I recall studying the women's suffrage movement back in high school. Throughout it all, one argument was used over and over: Do it for the children. Women voting, they argued, would end child labor practices and make sure the government had the interests of the children in mind.
Compare that to the arguments surrounding today's most politically charged subjects: A women's right to an abortion, they tell us, supersedes the right of the child to live. The right of homosexual couples to wed and raise children is far more important than any effect that could have on the children themselves.
We are told not to worry about the massive deficits our government runs up, because clearly the illusion of "jumpstarting" the economy is more important than the insufferable debts being passed on to the next generation.
We used to understand that, as adults, we had a responsibility to look after the interests of children at the expense of our own interests. The current discourse reflects the loss of that understanding.