Ah, if only conservatives were one big happy family. Alas, there’s an undeniable chasm between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. Some think religion is what separates them, but it’s more complex than that. Plenty of fiscal conservatives consider themselves religious or at least believe in God. What really separates the two is the concept of moral relativity, which has swept across the nation since the 1960s.

The new conservative movement is made up largely of fiscal conservatives, and their focus is the economy. This group steers clear of moral issues such as gay marriage, abortion, sex education, absentee parenting, and other family issues. Grassroots conservatives vote Republican for one simple reason: they don’t want the government taking any more of their money than it already does.

Other than that, they’re basically liberals.

Because of this, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives have been duking it out in order to prove who’s more conservative than the other. This offers great entertainment, but it’s ultimately a waste of time. Conservatives must come together in this next election cycle, and they’re going to need something more than money to bind them together for the long haul.

No society can survive if the entire focus on keeping it strong is money. The economy may be the most important issue facing Americans right now (and if that’s enough to make more Americans vote Republican, great), but there is more to conservatism than fiscal matters. Conservatism also has a long history with morality.

Unfortunately, anyone under 60 years old has been conditioned to believe that morality is subjective. Striving to be moral may be noble, but espousing morality is akin to being judgmental, or rigid. Indeed, morality and religion are frightening concepts to those who have been raised under the banner of moral relativity, in which no behavior (except perhaps murder, though even this is justified in courtrooms across America) is deemed bad or even wrong. If a choice or behavior is right for the individual, it must be right.

Americans are so committed to moral relativity they even believe that if they’ve messed up in their own lives (and who hasn’t?) they can’t tell other people — even their own children — what to do because it would mean they’re a hypocrite. This is not a conservative viewpoint at all. It’s a worldview that stems directly from the liberal belief in moral relativity, and fiscal conservatives have been deeply affected by it.

Before moral relativity entered the scene in the 1960s, there were plenty of people who weren’t necessarily religious but believed in right and wrong. Religion isn’t the underlying issue (though it’s relevant). No political argument can be won by quoting Scripture, but no argument can be won solely on the basis of economics either. Morality must play a role.

Fiscal conservatives and social conservatives may never come together on major social issues. But if we can agree that moral relativity has been a disastrous experiment and that it must be eliminated, we will have more in our court than just dollars and cents.

Suzanne Venker is co-author of the forthcoming book The Flipside of Feminism: What Smart Women Know – and Men Can’t Say (WND Books). Her website is www.suzannevenker.com.