Posted by Tina
Gallup recently admitted, albeit reluctantly, that America is a conservative nation. The odd thing is that California wasn’t considered one of the most liberal states in the nation:
The Gallup Poll survey conducted at the end of 2015 reports that 47 of the 50 states have more conservatives than liberals, and only three states – Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts – have more respondents calling themselves liberal than conservative. In two of those three states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the liberal advantage is tiny.
How do we explain this finding in a nation that has continually adopted progressive policies through the decades and in a state, California, that is overwhelmingly run by liberal Democrats?
According to Gallup, 30.2% of Californians consider themselves conservative, 35.5% moderate, and an underwhelming 28.6% liberal. At the same time 32.6% of Californians identify as Republican and 48.1% as Democrat. (Nationwide 35.7% of respondents identified as conservative, 36.0% as moderate and 23.2% as liberal.)
Moderates make the difference. Most likely the tearing away point is a combination of social issues, economic policy, and the racist tag liberals have given conservatives. Conservatives lose in the message wars in these three areas. The question for conservatives is, who are the moderates and how do we talk to them? I’ve been told more than once by a person on PS who identifies as liberal that I destroy my own message when I say outrageous things that he often proclaims are “lies”. I’d expect nothing less from a liberal whose party of preference is the godfather of lies. But what about moderates?
According to Gallup:
Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and has repeated the question at least annually since 2001. The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.
The newfound parity on social ideology is a result of changes in the way both Democrats and Republicans describe their social views. The May 6-10 Gallup poll finds a new high of 53% of Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, describing their views on social issues as liberal.
The three major social issues are abortion, gay marriage, and marijuana/drugs. All three have been promoted or glamorized and stand in defiance of traditional conservative values. All three have been exploited by radical progressives in the courts and in entertainment. All three have been used as platforms on which to demonize and ridicule conservative or religious positions. What this means for the future and what this means in terms of messaging is worthy of consideration.
Young people are turning on the abortion issue. Redstate quotes the Boston Globe:
Millennials have also grown up amid the grim images of abortion and its aftermath. For many, the willful destruction of life in the womb seems less an act of “reproductive freedom” than an act of violence against an innocent victim. All of them know someone who has had a legal abortion; they need only look in a mirror to see someone else who could have been lawfully aborted.
It has been a long time since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in every state, and, in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, effectively proclaimed a right to destroy an unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. But making abortion lawful didn’t make it right. Even after all these years, Americans tend to regard most abortions as ignoble. According to Gallup, only 38 percent of US adults generally see abortion as morally acceptable. Other surveys concur. The Pew Research Center found in 2013 that 49 percent of Americans believe that having an abortion is morally wrong, far outnumbering those who regard abortion as morally acceptable (15 percent) or not a moral issue (23 percent).
Young Americans — voters under 30 — were once the most gung-ho in support of unfettered legal abortion. In 1991, fully 36 percent believed abortion should be legal under any circumstances. But by 2010, 18-to-29-year-olds had become more pro-life than their parents — only 24 percent still wanted to keep abortion legal in all cases. More than any other age cohort, in fact, young adults are now the most likely to think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.
This is a positive trend both for conservatives and for America. Morality may be a much maligned subject in America but it is also the glue that makes freedom and prosperity sustainable. As the previous story would indicate, the economy is a much more important political issue facing Americans today. Terrorism and immigration/border issues run in close tandem with economic concerns. This is as it should be. Social issues, in my opinion, are a matter of conscience more than politics.
If it is true that America is a conservative nation, and I have no reason to believe it is not, then ideas that conservatives share should be attractive to those in the middle ground. The battle will be waged once again as we consider candidates for President this year. Will conservatives prevail?