Social conservatism

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Social conservatism is a political ideology that holds to a belief in following cultural tradition and traditional, often religious morality. Social conservatism is a common ideology that is subscribed to by people who are described as being part of the Religious Right, supporters of family values the Bible Belt and as values voters. In the United States, social conservatives tend to oppose same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, secularism and comprehensive sex education (often restating those beliefs in the positive - pro-life, defending marriage, defending the religious heritage of the United States and so on).

Social conservatives tend to have an uneasy relationship with other parts of the political right. Libertarians and pro-business/economic conservatives are often uninterested in values issues, while social conservatives have in recent years become less responsive to economic issues. In the presidential candidacy of Mike Huckabee this was particularly apparent, with Huckabee offering positions that many on the left approved of combined with social policy designed to please the religious base of his campaign.

The social conservative wing of the United States Republican Party has been tremendously successful in recent years - with a large number of people supporting activism groups like Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, the Christian Coalition and through pastors and ministries like Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell Sr.. Evangelical voters were mostly apolitical, but have emerged as a significant voting bloc in the United States since the 1970s, and have been an important part in what has been termed the Reagan coalition - the sometimes uncomfortable strapping together of economic conservatives/libertarians and the religiously-motivated social conservatives. This coalition was important in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, although in recent years the tension between members of this coalition has led to movements by both sides to move away from the Republican party - towards the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party and more niche-interest presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul.