by Mark Bauerlein, August 27, 2017 The American Spectator
Actually, the aggression is always first and last, and there’s never anything passive about it.
Last month in the New Republic, a headline read, “Trump Wants a Culture War. Are Democrats Ready to Fight Back?” Social and religious conservatives over 50 had to smile. The story followed a pattern that began in the 1970s, when the Moral Majority, Bill Bennett, and Allan Bloom… were said to be fomenting cultural strife.
The pattern goes like this. A conservative politician or figurehead rises up to speak for family values, God and country, or Western civilization, as President Trump did in Poland last month. Liberal commentators respond by chiding them for their aggression. In their eyes, the Culture War always seems to be started by the Right. When Politico recalled Pat Buchanan’s famous speech at the 1992 Republican Convention, the essay began, “On Aug. 17, 1992, Pat Buchanan and the Republican Part declared a ‘culture war… for the soul of America.” It’s as if Gloria Steinem, Jesse Jackson (“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go”), Queer Theorists in the academy, and films such as Footloose, which cast conservative ministers as crazed moralists, hadn’t been waging culture war themselves.
Sometimes the one-sidedness is subtler. A 2012 CNN story described a revived culture war in America inspired by President Obama’s insistence that Catholic organizations provide contraception in employee health plans. This mandate was a shock to religious organizations, including the ones that supported his candidacy. But CNN presented Obama’s actions as simply a policy decision. The Right, on the other hand, went into full-on battle mode, reacting with “an angry, vengeful spirit” that was “channeled by candidate Rick Santorum” (referred to as “Saint Santorum” in the next paragraph).
President Trump is doing the same thing now, according to liberal journalists, when he bans transgender individuals in the military and appoints Kansas governor Sam Brownback as ambassador for international religious freedom. Somehow, President Obama’s order to admit trans- individuals into the army didn’t count as contentious, only President Trump’s suspension of it. READ it HERE