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The strange death of social conservatism

Justin Webb | 21:44 UK time, Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Just as the British Liberal party disappeared in a puff of smoke at the very moment of its apparent triumph, so the social conservatives, religious and less religious, who were set to dominate American politics in this century, have collapsed into disarray - why?

Nobody knows. Over-ambition and overweening arrogance some might suggest. Lack of real political interest perhaps.

The Liberal Party example was the subject of a wonderful book which is still in print today, and doubtless the "strange death" of the social conservatives will one day be the subject of an analysis of its own.

But the idea that James Dobson's attack on Obama really carries political weight is very 2004.

America has moved on and most Americans are actually rather happy-go-lucky when it comes to faith and interpretations of the Bible as this Pew survey suggests.

Mr Dobson's efforts to get himself inserted into the broader political debate (it is only weeks since he was attacking John McCain) seem more than a touch desperate.


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