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The Bush Administration, Sex and the Moral Agenda$
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Edward Ashbee

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072765

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072765.001.0001

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The rise of the moral agenda and American public opinion

The rise of the moral agenda and American public opinion

(p.13) 1 The rise of the moral agenda and American public opinion
The Bush Administration, Sex and the Moral Agenda

Ashbee Edward

Manchester University Press

This chapter traces the emergence of the moral agenda as a key issue in American public opinion and in U.S. politics. It explains that moral and cultural concerns became frontline political issues from the late 1960s onwards, as a result of the sexual revolution and the loosening of established moral codes, particularly among the Woodstock generation. The chapter also highlights the role of the Christian right, which had established itself as an important constituency that could exert significant political leverage, in reshaping judicial politics, interest group activity and the character of the party system. It also investigates the variables that might account for the growing tolerance of premarital sexual relationships and homosexuality in the 1960s and 1970s, and discusses George W. Bush's electoral strategy and his handling of moral issues in his campaign.

Keywords:   moral agenda, public opinion, U.S. politics, sexual revolution, moral codes, Woodstock generation, Christian right, premarital sexual relationships, homosexuality, George W. Bush

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