To my knowledge this term first crept into the news around the beginning of the 2012 Presidential campaign. Everybody “sort of” knows which candidates are “social conservatives,” everybody “sort of” knows what political positions are entailed, and I have yet to see anyone explain to us what a “social conservative” is.
So I looked up “Social Conservatism” in trusty ol’ Wikipedia. Their answer is more explicit than I feared. And it seems to directly contradict the stated GOP theme of scaling back government restrictions on of our lives.
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the national government, or the state, should have a greater role in the social and moral affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones …
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