by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[W]e’re hearing a lot about how the GOP must deal with “abortion and gay marriage” as if they are almost the same issue.
Well, in my house, I hear about my dog and my mortgage a lot. They’re both important — and complicated in their own ways — but they aren’t all that similar.
I think some liberals and some conservatives like to lump all social issues together, at least in part because they find their opponents’ positions on them so unfathomable. It’s like if an alien showed you a fnerk, a thrampahorn, and a zizzenbozzle, you’d be forgiven for assuming they’re all somehow related to each other.
In fact, for a long time the shorthand for social issues was “God, guns, and gays.” And a lot of analysts thought they would move all together. It turns out that various social issues stand or fall on their own.
If you’d predicted in the late 1980s that the country would become more pro-life, more pro-gun, and more pro-gay, the experts would’ve laughed at you. It drives some older liberals crazy that some young liberals are insufficiently pro-choice and it vexes some older conservatives that some young conservatives are insufficiently anti–gay marriage.
I myself have grown both more pro-life and more sympathetic to gay marriage.