America’s culture wars have become a culture rout
Here’s another sign that America’s economy is on the mend: US culture wars are in the news again. When Americans are not depressed about unemployment and ‘declinism’, they revert to rowing about liberty. It’s what they do best. But the culture wars are becoming a culture rout.
Yesterday was another good day for America’s progressives: the Supreme Court struck down a law that denies same-sex couples federal benefits and, on Capitol Hill, Wendy Davis successfully filibustered a Texas anti-Abortion Bill. By speaking non-stop for 11 hours, and blocking the bill, Davis has become the left-liberal media’s latest darling. The Independent today called her a ‘loquacious heroine’. She wore trainers for her speech — how brave! She had an unwanted child herself as a teen — how authentic! (I wonder how Wendy’s daughter feels, deep down, about how her conception helped turn her mother into a warrior for the right to abort.) Outside the Senate, crowds of pro-choicers cheered and hollered. Texan women can still have lots of abortions: hooray! Party-time!
On such issues, America’s liberals still like to portray themselves as plucky warriors against the dark forces of social conservatism. But, as in Britain, the debate is massively skewed in their favour. Pro-choicers and gay rights activists have all the momentum, a very supportive president in Barack Obama, a majority in public opinion (on gay marriage, at least
), and most of the media behind them. America’s social conservatives have been reduced to whining hysterically on Fox News and Talk Radio. The Religious Right is not what it was: gone are the days when ‘values voters’ stood in the way of the so-called liberal dream. The Republican Party looks flat-footed and inadequate on these issues. Rick Santorum, arguably America’s most prominent Christian conservative, is beating a retreat into faith-based film-making
. There is, it should be said, an intelligent debate going on between some of America’s conservatives — people like Ross Douthat
and Daniel McCarthy
— about where the Right should go from here. Perhaps defeat now in the culture wars will prove pivotal to some great conservative revival in the future. For now, though, the libs are on top.
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