Has the GOP Become More Socially Conservative Over The Years?
I am having a debate with some friends (one of whom is an Australian moderate and the other is a non-religious/fiscally conservative Republican). Both contend: 1) the GOP has moved rightward over the years on social issues and 2) the GOP is beholden to the religious right. Of course, they also say if the Republican party does not drop the socially conservative planks of the platform--which they both view as too moralistic--the party is destined for demise.
My feeling is that the GOP is a big tent and there is a big religious influence in parts of the country (namely the South), but the party is not controlled by the religious right.
Also, I believe the culture has been moving gradually more socially liberal year after year, but the Republican party has stayed in the same place. The net effect is the same: The GOP is out-of-step with the mainstream of the country. And the Democrats are savvy enough to exploit that with great success.
Tell me where I am wrong?