A Cultural Cold War Gets Warmer

By Erick Erickson

October 13, 2017 5 min read

This past week, in an update to its style guide, the Associated Press decided to declare the transgender debate settled, despite a growing body of scientific research showing it really is a mental issue. The AP will now reject such phrases as "gender transitioning" and go with "gender conforming." So Bruce Jenner was always Caitlyn and he, over time, conformed instead of transitioned.

This sort of Orwellian wordplay is one of many reasons that the American public increasingly rejects the American media. It made it dreadfully easy for Russia to spread fake news because the media is already playing at the game themselves when they do things like embrace "they" as a singular pronoun, which the Associated Press will now do. This may seem like a minor issue, but it is just another data point in the ongoing march toward another civil war.

John Davidson, writing at The Federalist, took note of new Pew Research Center data that shows the nation's politics are more divided than ever before. And, on the political left, there is a massive intolerance for anyone on the right. In fact, there are more people on the left in America today who would be angry with a conservative neighbor than there are conservatives who would be angry with a liberal neighbor.

Not just that, but the left increasingly believes the entire American experiment is illegitimate. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer for The Atlantic, has started openly pondering a French Revolution in the United States. Though he is not yet brave enough to say what he wants, it is clear from his writings that he hopes or is moving toward openly hoping for some level of violence in this country to purge the stain of the American Revolution. Others on the left now demand we upend the first, second, fifth, and other amendments to the constitution. On the right, President Trump too wants to upend the first amendment at a time we need to protect speech as much as possible.

In California, the Governor just signed legislation that decriminalizes the knowing transmission of HIV. So if you happen to go to California and need a blood donation, because the law applies to blood donations as well, you just might go home with HIV. But it is OK because the left has decided HIV and AIDS need to be de-stigmatized.

Then there are the NFL protests, which President Trump has seemingly won. What started with Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem because he does not care for the United States turned into a more expanded social commentary by players intent on politicizing football. When President Trump responded, suddenly to stand for the flag was racist. It has been funny first to see President Trump get so many NFL players on their knees before him only to now have them stand, privately seething in the knowledge President Trump just beat them at this.

Now, the Boy Scouts will admit Girl Scouts. That, to be sure, is just as well. The Girl Scouts have increasingly become just a teen meeting for Planned Parenthood between cookie sales. But in addition to the left forcing men into women's bathrooms, they want no safe places for boys to learn how to be men of good character. Everyone must conform to androgynous, amoral illiberalism.

On and on it goes in a cultural suicide. If nothing else, this shows that the fight over confederate statutes was really not about the statues at all, but about rewriting history and engaging in Orwellian tactics to move a debate about the future of the country onto turf more friendly to the left. Then Harvey Weinstein happened.

The media and liberal elite who have excoriated President Trump and conservatives for bad behavior turn out to have been knowingly protecting a sexual predator. "But Harvey is not the president," they say as they post selfies with Bill Clinton. After years of moral preening from Hollywood in the culture war, it turns out they have been preaching one thing and doing another. They are the hypocrites they told us we were and ever closer we creep to heating up this cultural cold war.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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