This said, I agree with this sentiment:
More than most Westerners, Americans believe — deeply, madly, truly — in the sanctity of marriage. But we also have some of the most liberal divorce laws in the developed world, and one of the highest divorce rates. We sentimentalize the family, but boast one of the highest rates of unwed births. We’re more pro-life than Europeans, but we tolerate a much more permissive abortion regime than countries like Germany or France. We wring our hands over stem cell research, but our fertility clinics are among the least regulated in the world.
In other words, we’re conservative right up until the moment that it costs us.
Of course, being more conservative than Europeans doesn't mean conservative in the Douthatian sense, but one thing I think needs to be stated here is that, at this point, there is more or less an across-the-aisle consensus on the social side of the political equation, on the big issues at least. Liberals might well be more inclined to accept divorces in difficult marriages than conservatives, but both sides fundamentally believe in the traditional nuclear family as the prevailing societal unit. I'm not sure if it was ever any different--perhaps among the long-dead anarchist left--but one of the big liberal issues at this point is expanding marital privileges for gays and lesbians. And I've never read a liberal pundit enthuse over the high divorce rate. All in all, the liberal and conservative visions of society really aren't too different, when you get down to it. It's the getting there that's difficult to envision.