When I got a confused comment from Eric the 1/2 troll (here), I decided it might be worthwhile to explain the uselessness of any Fiscal Conservative who is not also a Social Conservative. Then it occurred to me that many would find both expressions hard to define. So let’s begin by defining our terms. Here is the gobbledygook you get out of Wikipedia.
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance. Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes, and other conservative policies are also often but not necessarily affiliated with fiscal conservatism. (from here)
Social conservatism is a political or moral ideology that believes that government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviors. A second meaning of the term social conservatism developed in the Nordic countries and continental Europe. There it refers to liberal conservatives supporting modern European welfare states. Social conservatism is distinct from cultural conservatism which focuses on cultural aspects of the issues, such as protecting one’s culture, although there are some overlaps. (from here)
The problem with Wikipedia’s definitions is that the terms don’t seem to mean much of anything. For example, in Howard Dean called a ‘fiscal conservative’, The Daily Caller reports that Howard Dean, a former Chairman of the Democratic Party did not mind being called a Fiscal Conservative. And why not? Who would oppose (in theory, at least) reducing government spending and balancing the budget?
SourceWatch, referring to what might be an older version of Wikipedia’s definition, defines Social Conservatism this way.
A social conservative believes in “traditional morality and social mores and the desire to preserve these in present day society, often through civil law or regulation. Social change is generally regarded as suspect, while social values based on tradition are generally regarded as tried, tested and true. It is a view commonly associated with conservative religious groups, militarism and nationalism.” 
“One who favors social policies based on a particular reading of Judeo-Christian values, generally in favor of public prayer and the right to own guns, and opposed to abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the teaching of evolution in public schools.” 
SourceWatch, of course, does not see itself as Socially Conservative, and Howard Dean, obviously, would take offense if he were called a Social Conservative. Why? What actually is a Social Conservative? Why that hostile definition from SourceWatch?
SourceWatch will have to explain own biases, but once we tone it down to something less extreme, its definition of Social Conservative sort of makes sense. Social Conservatives generally point to the people who founded this nation as their role models. Many fashion themselves as Constitutionalists. They uphold traditional American values as stated in the Declaration of Independence and as embodied by the original, intended meaning of The United States Constitution.
Social Conservatives are pro-American, but they not rabidly militaristic and nationalistic. Social Conservatives generally favor a strong defense, but they favor such a defense only as a means of avoiding warfare, not for conquest. Didn’t anyone noticed what President George Bush did when he took down Saddam Hussein’s regime? Bush never once suggested stealing Iraq’s oil, and he gave Iraq back to its people.
So where is the source of conflict? I think it arises over how the religious values of Social Conservatives, their traditional Judeo-Christian values, conflicts with Socialism.
Socialists want extensive government control over our People, and they have largely succeeded in implementing this sort of control.
- Government has expanded its tentacles into our health, our education, the welfare of our poor and aged, and every aspect of business.
- We increasingly contend with all-encompassing environmental “protections” and consumer advocacy programs that leaves both businesses and buyers bewildered.
- We suffer a tax burden grown in size far beyond anything envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
Our huge Federal Government stands in stark contrast to America’s traditional Judeo-Christian values. The Founders believed government exists to protect the God-given rights of the individual. Hence, when overreaching politicians look for philosophy to justify what the have done, they turn to Secularism. They denigrate traditional Judeo-Christian values and those who uphold such values as “extreme”.
Fiscal Conservatism? Balancing the budget? Once they have solved all our other problems – and government owns everything – surely Socialists can surely aspire to that goal too.