Poll Shows Social Conservatism Increasing Amid Deluge of Far-Left, Trans, Racial Ideologies

poll social conservatism
Cpl. Reece Lodder, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A recent Gallup Poll shows an increase in Americans who identify as more conservative regarding social issues – and at the highest percentage seen in over ten years. It may feel as though everyone has latched onto the progressive left’s campaigns on everything from transgender ideology to downright socialist governance – but it appears the everyday American isn’t convinced.

This poll comes at a timely moment when we all seem to be swimming in a rainbow flag media frenzy, and Republican-dominant states are making waves with various legislation limiting extreme liberal agendas. So if all aspects of media and business seem preoccupied with alarming liberal social concepts, why are more Americans leaning right on social issues?

Let’s take a peek under the hood and find out what has so many Americans yearning for a more conservative social construct at a time when progressivism is funneled through every media conduit available. 

By The Numbers

We must first look at the actual poll numbers to discuss this upward trend in social conservatism. Gallup found that 38% of Americans consider themselves conservative regarding social issues, an increase from 33% last year.

That percentage is the highest since 2012, over ten years ago. On the flip side, only 29% of Americans consider themselves more liberal on social issues, down from 34% last year. 

So not only is there an increase in social conservativism, but there is a marked decrease in social liberalism, to the tune of a 10-point swing. When we look at specific demographics, Republicans obviously tend to be more socially conservative.

However, what is interesting is the increase from last year. This year Republicans who consider themselves socially conservative are a whopping 74%, up from 60% last year.

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The statistic that should chill Democrats leading into the Presidential campaign season is the fact that those Americans who identify as Independents consider themselves socially conservative to the tune of 29% – up from 24% last year.

Gallup explains the political ramifications of this trend:

“Greater social conservativism may be fostering an environment more favorable to passing conservative-leaning social legislation, especially in Republican-dominated states.”

The legislation Gallup references is various laws limiting and, at times banning what is called “gender-affirming care” for minors and laws protecting girls’ sports, such as what the state of Missouri passed recently. Items that should be totally non-controversial in any sane country or time.

Not Just For Old People

There’s an adage that says, ‘If you aren’t a liberal in your 20s, you have no heart, and if you aren’t a conservative by the time you’re in your 30s, you have no brain’. It’s an interesting little phrase, although many Americans would assume that most of us are liberal-minded until we hit the senior-citizen discount ages. 

However, the recent Gallup Poll indicates that social conservatism isn’t just a Boomer fad. The most significant increase in social conservativism was for Americans between 30 and 64. 

That means many Millennials and Generation X’rs fall within this socially conservative spectrum. The only age demographic that saw a decrease was the oldest swathe of the population, albeit with a negligible decline in social conservatism.

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Compare these numbers to a FiveThirtyEight study done back in December. They found that 58% of Americans aged 18 to 29 favor reparations, with only 21% in favor over the age of 60.

Additionally, that same study found that 47% of Americans aged 18 to 34 believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances compared to only 25% of those aged 55 and older. So why do those of us approaching or actively middle-aged trending more to the right on social issues than the younger crew that tends to lean predictably more left?

It’s Biology

When I was in my 20s, and I’d argue even my early 30s, I would’ve told a pollster that I consider myself more liberal on social issues than conservative. I’ve always been a fiscal conservative, and I’ve always been a Republican.

However, as I’ve written before, I was and still am for equal rights for homosexuals, including the right to marry and serve in the military openly. As a true blue feminist, I supported reproductive rights under what I saw as reasonable circumstances and the need for access to reproductive and women’s health care, which I defined as Pap smears, breast exams, and various birth control access. 

However, if I were to be asked today at the more seasoned age of 40 by the same pollster, I would say I identify as more conservative on social issues. So what changed?

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I got older, but more importantly, I had children. I had my firstborn, my fiery and brilliant daughter when I was 33 and my mischievous and loving boy when I was 36. 

When you have a child, you don’t just have a human life to be responsible to and for; you have a living, breathing familial form of investment. And like any investment, parents what a society that protects those investments.

And the truth is, liberal social principles don’t really scream safety and protection.

The Swinging Pendulum

I used to say in the military that when faced with some issue, instead of making slight adjustments to our strategies or policies, we would tend to “swing the pendulum too far” in the other direction. Brevity was not my strong suit, as this is a fancy way of saying we would “overcorrect” when faced with an issue.

The same can be said for what is happening with social issues in our country today. I recently had a conversation with my mother, who is your typical Boomer.

She said:

“I was always pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and all those things. And then they changed the rules. They said to be pro-choice, you must be OK with abortion up to birth. To be pro-gay rights, you have to be OK with mutilating kids. They went too far, and I just can’t go that far.”

There are many generational differences between my mother and me that sometimes cause conflict. Still, I am with her on this – the left went too far, which is why we are seeing a surge in social conservatism.

As a parent, I can’t get on board with things like:

  • drag show story hours for children
  • graphic pornographic content in public schools aimed at children
  • abortion up to birth
  • mutilative surgeries
  • sexual conversations with my child without my consent
  • attacking the rights of my daughter and myself

And someday, when some of those in the 18 to 29-year-old group have children, they will find they are less liberal in their thoughts and yearn for a more traditional conservative society.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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