Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bill Bennett: 'We lost the culture war'

Bennett:

This was the drumbeat of the Obama campaign. To women they said: Republicans are waging a "war on women," trying to outlaw abortion and contraception and would take them back to their rights in the 1950s. To minorities they said: Republicans are anti-government services, cold-blooded individualists, and cannot represent minority communities. To middle and low income Americans they said: Republicans are the party of the rich, who will slash taxes for only the richest Americans and cut social safety nets for the poor.
Rather than offer a broad sweeping vision for the country, Democrats played identity politics. Republicans were the culprits, and women, young adults, black, Latinos, etc... were the victims. And voters believed it. Why? For the same reason this litany -- gender, race, ethnicity, class -- sound so familiar. 
Voters believed it, not because it was something new or groundbreaking, but because this has been the template of many of our character-building institutions -- our public schools, our colleges, and public universities -- for the past 50 years. Go to any major university in America and this is the mindset that is taught, preached, and ingested. It also gets an assist from television drama, from the movies, and from much of the mainstream media. 
For decades liberals have succeeded in defining the national discourse, the terms of discussion, and, therefore, the election, in these terms. They have successfully set the parameters and focus of the national and political dialogue as predominantly about gender, race, ethnicity, and class. This is the paradigm, the template through which many Americans, probably a majority, more or less view the world, our country, and the election. It is a divisive strategy and Democrats have targeted and exploited those divides.

Pretty much right.  Dems won by race-baiting and class-baiting. By leveraging envy and fear and hate.

This is less a political battle than a cultural and spiritual battle.

The Left is marching through the institutions, and now we are paying for it. We will pay for it in a much bigger way in the generation or two to come. We have let them do it

At least there is some justice in it all. 

15 comments:

  1. Bill Bennett is clearly a man of character that we should listen to. I mean, it's not like he's a moralist who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him. Such a man would, for example, speak endlessly about "self-discipline" and oppose casino gambling, while being a compulsive gambler himself. Bill Bennett is not like that!

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    1. Yea. You can only hold opinions on virtue if you're perfect.

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    2. Well, we agree, then! So why are you talking, you pathological liar?

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  2. So, if I understand Bill Bennett correctly, Republicans do not have a plank in their platform calling for abortion to be outlawed, do not support conscience clauses which make it more difficult to access contraception, and did not have a vice presidential nominee most famous for proposing a budget that slashes entitlements? One wonders then why they didn't bother to make that clear before the election.

    Boo

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    1. We do want abortion to be outlawed (I pray for it and work for it daily), our conscience is more important than you getting laid, and Ryan is trying to save entitlements, which we don't currently have the money to fund.

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    2. "... trying to save entitlements, which we don't currently have the money to fund"

      There will never be enough money. And so, ultimately, "entitlements" cannot be saved.

      The real question is whether the nation shall kill "entitlements" or whether "entitlements" shall kill the nation.

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    3. In other words, it was wrong of Obama to win the campaign by saying true things about Republicans.

      Boo

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    4. Is it really the case that you "liberals" can't stop yourselves from lying?

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  3. Bennett describes the effects of a plan laid out by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) 80 years ago: Seize control of the "non-coercive institutions" (schools, church, and popular culture) and the coercive institutions (government, police, etc.) will follow. The progressives and socialists executed it perfectly.

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    1. @stjones:

      Exactly. No one understood this better, or had more impact, than Gramsci.

      Genius, unfortunately.

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    2. It's not like liberals seized control of the academe. Conservatives simply abandoned it. They had no interest in pursuing academic careers.

      Even in hard-science and math departments professors are liberals with few exceptions. Not because conservatives are purged from these disciplines, but because they aren't interested in higher learning.

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    3. Conservatives are purged. Many universities (Stanford, Princeton) have to carve out institutes that are open to conservatives.

      If conservatives are underrepresented because of inaptitude, then you certainly would support affirmative action for conservatives to enhance diversity, huh?

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    4. Political orientation is irrelevant in hard science. Why would one want to have a balanced representation of liberals and conservatives in mathematics? There is no compelling reason for affirmative action.

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    5. Race is irrelevant in all endeavors. Do you support affirmative action based on race?

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  4. He also forgot that 5 percent of voters this year are gay/bi, and a lot more in the closet. Moreover, a lot people have LGBT friends and family and don't take kindly to the GOP's views and platform on their gay/bi friends. The gay issue is huge amongst well-educated, young, urban, and affluent voters.

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