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How the Culture War May Take Down the Democrats Next Year
... and beyond.
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Republicans don’t exactly have clean hands when it comes to cancel culture, conspiracy theories and other crazy stuff. They’re not conscientious objectors in the culture war that is raging in America these days.
But make no mistake, it’s leftists in the Democratic Party who are on the front lines of the war, lobbing grenades into the enemy’s camp. And it may very well be a war that doesn’t end well for Democrats next year -- and beyond.
Let’s first get the GOP stuff out of the way. Donald Trump railed against the cancel culture while he was trying to cancel just about everybody who disagreed with him. He wanted unfriendly journalists cancelled. He wanted athletes who took a knee during the national anthem cancelled. He wanted his supporters to boycott companies that did something or other that displeased him.
"Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!" Trump once tweeted.
Fox News also yaks a lot about the cancel culture. But while it’s okay for a token liberal to speak ill of the former president – as long as he doesn’t go too far -- conservatives who take on Donald Trump are not long for that news channel. They’re not good for business.
Republicans also have an unhealthy belief in conspiracy theories. His most loyal fans still believe Donald Trump when he says he really won in 2020. Memo to those loyal fans: He didn’t. Joe Biden won. No fooling.
Despite all that the culture war is a progressive offensive – and, as is the way with radicals, targeting only the usual suspects doesn’t satisfy their unquenchable need to find enemies. So they’re even waging war, as Andrew Sullivan has recently documented, against their own team.
“Look how far the left’s war on liberalism has gone,” he writes.
“Due process? If you’re a male on campus, gone. Privacy? Stripped away — by anonymous rape accusations, exposure of private emails, violence against people’s private homes, screaming at folks in restaurants, sordid exposés of sexual encounters, eagerly published by woke mags. Non-violence? Exceptions are available if you want to ‘punch a fascist.’ Free speech? Only if you don’t mind being fired and ostracized as a righteous consequence. Free association? You’ve got to be kidding. Religious freedom? Illegitimate bigotry. Equality? Only group equity counts now, and individuals of the wrong identity can and must be discriminated against. Color-blindness? Another word for racism. Mercy? Not for oppressors. Intent? Irrelevant. Objectivity? A racist lie. Science? A manifestation of white supremacy. Biological sex? Replaced by socially constructed gender so that women have penises and men have periods. The rule of law? Not for migrants or looters. Borders? Racist. Viewpoint diversity? A form of violence against the oppressed.”
Sullivan has eloquently captured the oppressive arrogance of the woke left, an arrogance that, I suspect, isn’t sitting well with the kind of voters Democrats will need to win next year and in 2024: swing voters, moderate voters, even Republican voters who went for Joe Biden last year because they couldn’t stomach four more years of Donald Trump. “Ordinary” Americans don’t like to be portrayed as racists living in a supposedly white supremacist America – especially not when the charges are coming from a bunch of young, annoying leftists who seem to think they’re better than everyone else.
Even a lefty like Bernie Sanders knows his party has a snobby, elitist problem. As he told Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Democrats need to speak to what concerns white working class Americans, a group that “sometimes part of the Democratic elite does not fully appreciate.”
It’s not only blue-collar white voters who the Democratic elite better start appreciating. In the last election they lost traction with black and Latino voters who thought Donald Trump understood them better than those “sophisticated” white progressives, the elites who, from their safe neighborhoods, tell the world that cops are the real problem, not criminals. People who live in high crime areas don’t need white progressives yelling about defunding the police, when it’s black people who suffer the most from violent crime.
Millions of “ordinary” Americans who aren’t especially political, who aren’t hard-wired to one ideology or another, have noticed that the old Democratic Party is gone and the new one keeps moving further to the left. They didn’t bargain for that when they voted for Joe Biden who told them he was a centrist.
The progressive left is nothing if not righteous and sanctimonious. They live in their own comfortable bubble and look down their elitist noses at everyone who isn’t as woke as they are, like parents who go to school board meetings to speak out against what the left is teaching their kids about race and about the kind of country they’re growing up in.
But their sanctimony won’t be enough to stop a backlash that may be coming, whether Democrats realize it or not. And it may arrive with the force of a category 5 hurricane right around Election Day 2022.
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