Monday, November 7, 2011

Opinion Changes on Social Issues

Liberal advocates of social changes often despair that much of public opinion is locked into traditional modes of thought.  But, as recent polls on gay rights have shown compared to the early 1990s, there has been a sea change in opinion in favor of most elements of the gay rights agenda.  There has even been movement toward the liberal view of gay marriage, with a few polls showing majority support.

However, conservatives should not despair about the across-the-board liberal drift in American culture and its impact on social issues.  A new Gallup poll on gun control shows nearly a complete collapse of public support for gun control from a high of 60 percent in 1959 to 26 percent today.  Opposition to gun control went from 36 percent in 1959 to 73 percent.

Although the public wants strict enforcement of current laws, they do not support more laws banning guns.

On abortion legalization, what had seemed to be a liberal trend now appears to be a deadlock, with only a slight plurality of Americans calling themselves pro choice (49%) compared to those who adopt a pro life position (45%).

During the G.W. Bush presidency, the pro choice position climbed to the majority view in several polls (albeit just barely), but appeared to recede in the early Barack Obama presidency.

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