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Why Republicans are excited about a culture war they know they’re losing

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  • Why Republicans are excited about a culture war they know they’re losing

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    If you knew nothing about history and were dropped into this political moment, you’d think that the culture war, especially around gender and sexuality, was nothing but a winner for the American right. Given how aggressive Republicans are about it — in the media, in legislation and in the courts — surely their values must dominate our society, with public opinion firmly on their side.

    In fact, the opposite is true: The entire history of the culture war is one of conservative loss, retreat and retrenchment. That’s no less true today than it ever was, even as the political salience of the culture war waxes and wanes.

    Right now — and likely for the next election or two — we’re in a particularly intense phase of the cycle, in which conservatives become acutely aware not only that they’re losing but that they’re certain to lose even more in the future. But they also know that the fear that inevitable future inspires among their supporters can be mobilized into short-term political victory.

    Consider new polling data from the Public Religion Research Institute on LGBTQ rights. For some time, PRRI has asking Americans about same-sex marriage, laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, and allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people because of their religious beliefs.

    The top-line results could hardly be clearer: In the latest data, 68 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, 79 percent support protections against discrimination, and 66 percent oppose allowing service refusals. In every case, the liberal position has grown steadily more popular over time.

    The same is true among almost every political, religious, demographic and geographic subgroup. In the past few years, some have moved a tiny bit in the liberal direction while others have moved more substantially.

    Even if there’s still opposition to LGBTQ rights among conservatives, that opposition is declining over time. In 2014, 35 percent of Republicans supported same-sex marriage, while in 2021, 48 percent did.

    But to engineer a political backlash, you don’t actually need to win converts to your cause. Often, all you need is to persuade the people who haven’t changed their minds as the world changes around them to get more upset.

    Which is what we’re seeing right now. Particularly at the state level, Republicans have successfully convinced their base that their entire way of life is under dire threat from a trans girl who wants to play on her middle school softball team or from the books that are sitting in school libraries.

    They’ve successfully translated that anger into a wave of often terrifying legislation, targeting trans kids and their families and censoring classroom discussions that might acknowledge the existence of gay people.

    They also have a comprehensive legal strategy involving a steady stream of cases, aimed at a friendly Supreme Court, meant to expand the rights of religious people — almost always conservative Christians — and have the government give them benefits and accommodations and excuse them from anti-discrimination laws.

    And they have a conservative media that devotes a good deal of its time to telling their supporters that they are victims of not only grand conspiracies but a world that increasingly rejects their values. And the appropriate response is rage.

    So where does this go from here? A recent iteration of this cycle of conservative loss and retrenchment is illuminating. Before the 2004 election, the issue of same-sex marriage became increasingly salient when Gavin Newsom, then mayor of San Francisco, ordered the city to issue marriage licenses to gay couples; not long after, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it.

    Republicans pounced, putting same-sex marriage at the top of the political agenda. That year, 11 states held referendums to outlaw same-sex marriage; all 11 passed. There was talk of a constitutional amendment, and Republicans were positively blissful about the political benefit they reaped by activating what everyone started calling “values voters” (as though being against equality is a “value” while favoring equality is just an opinion).

    Yet their victory was temporary. The Supreme Court mandated marriage equality in 2015. None of the societal breakdown conservatives predicted came to pass once gay couples were allowed to marry. It’s barely controversial anymore. Republican politicians may still oppose it, but they know it’s a battle they’ve lost for all time.

    Today, few conservatives would claim that the same won’t happen on transgender rights or the other culture war fights they’re promoting. But in the short term, there is still advantage to be gained by stirring up as much anger as possible.

    And ironically, it’s precisely because conservatives are losing the long-term argument that they can squeeze out wins in the short term. It’s the sense of being an outnumbered and oppressed minority that drives conservative anger, which can be mobilized into political action and translated to victory at the polls. That’s even more true in non-presidential elections, when much of the electorate doesn’t bother to vote.

    So don’t be surprised if Republicans look at how they continue to lose the fight over public opinion on culture war issues and decide that it’s all the more urgent to deploy those issues this November and in 2024. If history is any guide, it could work. For a while, anyway.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...g-culture-war/

  • #2
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    • #3
      ^

      Speaking of losers…

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      • #4
        The third story that has flown under the radar is that the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Florida senator Rick Scott, has provided a blueprint for what the Republicans will do if they get a majority in the next election. In “An 11-point plan to rescue America,” produced by the group responsible for electing Republican senators, Scott promised that the Republicans “will protect, defend, and promote the American Family at all costs.” The plan continues: “The nuclear family is crucial to civilization, it is God’s design for humanity, and it must be protected and celebrated. To say otherwise is to deny science. The fanatical left seeks to devalue and redefine the traditional family, as they undermine parents and attempt to replace them with government programs. We will not allow Socialism to place the needs of the state ahead of the family.”

        The plan promises that children will say the Pledge of Allegiance and “learn that America is a great country,” they will not learn critical race theory, and discussion of race will be banned from American society. The country will build former president Trump’s border wall and name it after him.

        To protect the family, the Republican plan calls for destroying the business regulation, social safety net, federal promotion of infrastructure, and protection of civil rights that Americans have embraced since the 1930s and handing power over to the wealthy. It promises to “grow America’s economy, starve Washington’s economy, and stop socialism,” by which Republicans mean not international socialism in which the government owns the means of production—factories—for that is not on the table in the U.S. Instead, they mean a system in which voters can create a government that regulates business and uses tax dollars to provide services for all Americans.

        Republicans, the plan says, will dramatically increase taxes on Americans earning less than $100,000, raising $1 trillion over ten years, although since they will also cut the Internal Revenue Service by 50%, the government might be hard pressed to collect those taxes. Since “government should not be doing anything that the private sector can do better and cheaper,” they will make sure all laws expire after five years, ending them with the idea that Congress will simply repass good laws. They would end Social Security (which, by the way, protects children as well as the elderly and disabled), Medicare, Medicaid, and so on. They will sell off all “non-essential” government assets, buildings, and land (are national parks essential?) and cut funding to states “other than disaster relief.”

        This plan is “easily the most radical document put forward by a member of the leadership of a major political party in modern times,” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote.

        “Americans deserve to know what we will do,” Scott said in his introduction to the plan.
        - Heather Cox Richardson

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        • #5
          🤣

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

            - Heather Cox Richardson
            Zero of that will Pass….

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            • #7
              The Republican Party has been taken over by fanatics.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roh View Post
                The Republican Party has been taken over by fanatics.
                https://www.economist.com/letters/20...-to-the-editor

                One hundred years later
                Zachary Carter’s book on John Maynard Keynes quotes some correspondence from 1922. Keynes wrote,

                “The real struggle of today…is between that view of the world, termed liberalism or radicalism, for which the primary object of government and of foreign policy is peace, freedom of trade and intercourse, and economic wealth, and that other view, militarist, or, rather, diplomatic, which thinks in terms of power, prestige, national or personal glory, and hereditary or racial prejudice.”

                A review of recent events and the behaviour of powerful people suggests that we haven’t come far in the past century (“Where will he stop?”, February 26th).

                Derrin Davis
                Richmond Hill, Australia

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                • #9
                  America: 1 Christo-Fascists: 0


                  U.S. District Judge David Bunning in Ashland issued the ruling Friday in two longstanding lawsuits involving Kim Davis, the former clerk of Rowan County, and two same-sex couples who sued her.



                  Same-sex marriage license denials violated rights, judge rules








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                  • #10
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                    • #11
                      Whenever women have raised their voices and demanded equity in our society, or whenever oppressive gender relations have been threatened, a vicious backlash or counterattack inevitably follows. Sometimes under the cover of religion, other times justified by appealing to culture, tradition, or science, male supremacy and misogyny are central and alarmingly consistent features defining the politics of the global far right. What is it about the worldview and overarching political project of the far right that makes the thought of gender equality and an end to traditional gender roles and hierarchies such a threatening prospect? And how has the crusade against “gender ideology” galvanized far-right politics around the globe?

                      WHY THE FAR RIGHT IS SO OBSESSED WITH GENDER POLITICS

                      Misogyny and a commitment to re-establishing male supremacy are two alarmingly consistent features defining far-right movements around the globe. Why?

                      https://therealnews.com/why-the-far-...vjJw0r46oYDvrA

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post
                        Whenever women have raised their voices and demanded equity in our society, or whenever oppressive gender relations have been threatened, a vicious backlash or counterattack inevitably follows. Sometimes under the cover of religion, other times justified by appealing to culture, tradition, or science, male supremacy and misogyny are central and alarmingly consistent features defining the politics of the global far right. What is it about the worldview and overarching political project of the far right that makes the thought of gender equality and an end to traditional gender roles and hierarchies such a threatening prospect? And how has the crusade against “gender ideology” galvanized far-right politics around the globe?

                        WHY THE FAR RIGHT IS SO OBSESSED WITH GENDER POLITICS

                        Misogyny and a commitment to re-establishing male supremacy are two alarmingly consistent features defining far-right movements around the globe. Why?

                        https://therealnews.com/why-the-far-...vjJw0r46oYDvrA
                        Why? Because a demographic (in this instance, women) must be marginalized before it can be subjugated and controlled. And far-right positions demand white male supremacy.

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                        • #13

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mozzafiato View Post
                            Make Disney re-release "The Song of the South".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mozzafiato View Post



                              That’s no party. That’s the Republican Hot Mess.




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                              • #16

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                                • #17
                                  Can a conservative explain to me how 193 Republican Representatives can vote against capping the cost of insulin?

                                  Experts say it costs less than $10 a vial to manufacture, yet there are still American families with insurance paying hundreds of dollars per vial of insulin.

                                  Currently, costs for patients can range from $334 to $1,000 a month for insulin, according to a 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation report.
                                  Insulin isn't an "optional" thing like vitamins are -- it's necessary for survival and $334 to $1000 a month ( with insurance!!!!!)is beyond outrageous.Americans don't deserve to die because they can't afford needlessly-inflated prices for necessary medications.

                                  House votes to cap cost of insulin at $35

                                  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-35/ar-AAVJuLE

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Blueflame View Post
                                    Can a conservative explain to me how 193 Republican Representatives can vote against capping the cost of insulin?



                                    Insulin isn't an "optional" thing like vitamins are -- it's necessary for survival and $334 to $1000 a month ( with insurance!!!!!)is beyond outrageous.Americans don't deserve to die because they can't afford needlessly-inflated prices for necessary medications.

                                    House votes to cap cost of insulin at $35

                                    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-35/ar-AAVJuLE
                                    Who cares

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Blueflame View Post
                                      Can a conservative explain to me how 193 Republican Representatives can vote against capping the cost of insulin?



                                      Insulin isn't an "optional" thing like vitamins are -- it's necessary for survival and $334 to $1000 a month ( with insurance!!!!!)is beyond outrageous.Americans don't deserve to die because they can't afford needlessly-inflated prices for necessary medications.

                                      House votes to cap cost of insulin at $35

                                      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-35/ar-AAVJuLE
                                      Because those Republican “representatives” only represent the highest bidder.



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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Blueflame View Post
                                        Can a conservative explain to me how 193 Republican Representatives can vote against capping the cost of insulin?



                                        Insulin isn't an "optional" thing like vitamins are -- it's necessary for survival and $334 to $1000 a month ( with insurance!!!!!)is beyond outrageous.Americans don't deserve to die because they can't afford needlessly-inflated prices for necessary medications.

                                        House votes to cap cost of insulin at $35

                                        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-35/ar-AAVJuLE
                                        No better item to raise the price on drastically than one people will die without.

                                        ugly, but unfortunately the reality….

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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                          No better item to raise the price on drastically than one people will die without.

                                          ugly, but unfortunately the reality….
                                          And not just any people: their people.

                                          The reddest red states are basically the “diabetes belt.”

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                                          • #22
                                            https://news.yahoo.com/democrats-kee...W3_Uu3AUXLX0tM

                                            Democrats Keep Confusing Twitter for the Real World


                                            Basically if you wrote a book on how to derail the new "majority-minority" generation of power Democrats were supposed to enjoy, Democrats would seem to be following it.

                                            Can't imagine what more they could possibly do to turn away the Hispanic vote more quickly. Maybe heckle the Pope for being Argentine?

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                                            • #23
                                              Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
                                              Basically if you wrote a book on how to derail the new "majority-minority" generation of power Democrats were supposed to enjoy, Democrats would seem to be following it.

                                              Can't imagine what more they could possibly do to turn away the Hispanic vote more quickly. Maybe heckle the Pope for being Argentine?
                                              Good thing Americans can count on the GOP to thwart Trump.

                                              Oh wait...

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                                              • #24
                                                Originally posted by W*GS View Post

                                                Good thing Americans can count on the GOP to thwart Trump.

                                                Oh wait...
                                                Exactly. Which is why you guys might want to be a bit more compromising.

                                                Oh wait... 😂

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                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post

                                                  Exactly. Which is why you guys might want to be a bit more compromising.

                                                  Oh wait... 😂
                                                  GOP and Trumpcult are the same set. How 'bout you convince your fellow conservatives to quit being traitors.

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