists had won.

As I've watched this year's GOP's convention, I've been listening for little moments like that—quiet signs that what once was unusual is now acceptable. And I've found them. Take Michelle Van Etten, the multi-level marketer who spoke last night on behalf of Women in Business for Trump. At one point, she recalled her 20th high school reunion:

PBS

The girls I went to school with, they were driving BMWs and they looked like Barbie. I was 30 pounds overweight, a stay-at-home mom, and driving a minivan. I decided at that point I needed a change, and I began to dream again. (applause) I took a leap of faith and decided to open up my own home-based business. And what I realized, when you go after a dream, you are gonna have to learn how to fail forward and never quit. (applause)

I also learned that I had to level up to become the type of person I wanted in my business. After two years, I was able to retire my husband after 28 years in the DOD. Today, my husband, he stays at home with our children and he homeschools them, because I will not subject them to Common Core. (big applause)

So here we have not just a working mother, but one who resented her old status as a stay-at-home mom—and who now is married to a stay-at-home dad. And no one seemed to blink at what once would have been an avant-garde way to organize the household. Instead they whooped it up in shared revulsion for Common Core.

Then there was this moment in Ted Cruz's speech:

Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist. Whether you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

That got a huge amount of applause, as you'd expect from a socially conservative crowd. The underlying idea, after all, was that people with religious objections to gay marriage should not be compelled to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. But think about that sentence: "Whether you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience." There was a time when you wouldn't expect a major presidential candidate in either party to allude favorably to gay people's freedom of conscience. Now a leader of the Republicans' conservative wing wasn't thinking twice about it.

You measure social change by watching where conservatives draw the line. And gradually, outside the spotlight, that line keeps quietly moving.

NEXT: Cop Uses 'High-Powered Rifle' to Shoot Child's Dog Through Fence

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  1. I wish that the word liberal as used in this article had anything to do with the people who call themselves liberal today.

    1. That makes two of us. That ship has sailed, though.

      Sailed, boarded by pirates, crashed in rocky straits and sunk with all hands.

  2. We will have *really* reached a cultural milestone when they talk about atheism as a religion.

    /sarc

    1. Religious freedom for atheists is a good thing.

      I was surprised when Cruz said it.

  3. “Whether you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.”

    I’ll take a wild guess and speculate that Cruz does *not* mean the right for Adam and Steve to have state recognition for their union, or for a guy with a penis to be recognized by the government as a chick.

    1. Adam and Steve have a right to not be barred from seeking legitimate recognition. Not to force others to recognize. Recognition is a two way street like that.

      1. Ah, “legitimate recognition.” So what’s “legitimate”?

        An official government certificate certifying two drinking buddies as Bros for Life?

        1. How about the same contractual arrangements available to straight couples?

            1. That’s something philosophers have struggled with for centuries. If you don’t know what I mean (and I bet you do), tough luck.

              1. I am not aware of anyone, not even the Republican platform, who would deny same-sex adult “partners” the right to enter into contracts.

                Or deny that right to same-sex drinking buddies with no erotic interest in each other.

                The debate is whether the government should recognize two same-sex people in a sexual relationship as “married” with the concomitant rights – including of course the right to coerce private businesses to serve them.

                1. Well, that debate we’ve already had and it’s settled in law now, so I don’t care to engage in it again.

                2. The debate is whether the government should recognize two same-sex people in a sexual relationship as “married” with the concomitant rights – including of course the right to coerce private businesses to serve them.

                  It has nothing to do with a ‘sexual relationship’ which although usually part of a marriage, is not a requirement for it. That’s the old school conservative approach – if you make it about icky gay sex then people will not stand for it.

                3. I am not aware of anyone, not even the Republican platform, who would deny same-sex adult “partners” the right to enter into contracts.

                  But there are those who would forbid those two parties from describing their contract as a “marriage” contract. Apparently certain groups have trademarked the word or something.

                  1. The Catholics created the word Marriage so all non Catholic marriages should be null and void. Get your own word Protestants and take down any manifestos posted to the doors of a church.

                  2. “But there are those who would forbid those two parties from describing their contract as a “marriage” contract. Apparently certain groups have trademarked the word or something.”

                    In over 20 of the “marriage ban” constitutional amendments, they also went so far as to ban civil unions, domestic partnerships, and so-on. A state law that allowed gay people to have a very narrow slice of hospital and funeral rights was struck down because one of those amendments.

        2. It means force their dad to accept them. Or at least rub his face in it.

          1. It means force their dad to accept them.

            Based on the horseshit my uber proggie lesbian sister apparently posts on Derpbook (according to my uber religious conservative parents – I fucking hate Derpbook and refuse to participate), yes. That’s exactly what it means.

            1. She single?

              1. Just asking for a friend…

        3. Ah, “legitimate recognition.” So what’s “legitimate”?

          To get married in a glory hole they rented for the weekend, if that’s their thing.

  4. This has nothing to do with some ideological shift in the boundaries of conservatism, and everything to do with Trump playing Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the GOP.

      1. I don’t think this explains Cruz. Or a fair amount of the delegates?many of whom, you’ll recall, were bound to Trump on the first ballot but didn’t actually come from the Trump movement and didn’t even necessarily support him.

        1. I’m not talking the delegates as much as the rank and file.

    1. Idk, I know a lot of conservative types who are saying “fuck it” (phrasing?) on the gay stuff and are willing to “trade” acceptance (if you will) of that kind of stuff in exchange for reducing size of government, etc. Not sure how widespread that is but it seems to characterize a good number of people in my hometown circle.

  5. It doesn’t hurt that 28 year retirement pay is pretty good, almost as good as union sanitation engineers.

    1. +50% of your base pay. For life.

      1. 50% at 20 years, 75% at 30 years, when I was in. Has it changed?

        I also remember hearing that you could re-enlist up to 3 months early and have it count the full four years, so 4 re-ups was a year off, 19 years total. Any truth to that, then or now?

        1. The scheme has definitely changed, but I haven’t kept up with specifics enough to be able to elucidate much more. I know flag officers get 100%, if only for the fact that the DoD is trying to “compensate” them for staying in and not taking much-higher-paying jobs in the civilian world.

          It is about to change, though, where you get less for staying in all 20 years, and instead now have the option to contribute to a funds-matched TSP like civil service employees have had for a while. So if you’re a senior member already, you’ll probably be making less on retirement, but the newer guys will probably come out ahead if they make it that far.

  6. Then there was the legal secretary that I met at the Manchester airport on Christmas Day who came running up to me and said, “Mr. Buchanan, I’m going to vote for you.”

    “As soon as I move to Palm Beach County, Florida. Some time around November 2000.”

  7. I think they had the working-mom milestone in 2008 with Sarah Palin – her husband is definitely in her shadow, and while she was out gallivanting her daughter got pregnant and it was only lefties who criticized her for this.

    1. Disclaimer: I think it’s great that Palin went out and did something about Alaska politics, and it’s her daughter’s fault for getting pregnant.

    2. That’s because she’s on the right team.

      1. That nice Christian girl from a well-to-do family just made a mistake.

        1. Those negresses, on the other hand, every time they get knocked up out of wedlock, it’s proof of the baseness of their entire race and its culture.

          1. No need to worry, the racial differences in out-of-wedlock births are growing less and less.

          2. Wow: reading the word “negresses” used in a sentence made me simultaneously laugh my ass off/hate myself…

            Thanks a lot.

      2. Nonsense. I give $20 to the local Pregnancy Assistance Center every time they have a shotgun raffle.

        It does not raise any eyebrows among my baptist congregation.

  8. People go to high school reunions? More importantly, who the fuck invites a multi-level marketer to speak about anything. I rather listen to a BernieBro than someone in MLM.

    1. It’s really a great opportunity but you’ve got to get in soon before all the slots are taken.

      1. And all I need to do is have five of my friends sign up??

        1. That’s why you go to your high school reunion.

          1. Well I do love alienating people.

  9. Good point.


  10. Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist. Whether you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

    That got a huge amount of applause, as you’d expect from a socially conservative crowd.

    Uh, did you mean as you “wouldn’t” expect from a socially conservative crowd?

    1. No. See the next sentence.

      1. Surely you’re not expecting a member of the commentariat to actually read the whole article? What do you think we are, a bunch of FAGZ?

    2. No, because they love religious freedom. It’s a lot of the rest of the freedoms they have a problem with.

  11. After two years, I was able to retire my husband after 28 years in the DOD.

    Does that strike anyone else as a really odd and awkward sentence. Sounds like she traded him in for the new model or something.

    And what the hell is she wearing?

    1. Agreed. And she still looks overweight.

      A fat bitch who runs a pyramid scheme multi-level marketing professional. Truly, this is the aspirational model for rank-and-file republicans.

      1. I should have read these comments before commenting. Stupid Gojira.

    2. The fact that somebody cruising on a phat federal pension is held up as a model business anything is certainly disappointing.

    3. Sounds like she traded him in for the new model or something.

      I thought maybe she had him killed.

    4. Actually I thought it sounded like”retiring” a replica a la Blade Runner.

  12. You measure social change by watching where conservatives draw the line.

    Interesting thought, Jesse.

    I might suggest, though, that your reference for “conservatives” not be professional politicians. They have little in common with regular people, both in terms of their lives, social circles, and attitudes.

    My reference for conservatives is my Pater Dean and his buddies. Rock-ribbed Texans, most of them. And I find them far more tolerant and open-minded than conservative politicians trying to flog their latest fundraising appeal or gull people into believing they are anything but trough-guzzling narcissists.

    Examples: Pater Dean and one of his buddies used to regularly joke while they were travelling on fishing trips that they were gay married.

    Last time we were in Northern New Mexico, they were dying of curiousity about legal pot just a few miles north, and disappointed that one of the other guests hadn’t brought any of the candies that she takes to help her sleep and deal with neuralgia. They have helped any number of poor black and hispanic kids with college tuition. Etc.

    1. Professional politicians are a lagging indication of culture. So by the time a political huckster stands in a front of a crowd and says “maybe the fags ain’t so bad,” the rest of us are already married to at least one.

  13. I was 30 pounds overweight

    You still are!

    Crusty Juggler, Unncessary Body Shamer: coming this fall on Fox!

    1. What is that cape thing? It’s rather…. unfortunate.

      1. Good question. I am glad you recognize that I am the Reason’s trendy female fashion correspondent.

        The worst part is the

        the multi-level marketer

        claim. I had no idea that means snake-oil pyramid scheme peddler.

        1. Try having an ORIGINAL thought next time. Pfft, pfft, pfft, *waves hand dismissively*.

      2. Her monstrously bloated arm-fat wings busted through the sleeve fabric.

    2. Your criticism is somewhat tempered by the fact that everyone on earth knows you still would.

      1. “Wouldn’t” isn’t really in the vocab ’round here.

        1. Would.

    3. Crusty Juggler, Unncessary Body Shamer: coming this fall on Fox!

      ……….Yeah, I’ll probably watch.

  14. Do credit this or blame this on Trump?

  15. There have always been multiple cultural revolutions going on.

    There is the horrifying, Marxism fueled leftist/SJW blamefest and the quieter actual march of liberty. Far too many accept the idea that policies described as ‘socially liberal’ have anything to do with the latter.

    Equal rights before the law is part of that quieter revolution, fulfilling the promises of the Constitution. It’s hard for people who are–or were– stupid enough to ever believe anything leftists said to grasp this other revolution.

    Very often they accept the Marxism fueled lie as the real thing and castigate those who see the chains hidden in the ‘liberties’

    The right has no problem with anyone, be they any race, any creed, any sexuality–so long as they are on the right, and that basic, universal principles of the right are what’s to be striven for–everything else falls under the banner of ‘mind your own damned business’.

    I don’t really expect libertarians who think of themselves as ‘centrists’ to understand this, but it’s right there, easy to see, if only you know how to look.

    1. There are still states that refuse to repeal their (unconstitutional) sodomy laws. If that’s your version of “right”, then you can keep it.

      1. True, but none of them still enforce those laws.

      2. Man, that just went right over your head, didn’t it?

        Anti-sodomy laws are government intrusion into aspects of private life they really can’t access. As such, they are firmly on the side they originated on, the left.

        Law from the right tends to be based on issues with actual victims. Law from the left tends to concern itself with shaping society.

        Prohibitionism–from prostitution to the drug war is a creation of the left. Blue laws are part of that.

  16. On the facebook feed I see people freaking out when reporters find the unicorn black female Trump supporter. Don’t they realize that it’s racist as fuck to tell somebody what they should believe based on their race or gender?

    Someone mentioned “dog whistle politics” in the thread. In a rare guilty moment I responded to the derp, “if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog”. And the likes pouring in show me, yes, they have zero self-awareness. None.

      1. So you’re saying I should Google search for all chicks with dog filters.

    1. Well, dogs aren’t known for their high sense of self-awareness.

      1. Dogs don’t see color, so not racist! (Or are they? I can’t tell what’s racist and what isn’t anymore..)

        1. Colorblind has become even more racist than being racist, if the prog-bleats emanating from expensive college campuses are any indication…

  17. By the way, you ignorant boobs, that is a capelet.

    1. You just made that up.

    2. Ain’t gonna front, i thought it was one of those wing suits, like she base jumped off of Key Tower and flew into the convention center.

      1. A common mistake.

    3. I was pretty sure at first glance it was a capybara

    4. Isn’t that the thing that Romeo’s family had a beef with?

      1. If all the major players at the convention started stabbing each other with swords, i’d not shed a tear.

        1. “A plague o’both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.”

          Appropriate!

      2. Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe.

        1. STFU, ye craven knave!

    5. So you’re saying she’s a vampire

      1. She is a multi-level marketer…

    6. Her husband wears a montegue

    7. By the way, you ignorant boobs, that is a capelet.

      I consider myself a rather knowledgeable boob, thankyouverymuch.

  18. Small beer. or rather, where’s my legal-weed?

  19. Actually if you read Burke as apparently Buchanan had, you’d see that Burkean conservatism is not opposed to change. They want change to be measured and careful. Liberalism isn’t “winning” against conservatism, it is being accepted by it via a vetting process basically.

    Progressives meanwhile want the govt to force change on an unwilling populace. Whether they “won” and are some kind of heroes, or just marched out in front of a crowd of people already heading in a certain direction is generally something we can’t prove.

    1. True story

  20. My friend’s aunt makes $87 an hour on the laptop . She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was $13489 just working on the laptop for a few hours. try this site…

    ======== http://www.Alpha-Careers.com

    1. Hey, maybe you could get a speaking spot at the Republican Convention!

  21. Dorothy Sayers explains what stay-at-home moms did in the Middle Ages:

    “It is a formidable list of jobs: the whole of the spinning industry, the whole of the dyeing industry, the whole of the weaving industry. The whole catering industry and?which would not please Lady Astor, perhaps?the whole of the nation’s brewing and distilling. All the preserving, pickling and bottling industry, all the bacon-curing. And (since in those days a man was often absent from home for months together on war or business) a very large share in the management of landed estates. Here are the women’s jobs?and what has become of them? They are all being handled by men. It is all very well to say that woman’s place is the home?but modern civilisation has taken all these pleasant and profitable activities out of the home, where the women looked after them, and handed them over to big industry, to be directed and organised by men at the head of large factories. Even the dairy-maid in her simple bonnet has gone, to be replaced by a male mechanic in charge of a mechanical milking plant.”

  22. You know who just had a loud victory? The squirrels.

    1. Are they feasting on the links?

      1. We were doing the Lord’s work. Is nothing sacred?

  23. DID THE LINKS JUST GET DISAPPEARED

  24. BUT TED CRUZ HATES FREEDOM

  25. Speaking of bigotry, this is the soft kind.

    1. You didn’t get the memo?

      That dog doesnt have teeth anymore.

    2. Haven’t seen Tony in awhile…

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