The gay-marriage debate prompts Michael Gerson at the Washington Post to remind Republicans that the nation "is in the midst of a large, consequential shift" in attitudes thanks to the rising generation of 20-something millennials. Generally speaking, they're more socially liberal, not big fans of organized religion, and don't want government butting into their private lives. Sure, many of them will become more conservative as they age, but "the baseline of social liberalism is starting higher than in previous generations." And the GOP better take heed, he warns.
The tone used by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum on social issues just won't fly in the future, he writes. "Republican rhetoric will need to be oriented toward shared moral aspiration instead of harsh judgment." It doesn't mean social conservatives have to sacrifice principle to survive politically, but they may need to move toward "pluralism" to accommodate those with "differing moral beliefs." Click to read his full column.