Republican Presidential hopefuls keep playing to their (aging and shrinking) base.
Mike Huckabee recently said something to the effect that President Obama isn’t “really” American, because he wasn’t a Boy Scout with a father in Rotary. For his part, Newt Gingrich, that intrepid defender of traditional marriage, wants to impeach President Obama for his decision not to defend the constitutionality of DOMA in court. (Lest you question Gingrich’s commitment to “traditional” marriage, I would point out that he’s had three such marriages himself, and in each one, he dutifully behaved the way men “traditionally” behaved–at least in 19th Century France–by cheating on his wives.)
I hate to tell Newt this, but in the 21st Century, traditions are changing.
A new survey from Pew has confirmed what any objective observer can see: a continuing and rapid rise in support for same-sex marriage since 2009. Currently, 45% say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 46% are opposed. In Pew surveys conducted in 2010, 42% favored and 48% opposed gay marriage and in 2009, just 37% backed same-sex marriage while 54% were opposed.
And despite the current war on women being waged in Congress, Pew found that opinions about abortion have also liberalized. In 2009, for the first time in many years, the public was evenly divided over whether abortion should be legal or illegal in all or most cases. But support for legal abortion has recovered and now stands at 54%.
Independents have become more supportive of both gay marriage and legal abortion since 2009. Roughly half of independents (51%) now favor same-sex marriage, up from 37% in 2009. And 58% of independents say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 47% in Pew Research Center surveys two years ago.
When you look at the age breakdowns in these and other polls, you’re left with an inescapable conclusion: if we can just hang in there until the old farts in my age cohort die off, the kids will be all right.