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I talked with a 20-something graduate student in the Midwest (she’s afraid to say in print which school) who told me her female classmates were for Mr. Obama because they believed that “if a Republican gets in, he’ll take away the rights of women.”

None mentioned the economy, the student said. One classmate did not know the U.S. ambassador to Libya had been slain. All they knew was that Mr. Romney was out “to control their bodies,” the young woman said. “The Obama campaign and the media have been able to make people believe total lies.”

Indeed, single women and the “youth vote” again went for Mr. Obama. It’s not surprising that, after years of school indoctrination under left-wing teachers unions and a steady diet of music, TV and films that attack faith and promote sexual license, a majority of young voters buy into government-subsidized sexual anarchy. They’ve come to regard church-going Christians as crazed scolds who might interfere with their limitless entitlements. Sandra Fluke is no fluke. The phony “war on women” found eager ears.

This was not inevitable. Nor were the homosexual “marriage” victories in four states. They happened because the party of traditional values hides under a green eyeshade. Being the Silent Majority worked once upon a time, but now GOP candidates must learn how to make the full conservative case. They cannot cede powerful cultural issues to the left. They need to make a compelling defense of traditional morality, without which free enterprise will die. It’s not that hard. Start by noting the consequences of moral decline. The same goes for the rule of law, without which diplomats die, constitutional liberties are lost, cities are ruined and guns get shipped to Mexico with murderous results.

The Romney campaign showed, decisively, that it’s a mistake to politely ignore lies and abuses of power. Maybe I don’t watch enough TV, but I didn’t see any political ads about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, Benghazi, Obamacare’s attack on religious freedom, Mr. Obama’s chilling “After my election, I have more flexibility” remark to the Russian president, or the outrageous order to Boeing Co. not to build a plant in South Carolina. “You can’t build that” would have been a nice lead-in to an ad about government tyranny under Mr. Obama.

The GOP put all its marbles on the economy. It surrendered lots of marbles to people who long ago lost theirs.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.