Thursday, April 16, 2015

Republicans: bracing for the cultural wars.

In our earlier series on liberals winning the culture wars, we learned from Shelby Steele that
Liberals successfully smother conservatism by identifying it as another word for American evil. Tainting conservatism — its principles, policies, and personalities — with past American shames remains for liberals an “endless font of power.”
And we heard from William Voegeli that
The claim of equality on the heartstrings of a democratic people is naturally stronger and resonates more than the claim of liberty. The Democratic pitch — the promise of free stuff and fairness — is near impossible to beat head on.
The sudden effort to overturn religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas, led by gay activists who see bigotry in conservative Christian opposition to participating in gay weddings, turned into a nationwide firestorm when the (Democratic) media and leading corporations (who play ball with Democrats) joined gays in denouncing the laws. The attack forced Republican governors in both states to back off within days.

Observing the spectacle, Paul Gigot, editorial pages editor of the conservative Wall Street Journal, predicted on the “Journal Editorial Report” (4.4.15, 0:15 mark):
We’re going to have one of these fights every two weeks between now and 2016 because Democrats feel they are on the offensive; they can stigmatize Republicans who are acting very defensively.
Dick Morris, the former Bill Clinton adviser who helped pull the president to the center 20 years ago, bluntly reminds us that
Democrats have to win in order to survive. Politics, for them, is no spectator sport. It's their living, their entitlement checks, their government handouts. They cannot afford, literally, to lose.
And Jonathan Last, in the conservative Weekly Standard, similarly writes that “radicalism is really about just one thing: power.”  While Last feels that “once people begin to challenge the dogmas, they collapse in a cascade” because loss of power snowballs into more--and more open--criticism, “the bad news” is that progressives will “deal out a great amount of harm before they are discredited.”

For Republicans, its been, all-in-all, a tough decade. As this blog has often warned, people fight harder to hold what they have than they do to get something new.

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