by Brad Nelson 4/11/14
Roving reporter and this site’s friend, Lawrence, pointed out to me an article by Mark Steyn at Steyn’s site: Where the Action Is. He sounds like me (well, in general pessimistic outline):
Would it have made any difference to the country had any of these fine upstanding fellows prevailed? Or would we be pretty much where we are anyway? Aside from a trade agreement here, a federal regulation there, I’d plump for the latter. You can’t have conservative government in a liberal culture, and that’s the position the Republican party is in. After the last election, I said that the billion dollars spent by the Romney campaign on robocalls and TV ads and whatnot had been entirely wasted, and the Electoral College breakdown would have been pretty much the same if they’d just tossed the dough into the Potomac and let it float out to sea. But imagine the use all that money and time could have been put to out there in the wider world. Liberals expend tremendous effort changing the culture. Conservatives expend tremendous effort changing elected officials every other November — and then are surprised that it doesn’t make much difference. Culture trumps politics — which is why, once the question’s been settled culturally, conservatives are reduced to playing catch-up, twisting themselves into pretzels to explain (including in the pages of this magazine) why gay marriage is really conservative after all, or why 30 million unskilled immigrants with a majority of births out of wedlock are “natural allies” of the Republican party.
And he sounds like Mr. Kung who often notes that cultural is everything. Well, it may not be everything but it counts for much. Here’s another good bit:
Supreme Intergalactic Arbiter Anthony Kennedy wields more power over Americans than George III did, but in a year or three he’ll be playing catch-up and striking down laws because of their “improper animus” and wish to “demean” and “humiliate” persons of gender fluidity. Having done an impressive job of demolishing the basic societal building block of the family, the ambitious liberal is now moving on to demolishing the basic biological building block of the sexes. Indeed, taken in tandem with the ever greater dominance of women at America’s least worst colleges and, at the other end of the social scale, the bleak, dispiriting permanence of the “he-cession”, in 28 years’ time we may be fairly well advanced toward the de facto abolition of man, at least in the manly sense. That seems to me at least as interesting a question as whether the Republicans can take the Senate with a pick-up in this or that swing state. Culture is the long view; politics is the here and now. Yet in America vast cultural changes occur in nothing flat, while, under our sclerotic political institutions, men elected to two-year terms of office announce ambitious plans to balance the budget a decade after their terms end. Here, again, liberals show a greater understanding of where the action is.
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