What Dobson Doesn't Understand

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He's throwing a tantrum, like so many on the far right:

“We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action,” he said. “We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.”

I'd say he's only partly right. I don't see the younger generation believing that abortion is a no-brainer; most see it as a tragedy that should nonetheless remain a choice in the first trimester. Abortion rates have indeed gone down since the 1980s. So has crime. Divorce rates have leveled off and are in a small decline. In the White House, we have a model black family. Gays, if only Dobson could see it, have matured, entered the mainstream, embraced institutions like the military and civil marriage; drug use is down.

I could go on. Of course, among those parts of America most beleaguered by some of the problems Dobson sites are red states, where his brand of Christianism still dominates.

The boomers keep fighting the war between the 1960s and the 1980s. What they don't seem to have absorbed is that the younger generations have taken many of the gains of the 1960s - more equality and freedom for women, racial minorities and gays - and integrated them into a mode of living that is neither counter-cultural as such nor old-school. It's a more humane, more inclusive and more small-c conservative culture. For some of it, we can thank those who worried about the dangers of social and sexual excess. And for the rest of it, we can thank those sane liberals who didn't throw the liberty out with the license.

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