Four years before he was hoisted to Speaker of the House, a smooth-faced Representative Paul Ryan declared, “If you ask me what the biggest problem in America is, I’m not going to tell you debt, deficits, statistics, economics—I’ll tell you it’s moral relativism.” It was a bold claim given the depth of the economic recession, which began years earlier. But Ryan was echoing the sentiments of his conservative ancestors who’d made similar claims.

Many conservatives—and not just Paul Ryan—still drag out the old bogeyman when they want to scare the masses and rally the troops. But the prevailing thought of the second decade of the 21st century is not like the mid-to late-20th century.

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Written by Jonathan