The Real Culture War

I'm probably not the first person to think this, write this or even blog about this... but it seems to me that the real culture battle right now is not between Judeo-Christianity and secularism; it's between intelligence and masculinity.

The underlying tactic used by the neocon right has become pretty apparent to me over the years: Always question your opponent's masculinity. Thus, "resolute" vs. "flip-flopper"; "victory" vs. "defeatism" and "cut and run"... plus all the talk about "handouts" vs. "personal responsibility," gun worship, and especially the basest form of schoolyard bullying: hating the fags. The real agenda: Make it very, very hard to be a man and be a Democrat... especially in the post-9/11 era.

It's pretty simple when you think about it. But so is the solution. The subtext to any argument coming from the left needs to be, "What are you afraid of?" I've often wished there were a website called (whoops, URL is already taken) where you could get a glimpse of what Fox News would look like if everything were the same today, except that for the last six years, the president has been a Democrat.

There would be a counter in the lower right-hand corner of every newscast: Days that Osama bin Laden has run free since 9/11: 2,071. There would also be an accompanying counter in the lower left: Money we've wasted on the wrong guy. (This counter already exists at As of this morning, we're approaching $426 billion.)

The key to success right now is to take the more enlightened position (believing in evolution, funding stem cell research, believing that homosexuals are 100 percent human, acknowledging that Iraq has made things worse for us, declaring war on carbon) while marketing it in the most masculine way.

The War in Iraq: "What kind of pussies are we that we refuse to take on the real playground bully? Maybe we should send bin Laden a few billion dollars to buy him a recliner for his his cave dwelling. What are we afraid of?"

Universal Health Care: "America is a family. I believe in family values, and that means taking care of my family by keeping them healthy and safe. For the people who refuse to do this, I say what are you afraid of?"

Global Warming: "Are we going to take this shit from Mother Nature? We're in the oven, she's turning up the gas, and we're saying, 'Let me help you; here's a match.' I mean, what are we afraid of? Are you saying Americans are incapable of innovation?"

Or... "Why do we keep giving bullets to the terrorists? Every drop of imported oil is an enabler. Every American river, gust of wind, blade of switch grass and atom of uranium is a missile aimed at Osama bin Laden's forehead. To the wimps who cower in fear at the idea of something as harmless as better fuel efficiency standards, I ask, "What are you afraid of?"

You also have to preempt the tired "tax and spend" label by accusing our opponents of passive policies of "wait and waste." It's really easy to sit back insist that you'll never raise taxes (as our governor is doing), but it's a little like saying, "I don't know what illnesses my son is going to contract in his lifetime, but I'll tell you one thing, I'm never, EVER going to give him penicillin."


Vegas Gopher said…
Hey, OUR governor is against taxes too! Funny, he's also a Republican, has a wife far hotter than he should have, and is the subject of an FBI probe into financial misdeeds. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

Conk, I've long said that you should work for a Democrat's campaign as a speech writer. You're the new Sam or Toby. Come on. Make a fucking difference in the world already!

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