Common Sense Won’t Take the Culture Back
There is a tendency of politicians to explain the problems we face today and then to offer practical solutions.
- The economy is bad, here’s how we fix it.
- The cities are filled with dangerous lunatics, here’s how we make our streets safe again.
- The border is overrun with illegal immigration, here’s how we crack down and secure it.
Republicans are more naturally susceptible to this way of thinking because, writes John D. Davidson in The Federalist, unlike Democrats, he offers, Republicans tend to be “less rabidly ideological and less committed to fundamentally altering America and bringing about political and social revolution.”
The Only Issue Is the Culture War
But this way of thinking — that our most pressing problems just need common-sense policy fixes that normal people support! — is woefully inadequate for our current moment.
The culture war is the only issue because the cultural war is everything now. When one side stakes its claim to political power on offering abortion up until birth and transgender operations for 8-year-olds, and holds out these policies as proof of its moral authority, we’re way past arguing over how to get the economy back on track. There’s no going back to that kind of politics.
During his speech at Heritage recently, Tucker Carlson tread into those waters. Toward the end of his talk, he compared “the values of the political left to the values of the Aztecs, who sacrificed children to their bloodthirsty gods.”
Our politics, he argued, have shifted profoundly in a relatively short period of time. Instead of arguing over the best means to bring about an agreed-upon common good, we no longer agree about what the common good is.
Forget about whether Republicans or Democrats are right about the ideal marginal tax rate. We can’t even agree on whether men and women exist as meaningful categories. And if we don’t get that question right, you can forget about economic prosperity, much less anything like a republic or a constitutional system of government.
Raise the Alarms
Keep this in mind, warns Mr. Davidson, as we approach the 2024 election cycle.
The cast of buffoons and egomaniacs on the Republican side will feature mostly candidates who don’t understand or don’t want to admit what’s happening. They will say things like, “No one is saying not to fight the culture war. But it’s simply not the most critical issue heading into 2024.”
And when they say that, they’ll be doing you a favor. You can then safely ignore whatever else they say because you’ll know at that point they’re either a fool or a coward, and all they have to offer is defeat.
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