Reclaiming the Moral Ground in the Kulture Wars


Mallory McMorrow a Michigan politician found herself deep in the culture wars after she defended the LGBTQ community. A Republican colleague accused her of wanting to groom and sexualize children. She issued a spirited defense. She said that hate would only win if people like her stood by and let it happen. She provided a blueprint for Democrats to navigate the thorny issues of sexuality in schools, race, gender identity, that Republicans like Ron DeSantis had been using to gain support and money from their supporters.


Lana Theis, a Republican state Senator said this, to her supporters in a fund raising message :


“Progressive social media trolls like Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake)…are outraged they can’t teach can’t groom and sexualize kindergartners or that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.”


McMorrow was justifiably angry, not only about her own treatment but all members of the LGBTQ community who are subjected to such vile hatred from the American right every day. McMorrow is upset at the Republicans who are weaponizing Christianity to target already marginalized people. She says of herself that she is a straight white Christian mother. But she was speaking for the marginalized LGBTQ community against the hateful attack from other white straight Christians. She wanted to reclaim her own identity and refused to let it be stolen by hateful others from her own group. She did this to break through the binary camps to express her own individuality that she would not allow to appropriated by hateful white Christians.


McMorrow was interviewed on Amanpour & Co. and said she wanted to “reclaim the moral ground” that others had tried to seize from her. That is how she believes liberals can win the Kulture wars. As McMorrow said, “We should not be attacking people just because they happen to be different. We can debate them; we can disagree with them; but we ought not to attack them with weapons of religion.


McMorrow also said,

“Christopher Rufo is one of those who has created moral panic culture wars of manufactured outrage. It started with critical race theory  and he said as much here in Michigan . He admitted there is so much power in attacking the LGBTQ community and the moral panic surrounding around sexuality. So it is the black community, the LGBTQ community, really any community that is targeted by this strategy.”


Targeting these people, she said, will not bring down inflation, or fix our infrastructure. The Republicans are playing on fear. She said, “Also it is not sexy to talk about policy when you can stoke fear and anger.


McMorrow emphasizes that this is not a Republican vs Democrat issue. She said she was elected in what was once Mitt Romney’s home riding because people did not want to hate the other.  Republicans who don’t want to hate Democrats voted for her!


Mitch McConnell said there were no policy issues in the mid-term elections. Just like there were none in the 2020 presidential election on the part of the Republicans. Their only platform was Trump! That is why they have manufactured Kulture War issues instead.

McMorrow acknowledged that people do not want to have sex acts described to very young children. But that is not the point. Even very young children see everyday that there are a lot of different people in the world that they are already meeting. Some families are different. Some have a mom and dad. Others have 2 moms or 2 dads or single parents or grandparent led families or a transparent. This is a fact. These people are there. You can’t wish them away. There is nothing wrong with openly discussing this, even at a very young age.

She says once we can meet like people we won’t have this fear mongering and the same language that we saw during de-segregation. Some people did not want their kids seeing black kids in school!


McMorrow says she has learned things from people like Father Ted Hespeller from Notre Dame who stood for some of the same values she stands for. He fought for many disadvantaged or marginalized people for much of his career. Martin Luther King was scorned by most white Americans at the time, though now that is often forgotten. Father Hespeller as a white man and head of a large institution took a big risk by walking with King. He was able to see his own privilege. He saw his neighbours being attacked, targeted and beaten and he wanted to reach out to them. That is the kind of faith McMorrow wanted.  Change is hard McMorrow says. We can recognize that but recognize our own place and reach out to help the marginalized and those who are being targeted. “How can we remind people that we all want the same thing at the end of the day? Those are the community family values that we all hope for our own kids.”

McMorrow thinks that this is how the Democrats might win the Kulture Wars. Simple, plain, real talk about families, neighbours, and friends. And how we can work together.  But maybe such hopes are pretty far-fetched. What do you think?

War is a very effective tool for firing up political support. That is just as true of Kulture Wars.


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