As the 2012 Presidential elections draw near, political debates are becoming extremely heated, and amongst conservatives there is division. You’re either fiscally or socially conservative; the combination of the two renders you a true Conservative.

The difference between the two is this: fiscal conservatives, however economically savvy they may be, have a more liberal stance on social issues while social conservatives are the Bible-thumping, finger wagging, traditionalist nutcases who can’t accept today’s lifestyles. In essence, being pro-choice or in favor of gay marriage while under the guise of “Conservative” is now becoming acceptable and popular, which is very alarming.

An article in The Daily Caller reported that people simply cannot agree on whether or not the base to a strong, grounded country/government is from a social or fiscal stand point.  One person even commented:

“They [economic conservatives] are far more strategic than are social conservatives at driving the policy agenda,” Patterson said. “After 30 years of pushing our issues as social conservatives, we have very little to show for it. If we were a business, we would be bankrupt.”

The article goes on to say that this debate often hinders the Republican Party’s chance at winning elections since moderates and Liberals likely won’t vote for a social conservative. One has to wonder what the party should be considering as a priority, elections or promoting a “healthy” society. As conservatives, we aren’t necessarily defined by our politics or faith-based beliefs. After discussing the matter one night with a close friend and colleague, I came to the conclusion that being conservative is as simple as the decision of whether or not we are going to be responsible for our actions. Liberals want to believe that the government should provide for certain luxuries such as healthcare, financial aid for education, etc., while conservatives believe this country should allow its citizens the ability to pursue these luxuries on their own. So why, then, are we not defending our position as true conservatives? The answer is simple. We do not want to run the risk of offending possible votes for a Republican ticket in office.

In an essay on entitled, “’I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal” The Epitaph for America’s Future?”, the author clearly defines what is going on in America today amongst conservatives:

“I could continue into vaguer territory: what are the economic consequences of a society where mediocrity is extolled in a quest for fairness, where schools cancel awards ceremonies for fear of offending somebody, or, worse, where everyone is given an award, thus making the achievements of true winners meaningless? In the cartoon-movie The Incredibles, which shows a society where superheroes have been shut down by lawyers for the destruction and extra-constitutionality involved when the “supers” battle villains, one of the characters opines: “If everyone is super, then no one is. What is the cost of that kind of social liberalism/political correctness? How many future Bach’s, Curie’s, Edison’s, Einstein’s, Galileo’s, Michelangelo’s, Mother Teresa’s, Schoenberg’s, or Wright’s (Orville, Wilbur, as well as Frank Lloyd) are being stifled and stunted in our increasingly hostile-to-excellence society, or worse, are now part of hospital waste? ”

Conservatives are not haters. We simply stand up for morality and have a backbone to defend it. True conservatism is about doing what’s right, not just for yourself or taking the easy route through life, but standing up for others as well. Often, this does include protecting the life of a fetus or the sacred union between one man and one woman. Liberals will always seek acceptance and affirmation of their actions. Catering to those who could possibly help elect a Republican nominee is dangerous. Through this we are graying the lines between black and white, or what should be Liberals vs. Conservatism. Those within the conservative movement and Republican Party should think twice about the name they take when entering the political realm.

Elissa Roberson | College of the Desert | @ElissaRoberson