Wednesday, March 23, 2005

It turns out that I am a "Process Conservative", as opposed to being a social conservative...

Then again, I'm not sure things break that cleanly. Do social conservatives really care nothing about process? After all, many of the people agitating for intervention in the Schiavo matter claim they are the ones concerned about protecting process; in their view, the process has broken down (in too many ways to count) and they are fighting to ensure that due process carries the day. Or maybe not - - the anti-interventionists argue that the pro-intervention side is only pretending to be concerned about protecting Schiavo's due process rights; according to this view, the only thing that matters is restoring her feeding tube and claiming to be concerned about due process is merely the best tactic with which to achieve this desired end result.

Nor do I think that process conservatives are blind to the outcome that their devotion to process could produce. While the moniker of process conservative has a nice ring to it, as someone wrote yesterday (I think it was on NRO, but I've been reading so many blogs, it's hard to keep track), process isn't supposed to be an end in itself, but merely a means. Much depends on what end result devotion to process produces.... I would have a real problem with the majority choosing to confiscate all of my property, take my kids away, and put me into a concentraion camp. I'm only a process conservative so long as the outcome is within a range of acceptable possibilities. And, in this particular case, since pulling her feeding tube is within that range of self-defined acceptable outcomes (although, to be clear, it is not the outcome I would like), I'll stick to process.

And, while I'm at it, I have a hard time believing social conservatives care nothing about process. They're against abortion, yet they condemn and prosecute those who have killed doctors who performed abortions. They're against smut on TV and in the movies, yet I don't see them firebombing movie studios and physically attacking those involved in producing such movies. They want the 10 Commandments to be displayed prominently, yet I don't see them grabbing M16s and manning a picket line to keep the Commandments from being removed.

So maybe this process-social designation isn't so on point after all...