Category Archives: Culture Wars

Abortions and the Majority


A lot of people think the Democrats in the US don’t have a chance of winning the upcoming midterm elections in the US or the next presidential race. They might be right.  But I wonder if they should try a new approach. A surprising new approach. After all, do they have anything to lose?


According to conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan, the recent US Supreme court decision in Dobbs is an opportunity for the people on the left and the centre. He says, “they should call the religious right’s bluff.” The majority of the people don’t want what the religious right wants. The Democrats should campaign on that. They can get lots of support. Biden is in the doldrums. He should leap at this chance to hammer on the conservatives. Sullivan says they should make Americans realize the consequences of a ban on abortions. Few Americans want that. They should make the Republican pay!


Sullivan says that no country has a constitutional protection for the right to an abortion. Canada certainly does not have it. No one in Canada cares. Even the conservative party that contains many who would love to follow the American right and ban abortions are too scared to even hint that this is what they want. My own MP Ted Falk is basically blocked from discussing this by his party leadership because they know the liberals in Canada would make a lot of hay if he “came out of the closet.”


It is the same with gay marriage. 70% of Americans now support gay marriage!  They are getting used to it. The Republicans can’t ban it. It would be political suicide. The Democrats should jump on this. This is their golden opportunity. Liberals have to be bold or they don’t stand a chance.

It’s time to attack the extreme right and the closely allied radical Christians head on. This is not an opportunity to be missed. Democrats should not shrink from the challenge. They might be surprised at how popular this view would be.

Culture war is a multiparty war.


Kulture Wars go to Court


America is reaping what it has sowed.  People are up in arms about the current Supreme Court overruling the landmark precedent case of Roe V. Wade.  So am I. But, the Supreme Court can do that. Since the previous decision was a Supreme Court decision only the Supreme Court can overrule it. But it can do that and has often overruled previous cases  in the past. This is what the legal doctrine of Stare decisis is all about. That doctrine obligates lower courts to follow historical cases when making a ruling on a similar case. Stare decisis ensures that cases with similar scenarios and facts are approached in the same way. Simply put, it binds courts to follow legal precedents set by previous decisions. The prior decision which is called a precedent is binding on lower courts only. However, it does not bind the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court in Canada and the United States can always overturn a previous decision and when you think about it that is absolutely necessary.  Otherwise the court would be locked  forever when it made a decision. For example, those who now disagree with the decision the court made in the recent Dobbs case where Roe v. Wade was overturned  would have to accept the result forever. That would be highly unacceptable. The fact is sometimes courts make bad decisions that should be reversed.


That does not mean I agree with the recent decision of the US court. In fact, I think it shows what happens when for decades Supreme Court decisions and appointments to the court are determined by politics and ideology and not good reasoning. That has happened to an alarming extent in the US for decades. I hope Canada does not follow suit. And let me be clear, both parties have been guilty of this  egregious offence.  The parties have been trying to turn the court into what John Hanna of the Associated Press called “culture warriors.” That is exactly what these people have been doing.


The most recent example was the farcical confirmation hearings for Joe Biden’s nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. Ms. Jackson had 3 important characteristics that drove the Republicans crazy:  She was black, a woman, and smart. As a result the conservative Senators dipped into their arsenal of stupid. Senator Cruz and other Republicans came out and insinuated that she was soft on crime and suborning pedophilia. The insinuations were nasty, brutish, and stupid but that did not build caution in her attackers. It was obvious that her Senate foes cared nothing about the truth or her obvious qualifications but cared only about showing off to the Republican base how they would defend “traditional values” like attack dogs.  As Amy Davidson Sorkin said in The New Yorker, “At one point, Republican Senator Ted Cruz suggested that supporting Jackson was comparable to calling for the police to be abolished.” Republican Senator Tom Cotton  said “Judge Jackson has also shown a real interest in helping terrorists.” Cruz was joined by Josh Hawley  in suggesting that she was part of a liberal conspiracy ring supporting a child-trafficking ring.  Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said the 3 G.O.P. Senators who vote for her were “pro-pedophile.” Senator Marsha asked Jackson to define “woman.” When she did not provide a definition, Cruz asked her how she could expect to  rule on cases involving gender if she did not know what a woman was. Jackson instead said that the woman she admired most in the world, her mother,  who was at the hearing, is a woman. Clearly, she did not need Cruz to help her understand what a woman was.

 When criticisms become so untethered  from reality, it is obvious that the purpose of the charges has nothing to do with an assessment of the candidates and everything to do with scoring points in the Kulture Wars.


This has been going on in the US for decades. As a result, America has the Supreme Court it deserves deserves. Our Canadian system is far from perfect, but at least we haven’t gone there.


Ron DeSantis: King of the Kulture War


According to Rick Wilson a former Republican strategist who became an anti-Trumpster, “Ron DeSantis (the governor of Florida) is the undisputed king of the culture war in America now.” I find that comment sickeningly shocking. It is sickening because I fear Wilson is right. In addition to advancing his Don’t Say Gay legislation now he is accusing the Disney Corporation, an icon in America and Florida in particular, of being guilty of pedophile grooming. Again this is part of the right-wing hysteria about protecting children from perverts and liberals.   He is making it illegal in Florida to criticize the country for slavery just because it makes some white people uncomfortable, when they ought to be uncomfortable for their country. As if you can pretend that racism–even the most vicious form of racism, namely slavery, never happened. Now he has passed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country.


Those are  pretty big pillars in the Kulture war in America.  And according to Wilson that makes DeSantis the king of the war. No other conservative in America, even Donald Trump can claim a collection of scalps like that. He is doing this, says Wilson, because he and his advisors have determined that this is the way to the Republican nomination for President in 2024.  Can he even defeat the Trumpster-in-Chief?


As if that is not enough, Wilson says, “The only thing the Republican base now cares about is the Kulture War.” When Wilson was a Republican strategist they did have a coherent ideology whether you agreed with it or not: limited government, individual freedom, free markets, and the rule of law. They were never evenly applied but they were real policies. But as Wilson said,  “at least the principle of the Republican Party wasn’t lets try burn down Walt Disney because they are secretly trying to groom children for a pedophile ring under the Magic Kingdom.” At least in those days, unlike now,  their principle did not require the complete abandonment of reason and truth.

 According to Rick Wilson, “This craziness which has infected the party is very much what Ron DeSantis is running on.”  The base of course loves this.  No doubt many other Republicans will jump on this band wagon for the upcoming mid-term elections.

DeSantis who grew up in Florida, went to the Navy, went to Yale, and became a graduate of Harvard Law School  as a result of which he was viewed as a classic conservative and a serious politician. At least until recently that was true.  Now he has been downing crazy pills. Of course the current Republican Party has very little room for serious conservatives. The current Republican Party is deeply ensconced in FantasyLand.


Wilson believes DeSantis has moved so far into LaLaLand because of the influence of Christina Pushaw. She is deep Alt-right and she is very ambitious and influential in the Republican Party in Florida. To her trolling and the social war stuff is all that matters, says Wilson. According to Wilson, she helped transform DeSantis into an “alt-right, trolling, cultural warrior of the first degree.” He is now Trump’s main contender.  There are a number of Republicans who are trying to be “Trump without all the warts. Or Trump without all the moral and cognitive deficits.” A lot of those candidates vying for Trumps leadership position have said they would deliver “Trump without all the crazy stuff, but it turns out many of them want the crazy stuff.”

According to Wilson,


“Because of Pushaw in the most distilled and perfect form, the conspiracy theory QAnon aspect of the Republican Party today requires that they be constantly poked and stimulated with terrifying imaginary demons. Whether it’s critical race theory or pedophile groomers or big tech or anything of the things they imagine are going to destroy their lives, he has become incredibly adept at framing these things so that only he can deal with. That is the same thing we heard in 2015 and 2016 from Trump. ‘Only I can fix it…Only I will be the avatar of your rage and anger.”


These Kultural War appeals are powerful to the working class of Florida, says Wilson. I think this is what politics is now all about in the US. The Kulture wars are supreme. Nothing else matters (except inflation).