Culture is downstream from politics. We've heard this expounded upon ad nauseam, with the late Andrew Breitbart being one of its most forceful proponents. It's something of a learning curve for the right. For the longest time, it seemed like conservatives were guided by policy figures and a good television ad to push back against the left's narratives. Yet, that's an inside-the-beltway mindset. Most Americans aren't insane like the rest of us and digest political content wholesale for hours daily. A good colleague of mine aptly noted that what's said on Saturday Night Live could be more impactful than anything said during the entire week. It's understandable to loathe late-night television since their crews, writing staff, and hosts hate us passionately. The latest dispatch on the culture wars is that the left has won, though the evidence to back up that hypothesis is, in the words of Dan Rather—the godfather of fake news—shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.
Ben Domenech dissected a piece from Politico that declared victory for the left on such matters and took a blowtorch to its premise. This is an analysis, so the data sets are essential in this instance, for which none exist. It's just a bunch of lefty political operatives confirming the views of every left-wing voter that dot the Acela Corridor. Instead of platitudes, Domenech analyzes issues that go beyond abortion. The culture wars in America are dominated by abortion. Still, crime, education, and now immigration have constituted new fronts often underreported for apparent reasons: they go against liberal narratives.
Domenech found overwhelming consensuses over a host of issues, like biological males being allowed to compete in women's sports is wrong (65%), that white Americans are not inherently racist (64%), that the public education system is failing (80%), and that parents should be in the driver's seat concerning how their children are educated (75%).
Liberals hold diametrically opposing views on all these issues, especially on race, which, buoyed by progressive, wealthy, college-educated whites, paint a picture of America resembling Apartheid South Africa. It's not—even nonwhite voters aren't as rigid in their views over a large swath of issues where Democrats used to be able to find a consensus.
David Shor, a liberal data scientist, laments how liberals used to be able to do this with lethal precision, which helped Obama win two presidential elections. That has taken a backseat to a more left-wing, militant, and socially distant brand of politics channeled by today's Democratic Party.
Domenech has an interesting take: the conservatives are the true victors of the culture wars, citing that 55 percent of Americans would back a heartbeat ban bill regarding abortion. That's a six-week ban. He also lists the host of other cultural positions the left has taken that are way outside the mainstream, like being pro-crime, anti-police, and, bizarrely, pro-making kids transgender:
“We declare victory in the culture wars of 1990” is a fine frame for the Left to adopt, because they won them. But that has nothing to do with the culture wars of today, where there is literally no polling evidence whatsoever that the Left is prevailing — not on crime, not on guns, not on transing kids, not on critical race theory, not on school closures, not on racial preferences, not on sexualizing kindergarteners, not on eliminating gifted programs, not on segregating school cafeterias, not on legalizing shoplifting, not on the Bible, not on the Flag, not on masks, and not on promoting fatness as a lifestyle. The idea that they have figured out a way to spin their extreme positions on these issues exists only within the addled minds of Beltway reporters who regurgitate the lines they are fed by consultants with the ease of an adult actress who has invested dedicated work into eliminating their gag reflex.
His take is that while the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, has energized the liberal base, is the data set screwed up because the GOP is too scared to push back? Even worse, do they even know how? It's a decent question, given the data behind the heartbeat bill. We're afraid to take these positions because liberal women are angry in areas where no Republican has a shot at flipping.
Let the usual lefty suspects seethe within their borders, the bastions of Democratic Party power that are also hotbeds of government incompetence. These folks care about abortion daily because they can afford to—the rest of us must work.
The firm declaration that we're pro-life is a good starting point—an obvious one.
"There seems to be a general sentiment that the pro-abortion left wants it more, and the pro-life right doesn't know how to respond to that," concluded Domenech: "It demands we react as we are: pro-life Americans dedicated to the cause, fearless in the face of the Goliath, and recognizing the nature of the foe we face, and its works."
The left does want it more, but their positions come up against the reality that Americans don't want abortion to be taxpayer-funded or without limitations. Kansas' pro-life amendment to its constitution went down in flames during a voter initiative earlier this summer, but Jayhawkers aren't pro-abortion. The liberal media glossed over when this amendment was defeated: the state has parental consent laws, a 22-week ban, and no public or federal funding for abortion. It's a glimpse into the nationwide consensus that could emerge supreme in the abortion wars, which is indicative of the polling. Abortion is legal but policed by stringent restrictions.
Yet, before we get to that debate, I think we need to add another scenario: while the left might want it more, they've run into a ditch with their militant advocacy for political correctness. This is a party and a voter base that is arguably rabid about abortion, but they can't define what a woman is anymore. To appease the less than 2 percent or so of the population that identifies as transgender, they must take the position that women with two testicles and a penis can get pregnant. They have no uterus, but they can bear children and must be afforded federal funds for abortion; abolishing the Hyde Amendment is another action item for the left.
You've seen how they react when someone says that only women can get pregnant. It's total mayhem. J. K. Rowling has the benefit of being exorbitantly wealthy and well-known to the point where she cannot be canceled, which is her most significant advantage. Rowling is a hard-core leftist but not at all on board with the erasure of women via transgender advocacy. Before the left could make their pitch, they could devolve into a vicious civil war amongst themselves over what womanhood is. Science and biology will be twisted in ways that don't comport with facts to make way for fake women in an abortion debate. That could become a buffer, and when that happens, conservatives should exploit that to the fullest to get their messaging strategy together.