Why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren't fighting the culture wars

That’s the culture war that was completely absent from Monday night’s debate. There are several overlapping reasons for its demise:

As with vast, expensive military campaigns for democratization, the culture war was discredited by its association with the ineptitude of George W. Bush’s presidency.

The increasing secularization of the electorate, especially among millennials, has meant that fewer and fewer voters are animated by the issues that drove an older generation to the polls.

The rout in the fight against same-sex marriage has been so decisive that even many who remain nominally committed to the religious right’s agenda feel thoroughly demoralized and dejected.

Donald Trump’s stunning electoral success has demonstrated to all not only that a thrice-married philanderer who displays no religious piety whatsoever can win the GOP nomination, but also that he can then receive the support of roughly 94 percent of white evangelical Republicans in the general election.