A question first. What the hell is a social issue exactly? As best I can make it out, something having to do with culture and society of some sorts. Issues we most think of are marriage and abortion. To my subject I recently read a column from PJ Media co-founder Roger L. Simon on his take of social issues. In it he made the point that social issues are helping save liberalism if only barely. I call it progressive leftism, but fine enough.
I agree with it 90% of it at least and here’s why; I’ve made the point time and again that your personal life including marriage is none of my business and neither is mine. I don’t advocate same-sex marriage recognition though, rather I favor government simply not involving itself in the matter at all. Maybe there should be civil contracts available for everybody gay or straight in purely legal matter like private property, healthcare etc., but marriage will be primarily a religious institution.
I fully agree with him on what young people think. Overwhelmingly generation X (born 1980-2000) tends to favor same-sex marriage or at least are indifferent to it. A lot of that is due to cultural changes such as more and more people coming out of the closest for the past 25 years or so. And thereby people more and more commonly have gay relatives or know people who are gay (I myself have a lesbian sister). The result is for lack of better word a liberalized culture.
For as much as I’ve been talking the change in cultural attitude, I do not believe anybody who hold culturally conservative views (including many of RedState’s readers and writers) should be coerced into performing what they see as morally wrong. As example would be the photography case in New Mexico or the bakery in Colorado. I think these cases open up debate for religious liberty protections for religious institutions and businesses too that hold religious views but that’s a diary in of itself.
I think marriage as a political issue at all is total fraud, but I’ve given my take on why already which you can find several diaries of me giving my take. For as much as I’ve advocated not making social issues a driver of campaigns, they shouldn’t be swept under the rug which can result in confusing voters and your opponent shooting you down with ammo you unintentionally gave them. When you’re faced with a tough question like abortion let’s say, make sure you’re made clear and it’s consistent with past statements. It creates less distrust and anxiety with voters.
Speaking of abortion, if there’s one issue that deserves a front spot it’s this one. I’ve maintained it again and again; abortion is killing another person. Now more people than ever in a long time identify as pro-life. I’ve seen polls where as much as 62% of Americans think abortion should be banned or restricted after a certain period time. The group that tends to lean the most pro-life are people under 30. So for as much as young people have progressive views on marriage, they’re going in the exact opposite direction on abortion. So for as much as the GOP’s afraid of the abortion issue, it’s ironically the Democrats who should be de-emphasizing it right now.
I’m not trying to start fight with anybody on social issues, I’m just trying to open conversation. If we don’t converse with each in the GOP and within liberty movement, then this’ll only make more Democrat victories in the future.