Krauthammer: Changes In Social Attitudes, Rise Of Libertarians The Story Of 2013 (Other Than Obamacare)


JOHN ROBERTS: Charles, your pick for 2013, other than Obamacare.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, it has to do, I think, with the remarkable changes in social attitudes -- generally speaking, libertarians. The swiftness with which attitudes have changed on gay marriage is simply astonishing. When you think 20 years ago Democrats were the ones who introduced Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and that is a progressive idea. A Democratic president signed the Defensive of Marriage Act which was essentially abolished this year, to the cheers of Democrats. And the fact that only five years ago, the president said that he opposed gay marriage, because of religious reasons, which of course now he's rejected and he's changed on. That, I think, is an astonishing development. But it isn't only with gay issues, it is also the legalization of marijuana.

ROBERTS: Legal sales begin in Colorado tomorrow morning.

KRAUTHAMMER: Exactly, and a lot of people are hopping on planes and want to get there. Especially a lot of the hippies '60s who dreamed of a day when you could walk into the store. I mean, I'm not associated myself in any way with this.

JONAH GOLDBERG: You just know people.

ROBERTS: What time is your flight for Denver?

KRAUTHAMMER: You remember what they say, if you remember the '60s, you weren't there. Well I was there and don't quite remember it. You walk into a store now in Colorado and you can smoke. But there is one exception here, which I think is the story of the year, culturally, which is the opposite has happened on abortion. And in part because of the Gosnell trial.

The fact that people are becoming aware of how late-term abortions are so near to infanticide. And also how the new technology and the ultrasounds are giving people awareness of how much an infant has developed in the womb. So, and with everything else heading left on this issue, the movement has stopped and I think reversed, especially among young people. It is an extremely interesting and usual set of developments.

ROBERTS: So does this become an election issue for the midterms?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, I'm not sure it does. I just think it's an issue sort of in the change of our attitudes. It does mean that you would've have predicted 20 years ago that people who remain hard-line on abortion, and the Supreme Court decision would be written out of our political arguments but that's not the case. It's still a country split almost 50/50.

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