Conservatives must involve themselves in popular culture, particularly with respect to young people… because otherwise, we’re trying to win a debate with the Left on points, before an audience that is rapidly forgetting how to keep score. It’s tough to persuade a nation when you no longer speak its cultural language. The challenge is not merely to criticize, but to offer something better.

The success of the abstinence program reported in The Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine is an encouraging example. I wonder how many of the kids in that program responded to it because they appreciated being given something to aspire to, instead of one more weary load of training to manage the damage from surrendering to their worst instincts. Our young people have shown a remarkable tenacity in the face of a sedative culture. You can find plenty of evidence – from the graduating classes of universities to the battlefield valor on display in Afghanistan and Iraq – that the transformation of American society is far from complete, or irreversible.