Proof that the political spectrum has shifted leftward, rather than the middle shifting to the right: The normal view of sodomy as deviance and sin is now itself called the deviance of “homophobia.
We stood still while the whole spectrum slid wa-a-a-ay to the left. Now they call mainstream, middle America the far-right lunatic fringe.
It depends on the issue. The country has become far more pro-life over the past decade. Economically and on national security issues, it as as conservative as it was 20 years ago.
We can blame conservatives for going along with idiotic cliche that whatever consenting adults do is fine and dandy. Conservative opinion makers have given up on the issue and the issue of preserving marriage and the nuclear family.
We stood still while the whole spectrum slid wa-a-a-ay to the left. Now they call mainstream, middle America the far-right lunatic fringe."
That's always been the case. One of the single most misunderstood sociological trends in constitutional republics or democracies is the idea that "people grow more conservative as they get older." In fact, what happens is they remain the same as the culture around them grows more liberal.
To illustrate: The newly formed Republican party that advocated for freeing the slaves was a radical left-wing group in its day, especially in the eyes of the more conservative southerners. Two or three generations later, most people accepted that slavery ended but were loath to accept the women suffrage movement; they couldn't, in good conscious, support a woman's right to vote. This same person, a radical liberal in their twenties, was now considered a staunch conservative in old age.
I always shake my head when I hear someone say that culturally we are a "center right" country because anyone who has spent any time in the population centers of the United States, such as New York or Los Angeles, or in areas that have a higher-than-average under 30 population knows that is not the case. I was in Ohio on business in a major university town and stopped by a high-end department store to buy some clothes. My best friend commented that in the past hour, he had seen three or four gay couples with their arm around each other, shopping like regular straight couples. No one reacted because, frankly, my generation doesn't care anymore than we would to see an interracial couple.
Many of my extended family members that still lives in small, rural farming communities (the type where the old men gather around at the feed store and spend all day talking about the weather), didn't see it coming because all of us, on one level or another, assume that everyone is like our neighbors or friends. We can't even perceive that our opinions are in the minority and that society is changing around us.
The only counter-trend is that the under 30 crowd is more pro-life than any other group, which seems odd when you consider that religious instruction has declined substantially over the past 50 years. Still, I'm grateful for that.
The point of all of this is to say, it's a fools paradise to think that people will grow more conservative in an absolute sense as they get older. The best way to convince people to support conservative causes is to demonstrate, clearly and directly, the danger they face in their everyday life if the government has control over their private decisions. As Benjamin Franklin put it, the man who wins the argument is not he who appeals to right or wrong, but to a man's interest. If we can convince people that more government means less money in their paycheck, or less freedom of choice in education, we have a much better chance of emptying out Congress and starting over with a new crop of legislators.