Wednesday, December 1, 2021

We're Embroiled in an Endless Culture War

And that ain't good. Especially for the left. John Halpin explains at The Liberal Patriot
"For most of the 1980s and 1990s, politics in Western nations was fought over different conceptions of state power, taxes, regulation, and redistribution. Conservative parties mostly favored more capitalism and less regulation while progressive parties mostly favored market interventions and more generous social welfare policies. Post 9/11, parties began to divide along issues of military interventions and the global war on terror, with contentious issues around immigration also rising in importance. But for most of the past 40 years, a basic left-right dichotomy focused on the proper balance between state and private power dominated much of politics in democratic and capitalist nations.
Around 2012, something fundamentally shifted with this basic left-right ideological conflict, particularly in the U.S. but also in other Western democracies.
Cultural battles around religion, gender, race, and other social issues have always played a role in politics. But during President Barack Obama’s second term—with the rise of social media, the Brexit vote in the U.K., and the ascendance of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016—the main debates in politics moved sharply away from economics and state power and towards competing visions of identity, patriotism, immigration, and perceptions of cultural extremism.
Some of these divides are explained by educational shifts in the composition of party voters, with more culturally traditional working-class voters moving towards conservative and populist right parties and more educated professional voters moving into progressive and green parties.
Yet educational polarization doesn’t explain why today you can find many Trump and Biden voters agreeing (at least in polls) about the importance of jobs or stronger economic support for workers and families while simultaneously viewing one another as mortal threats to our nation’s identity and future well-being."

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