Sunday, June 13, 2004

The End Of Extreme Social Conservatism?

A few of months ago I heard a discussion which leads me to believe that America will eventually reject extreme social conservatism and fully embrace broad, socially liberal ideals.

The speakers were talking about the fact that most of the young, creative people who drive the continual innovations in our society are attracted to cosmopolitan centers: to places where tolerance and diversity are the primary moral values.

I thought for a moment and realized the obvious:

New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, even Austin deep in the heart of Texas – these are the primary drivers of our economy…and they’re the defining liberal cities of America.

As much as conservative ideologues like to berate these areas of the country, do you think for a minute that America could really get along without these engines of progress and productivity?

The majority of GDP growth in the U.S.A. doesn’t flow from Arkansas and Alabama, it comes from places like California and New York, two of the most democratic and liberal states in the union- this is not a coincidence. Because of this, despite all the anti-government talk you hear from the right, it is taxes from the left-leaning Democratic states that subsidize the Republican states to the tune of almost $100 billion a year.

I was greatly enthused when I heard that politicians in South Carolina were worried that the region’s religious conservatives were scaring away young entrepreneurs. Maybe common sense and dignity will never be enough to erase the remaining vestiges of social intolerance and religious extremism that flourish in many parts of the country, but I’m confident the pursuit of prosperity and creative expression ultimately will.

J.S.

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