Our entire country has swung to the right over the past forty years. Richard Nixon, for all of his flaws, was in many ways to the left of Barack Obama. That’s not Obama’s fault, it’s ours. WE as a society became complacent. WE let ambitious programs like (but not exclusively) Great Society collapse. WE pulled into our TV sets and computers and phones.
It’s true, as Wheaton says, that we have maintained a bit of a left lean on many sociocultural issues, but Bill Clinton was right in at least one respect: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Unfortunately, what we’ve done for the economy has not, as Ramsby points out here, helped the poor. Equal rights are wonderful, but they won’t help you eat.
We live in a society where a food pantry (at which I work on weekends) in a small city serves 300 families each Saturday morning. And doesn’t serve them enough, and is run entirely by volunteer labor and contributions. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. This is inefficient. This is insufficient. But this is all we have.
A society needs to take care of its poor, or it is sowing the seeds of its own destruction.