A generational shift in cultural attitudes

The millennial shift will influence the way conservatives argue. The tone of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum on social issues during the recent primary season — itself a throwback to the early days of the religious right — will not be an option. Republican rhetoric will need to be oriented toward shared moral aspiration instead of harsh judgment.

This trend will influence the coalitions that Republicans build. It will make less and less sense to aggressively alienate groups of voters holding socially conservative values — Latinos in particular — based on other issues. Lost ground among younger, unmarried voters will need to be gained somewhere.

And the generational shift will inevitably influence the fights conservatives choose to make. Even a significant portion of millennials who regard homosexuality as immoral support gay marriage out of a commitment to pluralism. And arguments in favor of pluralism have a tremendous advantage in America.