It is not just Markos of Daily Kos infamy claiming the Left has won the culture war. The Week’s Matt Lewis is saying the same. Yeah, they are both kinda trolling. So ‘scuse me while I take the bait. Let’s start with the biggie: same-sex marriage.
Yes, polls show gay marriage is breaking out all over, but when put to a vote same-sex marriage has lost (even in California) much more often than not. Furthermore, gay marriage is not being legalized through popular opinion or demand, it is being legalized through activist judges. There is no question that attitudes have changed dramatically towards homosexuals getting gay-married. But the difference between what opinion polls and actual votes have produced should give The Culture Conquerors some pause.
Granted, many of the referendums passed in favor of traditional marriage some years back probably wouldn’t today. But it is still absurd to call the entire culture war over when you have to rely on autocratic judges to get your way because there is no Civil Rights-style uprising in favor of gay marriage. There is a lot of whining and bullying and cry-babying and media bias pushing gay marriage. But no one is taking it to the streets, or even the ballot box.
Bottom line: Gay marriage has had to be forced on an American people that is either indifferent or opposed. A win’s a win, I guess, but it’s an ugly and divisive win that did not come with popular acceptance.
The silliest part of The Culture War Is Over talk is the lack of historical context. During the hedonistic Roaring 20’s and the Dirty Filthy Hippie 60’s, the Left was probably pretty sure they had won the culture wars. Then post-war America and the 80’s happened.
And even today…
1. While judges are legalizing gay marriage, Christianity is making a major comeback in the free market of entertainment.
3. While television shows become more sex-driven, elsewhere on television the masculine male is making a comeback on wildly popular reality shows that celebrate the working class and their traditional values.
4. While Colbert wins David Letterman’s spot, Jimmy Fallon figured out he had to remain apolitical if he wanted to remain number one.
5. While the rise of the weak, neurotic, man-child metrosexual-nerd dominates one forgettable movie after another, a new Golden Age in television has brought us an assembly line of flawed but masculine anti-heroes — “real men” protagonists like Jack Bauer, Don Draper, Walter White, Raylan Givens, Tony Soprano, the cast of The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, and even House of Cards.
6. While Miley twerks and MTV baby-mamas, unions and the union mentality are dying.
7. While the left-wing mainstream media figures out how to survive, conservative media is on the upswing.
8. While the gaystapo makes war against those who don’t wish to celebrate the gay-married, the demand for charter schools and school choice grows.
9. While we’re paying for Sandra Fluke’s right to birth control, we’re prevailing on our Second Amendment civil rights in ways unimagined just ten years ago.
10. While our federal government is constructing Orwellian First Amendment Zones, the Supreme Court is slowly suffocating the campaign finance laws that gave our government, union and media overseers a near-monopoly on political speech.
11. Occupy is dead. The Tea Party lives.
Moreover, we live in a culture that will never again (or at least in the foreseeable future) spit on the American Serviceman or get weak-kneed on crime. Those are seismic wins for the political Right. Young people might find this hard to believe, but forty years ago the Left was all about coddling violent criminals and denigrating our fighting men as “baby killers.”
Markos is right about one thing, and he’s pretty excited about it:
For a crowd that flinches at any notion of sex, it’s gotta be impossible to escape sexual imagery, from advertising to media to Miley Cyrus’ latest whatever-the-hell she is doing.
Yes, Markos, you’ve done it: our culture is now so grotesquely coarse that young women publicly degrading and exploiting themselves is acceptable and profitable.
Take a bow.
But while you’re patting yourself on the back with one hand and doing I don’t want to know what with the other, consider reading a book. We saw the same during the Roaring 20’s. It didn’t last.
You see, it’s not just the American culture but the human condition itself that is cyclical. Anyone who understands American and world history — hell, anyone who is my age understands this.
I’m old enough to remember San Francisco liberals spitting on soldiers and our flag. Today Nancy Pelosi knows that she has to speak openly about patriotism and her support for our troops. She even talks about Jesus.
History proves that the culture ebbs and it flows. Times change and then they change back. American Christianity wanes (as it is now) and then it surges. In the long run on that particular point, my money is on a fella named Francis, not Barack.
The Right has won some culture battles. The Left has won some culture battles. The war, however, rages on. And as things stand right now, let me just say that if “losing” means that in ten years millions are gay-married while the abomination of abortion is halfway through its last gap, feel free to throw me in the briar patch.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC