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Social con­ser­vatism, as we know it, is dead.

As a self-labeled con­ser­v­ative, it pains me to say this, but the truth is that the days of using religion to justify public policy are over, and the election last week sig­nified the end.

Not only was Pres­ident Barack Obama, the first pres­ident in American history to support gay mar­riage, re-elected, but three states passed laws allowing for civil unions as well (bringing the total to nine states). Wis­consin elected the first openly gay senator, and both Col­orado and Wash­ington legalized recre­ational mar­i­juana.

These issues were passed, for the first time in years, by groups other than white males: women and minorities. While white men voted squarely in the Romney camp and against the pro­gressive social agenda, this proved to be insuf­fi­cient. The past 50 years have been a slow, steady march towards this point, and it’s not over yet.

The Repub­lican Party has stood against these changes for decades, relying on the fact that the majority of Amer­icans were influ­enced in one form or another by the Christian church, and thus cashing in for votes. America, though, is no longer a Christian nation, and in order for con­ser­vatism and the GOP to survive, some­thing must change.

The post-modern era has destroyed the church throughout the first world. The number of Chris­tians is dwin­dling in Europe and North America. Catholics and Protes­tants alike are scram­bling to maintain what was for cen­turies a guar­anteed per­centage of the pop­u­lation.

But the things is, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is liberty.

Pol­itics is a two-edged sword. If you use it to press your values onto others, they’re going to press their values onto you. Right now we are reaping all of the rotten fruits of the Bush admin­is­tration, and we shall con­tinue to do so until we stand up and say that not only what Obama is doing is wrong, but that what Bush did was wrong, too.

The sal­vation of con­ser­vatism and the GOP is going to be the idea that the federal gov­ernment should not involve itself in either social or eco­nomic issues, which, iron­i­cally, was what con­ser­v­a­tives pri­marily believed in for the first hundred years of this country’s history.

But pure lib­er­tar­i­anism is also not the solution. A com­pletely free market, free morality society will not align itself so that everyone lives in some sort of utopia. It is local gov­ernment and com­munity that must deal with these issues.

Romney lost because he was unable, despite his best efforts, to dis­tance himself from the social issues of the election and the ability of the Obama cam­paign to asso­ciate him with the social con­ser­vatism of the Repub­lican Party. Senate can­di­dates suf­fered defeat because they made the mistake of giving their opinion on sexual issues.

The GOP must change as our culture changes. Restricting sex­u­ality can no longer be a part of the con­ser­v­ative agenda. Women must be brought into the “boys club” of the GOP, and the stance on immi­gration policy needs to be altered dras­ti­cally to appeal to immi­grants. None of these things need to impinge on people’s rights as long as the gov­ernment remains sep­arate from them.

What will defend against the onslaught of pro­gres­sivism then? Reality. Pro­gres­sivism, either social or eco­nomic, doesn’t work. The tra­di­tional family is still the best unit for cre­ating func­tional members of society. Recre­ational drugs will now be brought under the reg­u­lation of the market, destroying many of the dan­gerous black market ele­ments.

And eco­nomics? Socialism has been failing for well over a hundred years; the time is here when people have begun to stand against it.

We’re not dead yet.