The bottom line is that while our opinion leaders in politics and the media have been playing up a nonexistent war, Americans have been learning to become more comfortable with themselves and with their neighbors. The eight-year Clinton Administration did nothing to make it harder to be an Evangelical Christian in America. The eight-year Bush Administration did nothing to make it harder to be gay. While there are certainly differences of opinion at the margins—and marginal differences always appear greater than they truly are—we have converged to become a free, tolerant society.Yes, indeedy.
So why does the mythical culture war persist? Easy. It serves someone’s interests. In particular, it serves the interests of our political elite. “I am fighting to defend you in the culture wars” translates into “If I can convince you that the other guy will interfere with your lifestyle, your partner, or your family, you will vote for me no matter how corrupt and incompetent I might be.” The media loves it because it’s a great (and never ending) story. It creates tension and conflict where there need not be any, heightens the stakes of even minor disputes, and sells copy. (For those beginning to wonder, this phenomenon is called a “convergence of interests,” and is quite common in oligopolistic industries. It is not, in any sense, a coordinated conspiracy. So don’t use my stuff as a launching pad to go there).
And wouldn’t you know it? It works. Millions of Americans—myself included until quite recently—fall for this garbage. We choose a party affiliation based largely on cultural issues, then look the other way at the damage that “our side” is imposing on the country (ourselves included).
And another thing:
Now go read this piece by Orson Scott Card.
Okay. Enough of standing on my soap box. Here's the Giggle of the Day: