“In Private, The President And His Top Aides Freely Admit That He Is Engaged In A Culture War”
In private, the president and his top aides freely admit that he is engaged in a culture war on behalf of his white, working-class base, a New York billionaire waging war against “politically correct” coastal elites on behalf of his supporters in the South and in the Midwest. He believes the war was foisted upon him by former President Barack Obama and other Democrats — and he is determined to win, current and former aides said.Donald Trump Isn’t Fighting A Culture War But A Cultural Revolution
On the contrary, the fight Trump has joined is not a culture war but a cultural revolution. And it could not be more replete with significance. Instead of debating the controversy over NFL players taking a knee for the national anthem, Douthat would rather we were arguing about how we can rein in police abuses and reduce prison sentences without endangering public safety.
But why are we not having that conversation, or any rational conversation on many other issues of pressing importance to our divided nation? It’s not because of Donald Trump. It’s because one side of our national divide doesn’t want to have a conversation, or an intellectual argument, or even a culture war.
What they want instead—and are doing their best to enforce with every possible tactic, from tweets accusing white players who don’t take a knee for the national anthem of white supremacism, to brutal physical attacks by Antifa brownshirts, to college students hounding their professors out of their jobs Red Guard–style, or chanting “speech is violence”—is for everyone who opposes their positions on these issues to be entirely shut up.
Actually, it’s worse than that. They want their opponents to be shamed or bullied into recanting and forced to parrot the party line, as in a Mao-era self-criticism session where the humiliated and broken accused admitted to inadvertently betraying the revolution and his comrades. Or, as in the press conference at which Army Ranger veteran Alejandro Villanueva—widely remarked to have been the only football player trotted out to apologize for his actions during the anthem—confessed to “unintentionally” throwing his teammates “under the bus.”
Except for the absence of the two-foot-high dunce cap with the Chinese characters on it, we might have been in the People’s Republic of China circa 1971. Thank heavens, defying our own cultural revolution costs Americans nothing more than self-respect, or at worst their job or business.