Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Culture Wars Are Turning Against Conservatives

White and light in the head: Running your pizza parlor the biblical way. Huh?

No offense to Christians everywhere -- other than to remind you that you're running your lives based on beliefs of desert nomads from the early Iron Age -- but your time may have come and gone. Sure, America will remain a largely Christian nation, but your advantage in the culture wars is slipping away.

That's what has caught social conservatives off-guard with the Indiana religious liberty law this past few days. The gay wars have been fought and the gays won. Maybe you don't know it yet, but it's over. It was over the day Joe Biden said gay marriage was okay. Not that he led the battle, but when he spoke in the midst of the 2012 campaign -- signaling Barack Obama to speak of his own "evolution' days later -- Joe was telling America what we hadn't completely figured out: Opinion had shifted on the gay, and he knew it.

Now we all know it, except Mike Pence, Asa Hutchinson, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and a pack of GOP hopefuls who didn't notice the ground was shifting beneath their feet. Their backing of the Neanderthals in the Indiana legislature just made a bunch of Democratic campaign ad consultants drool like it was 2016. As Dr. Seuss might say, Oh, The Ads You'll Run!

Anatomy of an oops from WaPo:
The agreement [with Pence and the Indiana law] among the likely GOP candidates illustrates the enduring power of social conservatives in early-voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, which will help determine who emerges as the party’s nominee next year.
But the position puts the Republican field out of step with a growing national consensus on gay rights, handing Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats a way to portray Republicans as intolerant and insensitive. Some Republicans also fear that Indiana is only the first in a series of brush fires that could engulf the party as it struggles to adapt to the nation’s rapidly changing demographics and social mores.
Ya think?!? Mitt Romney and his famous Etch-A-Sketch moment doesn't begin to describe the horror that will await the GOP nominee after he tries to scrape himself off the battlefield that was the Republican primaries, bloody and covered in commitments to the wacky-wacky base. Good luck.

Thing is, it's not just me or liberal pundits that are homing in on this. It's the GOP pollsters themselves:
And of course we’re not just talking about racial demographics either. Pressed about the ongoing controversy in Indiana, [Republican pollster Whit] Ayres pointed to Gallup data showing the breathtakingly fast shift in public opinion about gays and marriage equality. As he notes in his book, as recently as 2006, a majority of Americans said that they thought that gay relations were “morally wrong,” according to Gallup, with just 44 percent taking the view that they are “morally acceptable.” As of last May, the last time Gallup polled this, it was 58-38 in favor of gays being morally acceptable. (Umm, hurray? Only 58 percent?) And of course gay marriage has followed, gaining majority favorability in 2013.
“There are surprisingly few issues where the age of the respondent is one of the strongest predictors of political views,” Ayres writes in his book. “One of the exceptions is gay rights. Young Americans inhabit a different world than their elders when it comes to tolerance and acceptance of gay relationships. On gay marriage, the breakpoint is at age 50, with majorities younger than 50 supporting gay marriage and majorities over 50 opposed.” Ultimately, Ayres said at the breakfast, “We’re headed to he point where a political candidate who is perceived as anti-gay at the presidential level will never connect with people who are under 30 years old.”
So that's it. 50 and above you're out of touch. Pretty young to be out of it. But there you are.

A final thought: This may be only the beginning. Law and Order used to be safe territory for the GOP. Not necessarily anymore. And it's the same with defense. A strong defense and a mammoth defense budget used to be a safe harbor for GOPers. Again, not anymore. George W. may have screwed that one up. Americans are increasingly tired of war. Don't tell Lindsey Graham. It'll ruin his day, or maybe even his year.

 "Forget it Lindsey, the gay thing's already done. It's the forever war I'm worried
about. Americans are tired of it. They might not want us on Meet the Press anymore!"

Update. America is tired of war and our involvement in the Middle East. But that doesn't mean we're tired of spending scads of money on defense. Go figure.

No comments:

Post a Comment