"Moderates" are secretly ultra-liberals/conservatives but they won't admit it. =P
Jokes aside, but I've always had a hard time believing that a social-moderate actually exists. This may actually be a result of the false moderation I see in politics today, but on most issues pertaining to social issues, I've never seen anyone hold an 'inbetween' view.
Like same-sex marriage; most people are either completely for it, or they're completely against. Everyone views civil unions as just a step to marriage - the politicians passing it know it (and is probably their plan), and the politicians voting against it know it. The voters who say they are for civil unions but not marriage have, in my experience, either been conservatives trying to move along with the progressive values of the day, or a religious liberal trying to reconcile their religious views with their political views. In both cases, the end result will eventually be the acceptance of same-sex marriage with them because they both have already decided for themselves the actual matter behind the issue - whether same-sex relationships should be recognized by society.
The so-called moderation that comes with social views is really just a stepping stone to the actual goal - granting half of the rights until the issue no longer becomes politically toxic.
To be honest, the difference wouldn't be that much. Nearly all social issues that occur in modern American politics have all been "won" by liberals. With the exception of gun control, which was "won" by conservatives and of abortion, which will never be settled. The south, contrary to popular belief, isn't full of bigots who press their religion on others. For example, I live in a city of about 400,000 and there's more than four gay clubs and an entire gay district. The second or third largest city in the state has a gay mayor. North Carolina is run by Democrats, but even the companies that are within the public eye regularly involve themselves within events whose purpose is to expand gay rights - hell, a grocery store and a local news station sponsor a gay pride parade every year.
And this is North Carolina, the home of NASCAR, and a former Confederate state.
You can accurately guess a person's views on social issues, with exception to abortion, by just their age. The younger they are, the more likely they are be socially liberal. Generational age plays the largest part in the attitudes towards social issues.
Yes, they're more conservative than a person in the North, but the increase in the acceptance of my example, same-sex marriage, follows the same average as the Northern states.
tl;dr: There's not really a such thing as being socially-moderate. There are only two issues that I believe it is possible to be moderate - gun-control and drug legislation. Possibly abortion. And both are issues, besides the possible inclusion of abortion, that could also be considered legal issues rather than social. Economically-moderate, yes. Socially? No, because if you become moderate on an issue, you have at least partially accepted the argument from the liberals.
edited 1st Mar '11 8:09:06 AM by Completion
I'm usually using my phone so typos and dropped words are bound to show up.