How to make a Socially Conservative Economically left USA?

So I'm writing a story where I have a major challenge: I'm trying to make the USA very socially conservative (pro gun, religious, etc.) but also economically left without it turning into super racist.

My only ideas are that the religious right never burns out and only gets stronger and that the NFA is ruled unconstitutional. I can also think that maybe a federal sodomy ban passes and is upheld by the supreme court. Other than that i dont know how to make it more left wing economically (evangelicals make more effort to help the poor maybe?)

The problem is I don't know how to do this in a way that won't alter the entire world culture as I still want western europe to be relatively progressive.
 
Movement Conservatism didn't necessarily have to take on a right-liberal hue. It mostly did so because of the Cold War and the fact that it found itself in the Republican Party, due to the influence of the New Left.

If you choke the New Left in its cradle, I see no reason why the New Deal Coalition cannot hold up, with its economic interventionism and statism going hand in hand with a cultural conservatism.

Think 1950s social solidarity and conventionalism perpetuated through a Democratic Party that is dominant, and the Republican Party acting mostly as a niche, Western states interest group who every now and then may win an election but cannot alter the large nationalized industries and statism in the US economy when in power.

The US ends up more like France or 1970s Britain, with low inequality but a low standard of living, lower immigration, and a conservative culture. The Mainstream Protestant denominations remain dominant and do not go off on a social gospel binge. The religious right never really forms due to a lack of a real need, and ethnocultural polarization doesn't really happen because of a dominant monoculture.
 
Last edited:
I can also think that maybe a federal sodomy ban passes and is upheld by the supreme court.
Dunno if you could get that. You could probably get it still being left up to the states, so some states allow everything up to domestic partnership (but not marriage) and others having such laws but a Federal one? Doubt it.
 
But with a federal anti-sodomy law. That alone makes it a dystopia. Plus odds are women’s rights are far worse.

Stuff like this can be an interesting thought exercise but not a world anyone would want to live in.
The liberal party criticizes Saudi Arabia and Iran for being too soft gays. Women's rights are bad but not like handmaidens tale bad as it's more of a cultural thing. Women can vote and own property and all that, abortion is completely banned though and women having a career is considered weird. Culturally they have more of a stay at home mom ethic so them working isn't common.
 
The liberal party criticizes Saudi Arabia and Iran for being too soft gays. Women's rights are bad but not like handmaidens tale bad as it's more of a cultural thing. Women can vote and own property and all that, abortion is completely banned though and women having a career is considered weird. Culturally they have more of a stay at home mom ethic so them working isn't common.
Sounds ghastly...

Also, unlikely with a 20th-century POV. The most you’d likely get would be a ‘permanent 1950s’, and even then you’d have youth disaffection, protests, calls for more rights...

The thing to remember is, social progressivism isn’t new. The seeds were being sown back as far as the 1920s. So... delays and comparatively more conservative? Oh yes. But what you’re talking about? Unlikely, and it’d see change on the horizon.
 
The easiest flashpoint is Nixon winning '60 - no Kennedy to help drive the Dems closer to social liberalism, a Nixon government that's probably more amenable to the plight of black Americans (seeing as he has no debt to Dixiecrats) while still remaining fairly fiscally moderate-to-conservative. This gives southern populists a golden chance to come in with economic populism and cultural conservatism, and while we're here why not give George Wallace, future presidential candidate, a wave?
 
The easiest flashpoint is Nixon winning '60 - no Kennedy to help drive the Dems closer to social liberalism, a Nixon government that's probably more amenable to the plight of black Americans (seeing as he has no debt to Dixiecrats) while still remaining fairly fiscally moderate-to-conservative. This gives southern populists a golden chance to come in with economic populism and cultural conservatism, and while we're here why not give George Wallace, future presidential candidate, a wave?
Don’t think so. By 1960, I think that stuff like the Sexual Revolution was inevitable. Once you have mass youth support for those ideals, then sooner or later laws change to match...
 
The Common Good sounds like something this society would endorse. It also sounds like the goal of Christian Democrats in Europe running on a socially conservative welfare state platform influence by Catholic
 
Don’t think so. By 1960, I think that stuff like the Sexual Revolution was inevitable. Once you have mass youth support for those ideals, then sooner or later laws change to match...
Oh, it'll still exist. It's just WHO supports it, and WHEN the governing powers bend to it. It's hard to keep the US socially conservative because pressures for change will eventually come. The best you can do is A) make it an issue neither party truly adopts, only a smattering of members of said party (i.e. a George McGovern in the party of George Wallace, or a Jacob Javits in the party of Richard Nixon), keeping it a dingbat's issue that only changes when there's overwhelming pressure by the grassroots, or B) delaying the change within the Democratic Party, so it eventually goes liberal but not in the 60s over civil rights and whatnot. Either way, it's only delaying social liberalization, imo, but it does ultimately make the US more conservative than OTL.
 
Have you looked into Father Coughlin? Economic populist, kind of paternalistic to African Americans but not to my knowledge a Jim Crow guy, definitely socially conservative. Anti-Semitic, though. But since he’s probably not gonna become president himself, you could have him build the movement and have others “finesse it” how you want.
 
Have the push to unionize the south in the 40's succeed and a Republican president push civil rights (Nixon in '60 maybe). A stronger labor movement keeps the New Deal coalition alive through desegregation, while the Republicans eventually coalesce around an economically right/socially left Barry Goldwater axis. It also helps if the Cold War is less intense or nonexistent.
 
Oh, it'll still exist. It's just WHO supports it, and WHEN the governing powers bend to it. It's hard to keep the US socially conservative because pressures for change will eventually come. The best you can do is A) make it an issue neither party truly adopts, only a smattering of members of said party (i.e. a George McGovern in the party of George Wallace, or a Jacob Javits in the party of Richard Nixon), keeping it a dingbat's issue that only changes when there's overwhelming pressure by the grassroots, or B) delaying the change within the Democratic Party, so it eventually goes liberal but not in the 60s over civil rights and whatnot. Either way, it's only delaying social liberalization, imo, but it does ultimately make the US more conservative than OTL.
Oh, that's fair. I definitely think social liberalisation can be delayed, with the wrong set of factors, I just think that sooner or later it'll happen. But a scenario like you describe could definitely delay it.
 
Oh, that's fair. I definitely think social liberalisation can be delayed, with the wrong set of factors, I just think that sooner or later it'll happen. But a scenario like you describe could definitely delay it.
Yeah, it's quite hard to keep a nation in one political alignment forever, because sooner or later factors will either refute that ideology or get that ideology blamed by the populace for a crisis. However, delaying can make that work, and that's why I say we go for a Nixon win that repudiates Kennedy - then George Wallace can try to take the party over with cultural conservatism (not nearly as much n-word n-word n-word, he was quite the political operator and could probably avoid going that way) and economic populism. Eventually, though, some filthy leftie, whether a Rockefeller Republican or a progressive Democrat, will show up and knock off the Wallace-based order. However, this does shut things down for at least a decade and delays it accordingly.
 
I would go back to the early 1900s and elect William Jennings Bryan President.

There was a definite overlap between Populism and Progressivism in some respects; especially the Western and Middle Western Progressives like LaFollette and Norris. (Eastern Progressives were very elitist and "scientific".)

Also, the 1920s Klan tapped into a big vein of populist discontent. (The Klan leaders ran a survey, and discovered that most of the members were more interested in public ownership of railroads than preserving white supremacy - which was hardly threatened, anyway.)

Then the Depression could have driven a shift to the left led by social conservatives from the Middle West or the South (Huey Long?) instead of Ivy League Easterners (i.e. FDR's "Brain Trust"). It would help if Woodrow Wilson never got in.

Mass Jewish immigration is a problem, because Jews were a huge factor in the socialist left and also social liberals.
 

mork23

Kicked
Why not just do a new conservative thing instead. Take some of the ideas of social liberalization and apply it to a new conservative lifestyle. I mean if race and sexual orientation do not matter if you are married or not, or if you are religious, or if you own a gun or have children. You can have something like this just have it that they care more on staying with a similar culture or even have them look to create a new future.
 
Why not just do a new conservative thing instead. Take some of the ideas of social liberalization and apply it to a new conservative lifestyle. I mean if race and sexual orientation do not matter if you are married or not, or if you are religious, or if you own a gun or have children. You can have something like this just have it that they care more on staying with a similar culture or even have them look to create a new future.
Actually, I remember one time brainstorming with someone else a society like this. So basically, it's a society where nuclear families are a thing and ideally you should wait until you're married to have sex...but female equality is absolute and same-sex marriage is openly accepted.
 
Actually, I remember one time brainstorming with someone else a society like this. So basically, it's a society where nuclear families are a thing and ideally you should wait until you're married to have sex...but female equality is absolute and same-sex marriage is openly accepted.
The problem with that is the story is going to be all around the world and I want to flex some literary muscles by having someone with radically different views (Say TTL conservative american) being forced to go out of his comfort zone and adapt to new ideas and new cultures while still retaining his ideals and values. So having it be even accepted is a no no
 
Top