With the Democratic Party’s adoption of marriage equality as a party platform last week, social issues made a brief apperance in what is shaping up to be an election year dominated by fiscal policy and depressing economic news.
The announcement created some interest in the press – especially about what this means for the future of the Democratic and Republican parties as they stake out differing social positions and how younger Americans engage with these issues. Susan Saulny’s NYT article details trends among young Republicans, especially their loss of interest in social issues. Matt Schmitz at First Things gives a different take on the future of these same social issues.
Schmidt contends that Americans born between 1980 -91 are actually more conservative on social issues than Saulny’s article shows – especially on the issue of abortion. However, I am skeptical about his contention that young Americans of both parties are not shifting radically in favor of marriage equality and a general cultural acceptance of gay people – even if the polls aren’t showing a shift even when messaging is strongest during political campaigns surrounding the issue.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this trend? Do you think the Democrat’s move will have any lasting political significance?