The term “culture war” has been a staple of American politics and public debates for decades, the latest iterations framed by the likes of abortion, marriage equality, and climate change. However, such issues don’t motivate voters as much as people on the extremes tend to believe.
You saw it in Virginia’s recent election, with exit polls showing that 34% of voters say the economy/jobs is the most important issue facing the state. Education is the second-most important issue, and with it the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that closed schools — contrary to the wishes of many parents. Critical race theory was important insofar as it related to education and the say that parents should have regarding what’s taught in local schools.
More than three-quarters of likely voters believe the United States is “in a state of decay,” according to a new poll by the Trafalgar Group for Convention of States Action, a grassroots organization aimed at convening a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.
The poll, conducted in December, asked a single question: “Do you believe American society and culture is in a state of decay or a state of decay?” Just over 76 percent of respondents answered “state of decay,” while 9.8 percent answered “state of progress.” Another 13.4 percent said they were unsure.
Every now and then an absurd idea enters the discourse and picks up a sort of memetic traction in spite of itself. The latest such idea is that of a “national divorce” in which Blue America and Red America decide they’ve had enough of each other and call it quits. It popped up most recently when U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) broached the idea on Twitter, but the idea has been entertained by liberal figures as well, most recently the comedienne Sarah Silverman.
The impetus for this proposal from conservatives and liberals alike is the recognition that division in our country has gone beyond disagreement and good-natured rivalry to outright hatred. Indeed, far from being united by crisis as we were at crucial points in the past, we are now at a point of schadenfreude—liberals reveling in suffering and disaster when it happens to conservatives, and vice versa.
As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.
The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.
The abject implosion of a politician once thought to possess national prospects — though not due to her talent but rather her name and connections — might have been overshadowed by the alarming performance just a few hours later by our near-invalid president. But Liz Cheney’s bizarre performance on the U.S. Capitol steps Wednesday was nonetheless notable.
If you haven’t followed the lead-up to Wednesday’s meltdown, it involved the sham 9/11 Commission–style inquiry being built to examine the Capitol riot of Jan. 6. That inquiry, to be chaired by partisan hack Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson on behalf of Nancy Pelosi, is obviously not built to fully examine what happened that day; it’s built to assign blame to the Republican Party for what Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Party is determined to present as a casus belli against half of the American people.
Pelosi’s Jan. 6 commission is a big deal, because she has turned the Capitol into an armed camp behind razor wire for most of the past six months and change over the dubious assertion that the protesters who descended on the building and briefly disrupted the vote to certify a presidential election that still reeks of irregularity and worse presented an “insurrection” and a “grave threat to democracy” to trump (pun not intended, but whatever) anything else since the Civil War.
The ubiquitous term “paradigm” and the concept of “paradigm shifts,” were popularized by the historian and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He used them to characterize, roughly, a scientific theory’s fundamental elements and the changes in fundamental elements that occur with scientific revolutions and changes in theory.