Conservatives and, especially, their Christian fellow-travelers have been waging a culture war, obsessed with imposing their narrow morality when it comes to abortion, homosexuality, and other issues. And the general public is sick of it.
That is the conventional wisdom, and many Christians are themselves want to draw back from the culture wars, thinking that culture-war activism has become an obstacle to Christian witness.
But some observers are saying that it isn’t Christians or conservatives who are the culture warriors today. Now the left is taking on that role. They are the ones who are obsessed with imposing their narrow morality when it comes to abortion, homosexuality, and other issues. And the general public is sick of it.
Kevin Drum has impeccable leftwing beliefs and credentials, including a stint writing for the far left magazine Mother Jones. But he has written a piece entitled If you hate the culture wars, blame liberals.
He cites research that shows over the last few years Democrats have moved much further to the left on social issues than Republicans have moved on the right. Not only that, he points out that white Democrats are much further to the left than blacks and hispanics. He cites researcher David Shor, “who identifies as socialist but is rigorously honest about what the numbers tell us,” who notes that in the last election, African American support for Democrats declined by 2%, and Hispanic support dropped by 8-9%. Shor concludes (Drum’s bolds),
We’ve ended up in a situation where white liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of “racial resentment.” So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us.
Despite endless hopeful invocations of “but polls show that people like our positions,” the truth is that the Democratic Party has been pulled far enough left that even lots of non-crazy people find us just plain scary—something that Fox News takes vigorous advantage of. From an electoral point of view, the story here is consistent: Democrats have stoked the culture wars by getting more extreme on social issues and Republicans have used this to successfully cleave away a segment of both the non-college white vote and, more recently, the non-college nonwhite vote.