But the American people disagree.
Over 90% of American women will use contraception at some point in their lives (most of them, ostensibly, with the support of their male partners). A National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association study done last spring found that even 80% of anti-choice Americans support giving women access to contraception. Likewise, 70% of Americans consider themselves environmentalists; and 88% think global warming poses a serious future threat. Two-thirds of us think the government should support stem-cell research. The election showed that most of us had had about enough of the GOP's devotion to charity for the upper classes only. And now, this week, it's being reported that 95% of all Americans engage in premarital sex, and have been doing so rather robustly for several generations now.I think that most Americans assume that the 50s television actually portrays historical trends, when that decade was actually anomalous. Every major trend reversed in the 50s for a brief time. Age of marriage went down, as did divorce rates, while fertility rose. But the trends were going the other way since the 1890s for most of them. Abortion really started to go up around 1850 and despite efforts to criminalize it (successfully at times) continued to rise. Same with pre-marital sex, which continued to rise in occurrence and acceptance from 1900 on.
And, I guess, given that change, I understand why religious conservatives feel out of control. I can see why they are pushing for a more repressed society. But I don't think it is a good take. There is plenty to dialogue about--plenty where we can agree. No one likes abortion and all of us hate the sexualization of the kids. We all want clean water, clean air, and a sustainable environment. But all of those require pragmatism, cooperation and compromise--three notions that the religious right lacks.