Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Today In Willful Blindness

Mike the Mad Biologist (bless him) thought I might find some gold tilling the soil of this article from The Atlantic which counsels Liberals to stop plotting postbellum revenge on the shattered and retreating forces of ignorance and bigotry and instead take the high ground and offer our wingnut brethren generous peace terms now that we have Won The Culture Wars!


Which I'm sure would be excellent advice over in whatever alternate universe exists where the authors many ridiculously Brooksian presumptions are actually true.

But over here in this universe the author sounds like a bit of an idiot, and I might have taken another lap around that track had I not found this excellent vivisection of the article lurking in comment section of the author's blog.

So, take it away Alex Blaze:

Alex Blaze
7:29 AM

That column was asinine.

First, there is no conservative general and liberal general who can agree to an armistice. Conservatives aren’t following orders when they form their beliefs, so there is no one to make any sort of deal with. The leaders you refer to - pastors, pols, etc. - are really just skillful followers who know people will listen to them if they say what people want to hear. So what you're asking for is unilateral surrender from one side.

Second, I don't see anyone on the left trying to get "revenge." Yes, some people make fun of Christians, and often get shouted at by progressive Christians. But how many liberals are trying to ban straight marriage? How many are trying to force churches to teach Darwinian evolution? How many are trying to force Catholic women to get abortions? How many are trying to deport people from Red States?

I don’t think you understand the nature of the culture war: the right tells itself that the left is out to get them so they have to get the left first. This is why Fox News refers to it as a “culture war” instead of what it really is: conservatives trying to defend practices that hurt other people that some on the left are trying to eliminate for that reason.

Third - and most importantly - the left has NOT won the culture war. I notice you didn't mention women's reproductive rights at all in your column. Hmmmmm... could that be because conservatives are clearly winning that issue? Fewer women have access to abortion than did a couple of decades ago. States have been taking away access to abortion in order to effectively take away the right to abortion. The result has been fewer women having abortions.

And the big news from last week was that the Supreme Court might rule against *contraception*. The right is winning so hard on the abortion front that they are literally going after contraception, and we're supposed to stop that fight, sacrifice women's freedom, because we think conservatives are ready to sign up for some kind of grand compromise?

I would consider immigration a cultural issue, at least partly. Liberals are definitely not winning there.

Then there are the cultural issues around violence that conservatives have also clearly won. Gun violence continues unabated, and many states have moved to make guns *more* accessible. State laws that allows white people to get away with killing minorities are only being challenged in liberal media. Prisons are unimaginably cruel and states are still finding more ways to make them worse. The death penalty isn't even debated publicly.

On church/state separation, there's more government funding of religious education than ever through voucher programs and charter schools. Many states still teach abstinence-only programs which are founded on teaching "traditional" gender rolls. Is it surprising that the percent of Americans who believe in creationism has actually been rising in recent years.

So basically the left has won... gay rights? Um, OK, most states don't allow same-sex marriage, the federal government hasn't banned employment discrimination against LGBT people, the military still bans transgender people, LGBT youth are still being kicked out of their homes and there's inadequate funding for homeless LGBT people, access to the legal and medical means of transitioning remains piecemeal at best, transgender people are forced into poverty at an alarming rate through rampant employment discrimination and violence....

To claim that all the work here is already done is simply laughable. To extend the WWII metaphor, this would be like the Allies declaring victory after Germany took Paris.

Oh, I forgot that pot has been legalized in 2 out of 50 states, but banks won't lend to pot shops in those states because they think the feds will bring down the hammer any day now. VICTORY! Jesus h christ.

1 comment:

Lawrence said...

Vindictive how, exactly? Tell me what the liberal pogrom looks like. Go on. I'll probably enjoy the thought experiment. Thing is, we don't work like that. The whole Room 101 "How many lights do you see?" thing is expensive and wasteful. Like war. The new reconstruction, if it comes, should take the form of: Your children will go to public school and learn real history and real science. They will be exposed to other choices and other ways of living than what their parents might have offered. They can choose who to be.
Your church lose it's 501(c)(3)? I like that. I'll settle for tax exempt status for designated funds that go to actual charitable outreach.
And the corrupt cops and judges who enforce the white patriarchy get decertified and replaced by federal civil rights agents and courts.
The deal is the same one the Oracle makes with the Architect: Those who want to leave can leave. I wouldn't try to reform the ones who want to stay. I wouldn't know where to begin. But they know they would be winnowed down to a culture with the size and impact of the Amish in the blink of an eye. That is why they fight, and why the pick the battles they do.