Friday, July 08, 2016

Why Domestic Violence Should Be a Conservative Cause

According to recent research, the biggest causes of family violence are not, as used to be believed, psychological or economic, but rather ideological. The biggest predictor of family violence has been found to be violence-supporting beliefs. This means that the best thing one can do to fight family violence is to deconstruct these beliefs and replace them with better ones.

Most family violence takes place in socially conservative communities; which means that to fight domestic violence effectively it will be necessary to deconstruct the violence-supporting beliefs that have found their way into conservatism. And this has to be done using the logic of conservatism itself.

Now conservatives do not believe in feminism, gender equality, human rights or non-violence. Many also reject psychology and sociology altogether. However there are conservative values to which it would be possible to appeal to get them to stop being violent toward their wives.

One of these values is character. Conservatives talk a lot about character, although not all of them show it. A part of character is self-control and discretion. A man who beats his wife exercises neither self-control nor discretion. Which means that, according to the logic of conservatism itself, he fails.

Another of these values is “family values.” I can think of no more important family value than being good to one's wife and children. A person who truly speaks in favor of family will demand of the man treating his family well; and that means, first and foremost, doing away with domestic violence.

Still another conservative value is responsibility. The man bears full responsibility for what he does with his fists and his mouth. A man who beats up on his wife and children fails to exercise responsibility; which means that, once again, according to logic of conservatism itself, he fails.

Right now, the bulk of the fight against domestic violence has come from people on the Left. It should involve people on the Right as well. Character, family values and responsibility demand good treatment of one's family. Which means that this should be a conservative cause as much as it is a liberal one, and it should become a part of the conservative agenda.


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