My co-host Patrick O'Heffernan stated on our program “Fairness Radio” that conservatives are concerned with morality while liberals care about “outcomes” and he is absolutely right. In his new book “Ameritopia” conservative radio talk show host Marc Levin makes this vary point when he observes that conservatives focus on “process” while liberals focus on “outcome.” Levin accurately views conservatism as libertarian and liberalism as utopian.
Obviously there is no “outcome” except death, and for us believers, an afterlife. Indeed life is a process and civilization is and will remain an unfinished endeavor that is advanced by individual initiative operating in a context of maximum freedom. The utopian belief in outcome flies in the face of reality and human nature which is imperfect. The work of imposing an “outcome” is the essence of the authoritarian nature of the left and their totalitarian socialist experiments, both national and international socialism.
I responded to Patrick’s assertion with the opinion that morality leads to a positive outcome for the individual and this leads to progress, in its true meaning, for society. He answered me by citing an example of how morality does not lead to a positive result. His example was a claim that abstinence education taught in conservative schools has led to an increase in teenage pregnancy. To buttress this strange argument he cited statistics that would indicate, accurately, that there are more teenage girls having babies in school districts that offer abstinence education than there are in those that offer what he referred to as sexuality education.
It should be obvious that this is because conservative girls in conservative communities are less likely to abort their babies. It is also probably true, in my opinion, that there are less pregnancies in those conservative communities than their otherwise might be in our over sexualized society due to abstinence education. The more revealing statistic would be how many abortions are performed on teenage girls in the districts that offer sexuality education. Have studies been done regarding this? Have statistics been gathered that chronicle the physical and psychological conditions of post-abortion teenagers? I think not.
Sex education, which holds moral neutrality as its ultimate virtue, was launched by SIECUS in 1965. What has been the “outcome” since then? What to the statistics show us in terms of whether there has been an increase in teen pregnancy, out of wedlock births, STD’s, suicides, drug use, promiscuity, depression, and other maladies, since that time. Have our psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists analyzed any possible connection between these trends and sex-education to pre-adolescents?
I would argue that morality, which for a conservative means in this case protecting the morals and the innocence of children and young people, is the better way to go both for its own sake and as a matter of public policy. I shudder to contemplate the “outcome” that morally neutral sex education has had in terms of how it has affected the individual lives of those who have lived through it, particularly those who would be most vulnerable to its suggestions.