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Did Andrew Bolt Betray Conservative Values to the God of Gay Marriage Politics?

May 31, 2015

Did Andrew Bolt Betray Conservative Values to the God of Gay Marriage Politics?

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Background on Conservatism versus Conservative Values

There are very many definitions of conservative value. However they are most broken into two main areas: the political definition and the social definition. The social definition is the easiest to understand as it not beholding to a single ideological structure. In fact people who have conservative family values and belief can come from a variety of backgrounds and national origins. They can share the ideal of what the world would look like without holding any particular political allegiances. Even turning toward religion as the explanation does not make the situation clearer. Most traditional religions whether it be Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu share the main thrust of conservative values. In each case, despite the often ill-informed opinions of commentators, the traditional nuclear family is its central concern. Political Conservatives are not the same.

Political Conservatives are as varied as the so called Political Progressives and just as driven by ideology as their political polar opposites. However the difference between a raving Socialist Social Justice Warrior and raving Political Conservative can often be put down to the pace of the change in society. Right wing and Left wing are extremely vague terms in this matter. Rather a Political Conservative is more concerned with maintaining the traditional institutions of society before any social changes are made. This often puts the agendas of Political Conservatives in alignment with people who are socially conservative.

There is nothing wrong with people who are socially conservative joining groups that align with and are committed to protecting their traditional values and institutions. Nor is there anything wrong with people creating their own Conservative organisation to defend and promote their values. However it would be very careless to claim that a Conservative Political Organisation and conservative people is one and the same thing.

For example: God, family, country and charity may be things that most socially conservative people support; whereas homosexual relationships, gay marriage and abortion are things that they oppose. If we look at Ayn Rand, one of the great ideological inspirations for political conservatism, her personal views differ greatly from what traditionally conservative people believe. Rand was a strict ideologue who fell into the objectivism school of thought. Therefore she rejected god and religion on the grounds of objective materialism. Rand also supported abortion on demand and viewed charity with distain. In fact Rand could see no value in the western tradition of disinterested charity (ie: the kind that St John of the Cross promoted) but wanted to reduce charity down to a business deal where the giver gets something back from the receiver. These are not how most people may see charity but it is important to understand how some political conservatives (particularly the neo-cons and the agnostic variety) have embraced Ayn Rand’s ideals on objectivism and charitable ethics. Despite being anti-communist/socialist, anti-totalitarian and singing the praises of human rights and capitalism Ayn Rand has little in common with traditional family values. Morality in this universe is just another structure.

Andrew Bolt’s Irish Joke

To call Andrew Bolt a conservative in the socially traditional sense is a not exactly accurate. However he does support many of the traditionally conservative voice in society. Despite being a self-described agnostic he will side with some religious leaders like Cardinal Pell against false accusations from the media. Yet he is quick to blame large families for social ills and demands that people use contraceptives to limit their sizes. Is Andrew Bolt a fan of Rand? Since he has not self-declared it is impossible to label him such. However Bolt does echo many of Rand’s core attitudes in his writing and talkback conversations. He has been steadfast in rejecting the label as ‘right-wing’ and instead prefers to be called a ‘conservative’.

When it came to the quest of same sex marriage Andrew Bolt has until just a few days ago stood against the move, citing his conservative values as the reason for objections. He also used that argument that changing the Marriage Act from strictly heterosexual unions to any two people being married would be the next step before the legalization of polygamy. Bolt quite often claims that polygamy as promoted by Muslim leaders would be devastating to the Australian society.

However after the people in Ireland voted in a plebiscite to allow Gay Marriage Andrew Bolt’s conviction evaporated. Like a bad Irish joke Andrew declared defeat and threw his support behind gay marriage because it can be used to make gays fiercely defend the institution of marriage.

THE battle for same-sex marriage has been won. Now the winners must defend marriage as fiercely as we conservatives tried.

He goes in greater depth as to why he has personally given up the fight against gay marriage and how many gay people he knows. The bottom line is that he has thrown away his convictions on the issue of gay marriage.

Bolt’s support for gay marriage appears to be based upon getting a difficult wedge issue off the political agenda. Like most wedge issue it can be for more damaging to political conservatives. The embryonic stem cell debate was very damaging to the conservative Australia Liberal party when it took place several years ago despite the fact there has been no medical benefits since its legalization. However, for political cowards, capitulation to controversial issues was the order of the day and as result human embryos are now legally fodder for experimental scientists. It terms of public profile nothing triggers political cowardice more than being accused of homophobia.

Conclusion

In politics the term ‘Conservative’ is as vague and misleading as the term ‘Progressive’. Loaded language does not even begin to hide the contradictions and differences between ideologies and the words that they are trying to usurp. Andrew Bolt prides himself on being a Conservative in the political sense but I doubt that we can describe him a conservative in the ordinary definition of the word. Rather his conviction on the subject of gay marriage seems to have evaporated as soon as Ireland’s vote was announced. People who hold a traditional view of marriage may justifiably feel betrayed by Andrew’s sudden turn around.

Editorial Note

Conservative Radio presenter on 2UE, Alan Jones has also thrown his support behind gay marriage.

However one the most convincing criticism of the vote in Ireland happens to come from a Marxist called Brendan O’Neill. What a scary thought? The traditional institution of marriage is being defended by a Marxist rather than a conservative.

What a turnaround that is?

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