Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Culture War is and always was bogus. It was invented during the Nixon years as a ploy to manipulate the bigots and reactionary zealots into supporting the political agenda of the American Right; just another facet of the "southern strategy" which whipped up the racists into supporting Nixon.
A traditional truth that I believe still stands, is that most voters are moderate centrists, not goose stepping right wing fanatics, nor little red book thumping communists. The strategy implemented by the American Right is simple, they made a Faustian deal with the devil, a pact the horned one is now coming to collect on. Modern American conservatism bears no resemblance whatsoever (except in name) with historic actual conservatism. One would have an impossible task before them if asked to connect someone like Barry Goldwater to Dick Cheney or Ralph Reed.
Those responsible for leading the parade into a dead end alley are primarily Newt Gingrich and his minions. Gingrich, the adulterous moralist, history revisionist, and rhetorician who led the extravagant self-praising Republican Revolution of 1994, is largely responsible for the GOP's debased condition, along with evangelical holy warriors like Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed and James Dobson. Gingrich and Dominionist minions fired up so-called values or social issue conservatives by ranting about guns, God and gays. Which was a smokescreen to keep the bilking of the treasury, the subversion of the constitution, unequaled hypocrisy, and gross incompetence from being brought to the forefront of American Politics.
Just Buy All The Media Outlets...
Just as important to America's descent into a morass of foul defalcation and empty pseudo-ideology as Newt and the holy flimflam men is the well-funded media apparatus that ceaselessly broadcasts idiotic right-wing propaganda. Figures like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and, of course, Ann Coulter, are part of that Faustian deal. Fox Noise network and talk radio whipped their audience into a vaunted resentful fury, raging against anyone not in lockstep with their fraudulent agenda and labeling them "godless secularists" and "liberal elites" who they blamed for the moral collapse of America. This vicious invented "culture war" played on the fear and confusion of many traditional Americans confronting massive societal and cultural changes. Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" documents this process very well.
Most of the deep societal changes that are blamed on liberalism by these dreadful malefactors such as the decline of community, the loss of religious faith, economic insecurity, selfishness - greed, social fragmentation, and insularity are not at all a result of liberal policy.
They are products of the modern world itself, and in particular, they are products of the modern world's conquering economic system, unrestrained capitalism. Daniel Bell wrote about this more than 30 years ago in "The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism."
These changes in the fabric of society have been greatly aggravated by a monopolistic, corporate-crony version of capitalism. The merging of state and corporate powers, championed by the GOP, and other facets of their agenda are simple reactionary rigmarole. Other aspects of the right's fictitious culture war are simply unconstitutional. Like attacking science and the despicable, outrageous attempt to tear down the wall between church and state.
I've had enough BS thank you!
There are some so called "culture-war" issues, like the fight over abortion, that are moral cruxes and indeed genuinely difficult to resolve. But these have simply been made far more caustic and destructive through the hysterical use of them as a bludgeon for personal gain.So "how is this the End Of Ignorance?" you ask.
Well I think it just may be the end of the influence of ignorance on US elections.
"Good grief man, haven't you been paying attention? These same tactics are still being used extensively."
Yes they are! But with diminishing returns! The ideology tauted by the right has been exposed as empty and its leadership as grossly negligent, incompetent and corrupt.
Vagabond floating hatred is the only thing it still has to offer. This isn't a winning political strategy anymore but it's all that's left. They are stuck with it. They are trapped. They need the bigots and ignorant reactionary base they created, yet the fanaticism that made them potent storm troopers in the past will prevent the GOP from attracting anyone but these fanatics and stormtroopers. Despite the continuing campaign to paint the line in the middle of the road further and further to the right, most Americans are not fanatics or zealots; but reasonable moderates. One only has to glance at the record of malfeasance and incompetence achieved while the right had complete control. Observe the malaise and denigration of the nation while Bush occupied the White House, this can't be spun or changed through media manipulation. We all saw this, and reasonable people have had quite enough. The failures of the Bush administration, to use their own term - lack plausible deniability.
To clarify this to real conservatives, I myself am a fiscal conservative, I lean to the left on social issues. I see this as the true center. Goldwater, Ford, Eisenhower were conservatives. Bush and his handlers are not. Nixon was not. Reagan was not. They give plenty of lip service but their actions do not in any sense reflect conservatism. My annoyance with the GOP is not a condemnation of conservativism, but rather whatever that nonsense is that passes for it in recent times.
The Tide Washes In...
It is an act of faith, but I believe that even confused traditionalists can see through these sad tactics and are tired of their butts being reamed by the likes of these counterfeit conservatives. Karl Rove's dream of long-term GOP domination will not come to pass.
Enough people see the man behind the curtain pulling the levers.
We're not in Kansas anymore Toto.