How Politics Is About Culture Wars and Why It Needs To Die

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I’ve dabbled into commentary on the state of American politics before but it has become evident that politics, at least in America, is no longer about policy – it’s about rhetoric and culture. Utilitarian arguments simply aren’t heard and certainly don’t win elections – no matter how many times economists unanimously prove that free trade helps the economy, Republicans and Democrats alike such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump will still fear monger and oppose it.

Not only have substantive issues, like foreign policy and the tax code, become argued on the merits of “morality” and baseless opinions rather than fact, they’ve also been overshadowed by an average free agent quarterback kneeling during a national anthem or a freestyle rap against our President from an aging rapper out of his prime.

Time to undress the toxic nature of the conservative and liberal culture wars.

Conservative Culture

What do Stephen Crowder, Milo Yiannapolous, Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, Charlie Kirk, Kelleyanne Conway and Paul Joseph Watson all have in common?

Well, they all pretty much just rant about nonsense that seldom is focused on public policy and is usually on the softness of millennial-SJW-trans-feminist-Antifa-socialists that disrespect the national anthem or the president.” Ranting about a hypocritical tweet, hysterical liberal response on election night, a protest kneel in sports, a violent Antifa or black lives matter protest or banning of a conservative speaker from a university is unfortunately more appealing to ignorant conservative viewers than a breakdown of the latest GOP healthcare bill.

Viewers keep eating it up, broadcasters direct their anger towards an irrelevant “Hollywood elite” for not being patriotic enough.

Tomi Lahren will yell day and night about how kneeling NFL players are disrespecting the flag and country all the while violating American flag code to wear one as a cape because when she misuses the flag, it’s patriotic.

Rush Limbaugh conservatism is no longer about opposing socialism, building up a strong national defense or social traditionalism as much as it has become a breeding ground for nationalistic religious fanatics that constantly criticize and fear young people, Muslims, liberals, and trans people. They want absolute obedience to America where criticizing its actions is treasonous and where anti-Trump leftists should leave the country.

According to this sub-culture, reverse racism and the war on Christianity are alive and well in the left and the world is out to get them, which is hysterical at best. When you ask any Republican voter why Ronald Reagan was the second coming of Jesus, most won’t provide an answer on the grounds of actual legislative achievements and they certainly don’t know about him tripling the national debt or channeling money between Iran and central American drug cartels, but they like the fact he instituted morality and patriotism in the eyes of conservatives.

He reunited the country against the evils of Communism, he made jokes about Democrats, he didn’t make crude comments to Billy Bush, and he gave them a sense of hope and prosperity, even if it was false.

Since then, it hasn’t changed.

Bill Clinton was a cheating bureaucrat and Obama was a weak Muslim in their eyes. If Conservatism were about governing and legislative accomplishments, they probably would have had a major achievement in the past 25 years besides the Patriot Act (which they rarely bring up) and the new GOP tax plan wouldn’t have been so sloppily written.

Until then, rap music promotes violence, Hollywood elites should stay out of politics and college students need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop being soft.

Liberal Culture

Forget the looming war in the Middle East from an ICBM almost hitting the capital of Saudi Arabia, we need to fix and end the white heteronormative Christian patriarchy! (Forgive me, I’ve spent too much time in a private liberal arts university).

Whether it’s complaining about culturally appropriating Halloween costumes or making Buzzfeed videos about white privilege, the liberal culture warriors live in their own bubble where Bernie Sanders won the 2016 presidential election and the democratic party doesn’t suck. Common buzz words include “universal healthcare,” “common sense gun control,” “crony capitalism,” and “first female president”; if you question any of those rather than nodding your head, they often storm off to Tumblr.

It’s really hard to tell where the hypocrisy starts and ends, but let’s list off a few.

The far left hopes to double taxes on the rich and attack President Trump for not paying enough in taxes, yet their “hero” Bernie Sanders only paid 13.5% in taxes in his latest filing, despite wanting to increase taxes on everyone, including poor working-class people that likely paid more than that.

The feminist left complains about rape culture, yet they only complain about it when it helps their side. Bill Clinton raped a woman and touched many others and Hillary Clinton defended an accused rapist in the court of law, but they support the Clintons and despise Trump for foul language.

Also, let’s do a quick tally: Conservatives accused of sexual misconduct includes essentially Donald Trump, Roy Moore, President Bush Sr., Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Hastert. Leftists accused of that include Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, George Takei, John Edwards, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., John Conyers, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Al Franken.

Now, I do think those are all terrible people and that most of those people are guilty, but the left seems to care about the conservatives at least a little more, even though they do seem outnumbered on this front.

Finally, what’s all of this complaining about cultural appropriation about in the left when many white liberals have identified as a race other than white.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King are just a few white liberals that faced no scrutiny for claiming to be a race other than their own for their own personal or political gain. No outrage? Okay.

This entire philosophy that justifies stupid economic policy because it’s the moral thing to do and claims the existence of a gender pay gap is a big issue all the while saying that gender is a social construct and the number of which is limitless needs to die.

Conclusion

We’re better than this. Most right-wingers aren’t racist, transphobic, sexist, xenophobic, white supremacist, child molesters for the same reason the vast majority of left-wingers aren’t anti-American, gun-grabbing, communist, terrorists, but saying those two things shouldn’t be a political statement.

We need to start by doing two things as a political society: 1) stop fighting the little things and 2) don’t see opposing political groups as anything besides a respectable political opposition with the same goals and good intentions as your own.

Culture wars gain attention, and as much as I dislike them, they play an integral role in politics.

One of the flaws of libertarianism, but also why I like it is how incredibly difficult it is to make libertarianism a cultural movement. For one, that would require libertarians to get up in arms over minor actions, and it’s exceedingly difficult to get people calling for cocaine legalization to get offended over something that would cause a leftist or a conservative to have a heart attack. Either way, the bottom line is that for intellect to thrive, mindless fights over different cultural values that divide us and distract us must die.

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Jake Dorsch

Jake Dorsch is a libertarian activist, bank teller, investor and aspiring future economist from Green Bay, Wisconsin that is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both political science and quantitative economics at Drake University. He is currently on track to graduate a year early and will likely continue to obtain a master’s degree in econometrics.

1 COMMENT

  1. I dont watch any of the shows listed but i had heard that tucker carlson was supposed to be libertarian. Either way news is all entertainment and Id get cable back if fox news (or anyone else) went to Greg Gutfeld 24/7

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