Monday, December 29, 2008

The New Culture War, Belatedly

In California, in the days following the November 4th election, we saw the beginning of the latest stage of the left's cultural war on American traditionalism. The passage of California's Proposition 8 sent left-wing activists to the streets in force, and the initial demonstrations were organized by the ANSWER coalition, the left's leading neo-Stalinist antiwar outfit. Black passersby were atttacked with racial epithets, and show trials sent into hiding those who had made small contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign. As I noted at the time, we saw "the frontlines of the new culture war take to the streets this past week." The continuing controversy in subsequent weeks, seemingly peaking of late with the left's outrage at Barack Obama's selection of Rick Warren for the inaugural invocation, only confirms the point.

There's of course been tremendous commentary on this across the blogosphere, so I'm not quite sure why Rick Lowry - who's the editor at National Review - is just now announcing "
The New Culture War" with reference to the Warren backlash:

Barack Obama's election was supposed to signal the end, or at least the diminishment, of the cultural issues that the GOP had feasted on electorally for 30 years. The "wedge issues" of old had been a Republican contrivance anyway, and once freed of them, American politics would be more praiseworthy (and, not coincidentally, more liberal).

This storyline lasted all of a few weeks, as Obama's inaugural ceremony has become embroiled in a nasty cultural spat. In a nice (and shrewd) gesture, Obama invited the evangelical Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation Jan. 20. The ensuing firestorm sheds light on two questions: Is there a real culture war in this country, deeper and more abiding than any one political party's electoral strategy? And who is the aggressor in it? The answers, respectively, are "yes" and "the cultural left."
I guess it's good that Lowry's announcing a new culture war? Maybe those who really engage the leftist blogosphere have a better handle of the scale of the left's ideological program. But there's no mistaking the stakes involved in the latest partisan battles. The reaction to the passage of Proposition 8, and now the Warren flap, reveals most of all the undemocratic nature of the left's hardline base constituency. These folks are even turning off folks of more classic civil rights sensibilities. Check out this for example, from the comments at Frank Rich's Saturday New York Times column:

I've been an advocate of gay marriage for 20 years but the behavior and uproar of the gay community has turned me against them and their causes the way no right-winger or religious nutjob could ever do.

How dare they make this inauguration all about them! Warren has said equally horrible things about the pro-choice community but you don't see us demanding he be scalped. That's because we're focused on the policy.

Gays have only themselves to blame for the passage of Prop 8. They did ZERO outreach to the black and latino communities. They were so arrogant that they did not mount a proper opposition to Prop 8. When it passed they started looking for people to blame - stalking donors to Prop 8 and castigating blacks.

The more the gay community rants and attacks their allies, the more they will harm their cause. Calling Obama a bigot, homophobe and traitor (as many have) doesn't make me want to storm the barricades against Prop 8. It might also make Obama drag his feet in getting around to those issues.
Someone like this is perhaps a 1960s-era Democrat, someone who sees a genuine goodness in progress on civil rights and would like to extend those protections to gays, however ill-considered on the question of gay marriage (which in not, in fact, a civil right). The writer naturally recoils at the totalitarianism coming from the activists willing to demonize anyone who stands in the way of this agenda. I'm sure the brutality of the left's ideological program is shocking to those who don't battle it on a daily basis.

Whatever the case, Rich Lowry and his brethen at the traditional conservative media outlets should be jumping on these issues a lot faster. The radical oppositionalism of the left was seen literally within hours of Obama's victory last month. The left basically claimed vindication for their hardline agenda, and the backlash against Obama we've seen in the Warren case is a preview of the intraparty battles we can expect for the next four years. Obama has resisted endorsing the hard-liners' position, but folks on the right shouldn't become complacent or assured of moderation as the Obama administration ramps up. On abortion we'll be seeing the most substantial rollback on the pro-life agenda since Roe v. Wade. On gay rights it's only a matter of time before Obama introduces legislation to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, and then the Obama Justice Department will promote litigation at the state level to overturn bans on same-sex marriage across the federal system.


People should not forget Obama is a poststructural law professor by training, and he earned his political bona fides by doing community organizating in Chicago, a leftist city like no other in the United States. The new stage of cultural war is upon us, no doubt. Barack Obama's tactics toward the left's ultimate goals will be surreptitious, but no less implacable.

2 comments:

Grace Explosion said...

I don't believe the US can withstand the force of the culture war and it's strife and division at a time of economic ruin. The nation was not divided in 1929. Like I say, they protest us... they hate us... but what will they do without us?? Ans, imo: be nuked. We won't be there to shield them from God's wrath as God waited for Lot to flee Sodom before bringing Judgment on it in fire. They are really battling against themselves and will destroy themselves in their alienation because they want to force upon us an "alien-nation"... we won't accept from the right. This nation will dissolve. We'll split. Christians will be warned by God, imo, by various means to migrate to the Christian seceding states... because their will be no "shield of protection" for them. (That's going to become a more mainstream "thought" as the economy crashes and the left goes hard left.) We'll just see it more clearly as time unfolds it more clearly, imo. The hard left are really, Donald, destroying themselves in their "culture war"... in the larger view of things.

Psalm 33:16-20 (New International Version)

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.

17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.

18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.


These people will have no shield and will fall to death in armed confrontation with enemies when the Christian States secede. This isn't the War of Northern Aggression. The Christians have biblical reasons to secede. God is going to honor the secession just as He honored the secession of the 13 States from England. The UN-USA is doomed apart from us. They brought it on themselves by their culture war against Christians in this nation. God will not shield nor protect them in their day of battle. We do, however, see God protecting Israel. The rockets of the enemies are unsuccessful... though they've launched so many against Israel. God is her shield. God is protecting Israel.

Grace.

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks Grace. I don't think we should have a succession, however. I don't want to destroy the country. We need a conservative revival that marginalizes the hard left.