In keeping with my own views of how the federal government should operate, Gallup published polling research last week indicating more Americans — a majority, in fact — want the government to avoid promoting a particular set of values.
More Americans say the government should not promote any set of values (51%) than say it should promote traditional values (43%). This is the second time in the past four years Americans have tilted toward saying the government should be neutral on values. For most of the past decade, the public has been divided on what the government’s role in this area should be. But even this was a shift from pre-2005, when Americans consistently favored the government’s promoting traditional values.
The movement away from government upholding “traditional” values is in keeping with recent Gallup trends showing Americans becoming more liberal in their views on many specific issues, most notably same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana.
Democrats (62%) are much more likely than Republicans (39%) to say the government should not promote any set of values. Democrats have consistently been more likely to hold this view over time. But one reason Americans as a whole are more likely now than in the past to say government should not promote any set of values is that an increasing number of Republicans hold this view.