FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Culture War On

If you watch Fox NewsFox and Friends, and that sort of thing, and if you listen to Rush and his sort, you know we are in the maelstrom of the culture wars. Sign me up!

Of course, it’s not quite as simplistic as those guys portray. Most of us don’t slide neatly into a slot. I don’t, and you probably don’t either. If you don’t fit, can you play? If you don’t subscribe to the entire ball of liberal or conservative wax will they let you on the Culture Wars battlefield?

I mean, I’m a peacenik but I’m a redneck. I’m anti-racist and I despise violent rap. I’m a professor but I’ve probably hung more sheetrock and taped it out (OK, back in my 20s and 30s) than 99 percent of Rush’s listeners. I’m a pacifist but I awake from dreams of turning over Donald Trump to ISIS. I believe in nonviolence but I’m just an old hockey player from Minnesota. I love diversity but I can’t stand religion that imposes its beliefs on the rest of us. It goes on.

And I’ll wager that in your lives and in your hearts, every single reader is just as complex in your own outstandingly unique way.

So, can we all emerge, somehow, from our mega-binary zero-sum tried-judged-sentenced baskets of deplorables and America-haters to witness the truth that we share so much more than we don’t? (OK, with the possible exceptions of billionaires and politicians who work incessantly if incoherently to divide us in order to rule over us?).

We all generally love our families.

We all generally love the freedoms of our country.

We all generally get annoyed when government tells us what to do.

We all generally wish the rest of the world well unless they don’t wish us well.

We all wish the best future for our children, our grandchildren, and, if possible, for every other child.

We all generally want fairness.

I’m certain there is a way we can meaningfully unite, and not in a war against The Other overseas or south of the border. Is there one struggle all Americans can see as worthy that is also not harmful to anyone else? That might be our chance to unite and to force our pathologically antipathetic parties to also join forces. If for no other reason than to break out of our culture war for a minute, it would be a worthy exercise, in my humble opinion.

The elites are clearly, demonstrably, incapable and incompetent to achieve this. Can we do it from the bottom up? Maybe health care for all? Maybe clean energy with lots more jobsMaybe full employment with retraining scholarships for all? Oh, SNAP! Maybe a mortgage insurance guarantee for all working families so they will never lose their homes? Or something different, something smarter than I have thought of? I want to believe we are capable, we are a functional culture, and that our creativity can outperform the elite successes in dividing us.

Am I right? Am I just a naive dreamer? Or can we have some friendly culture competition rather than these wars that are giving us the likes of Roy MooreDonald TrumpRush Limbaugh and, I guess, gay socialist liberal jihadis on the other side of the gaping beaten zone between the trenches?

More articles by:

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
Kenn Orphan
The Power of the Anthropocene
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
Puerto Rico’s Unnatural Disaster Rolls on Into Year Two
Rajan Menon
Yemen’s Descent Into Hell: a Saudi-American War of Terror
Russell Mokhiber
Nick Brana Says Dems Will Again Deny Sanders Presidential Nomination
Nicholas Levis
Three Lessons of Occupy Wall Street, With a Fair Dose of Memory
Steve Martinot
The Constitutionality of Homeless Encampments
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The Aftershocks of the Economic Collapse Are Still Being Felt
Jesse Jackson
By Enforcing Climate Change Denial, Trump Puts Us All in Peril
George Wuerthner
Coyote Killing is Counter Productive
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail