Friday, May 20, 2005

Declaring Victory in the Culture Wars

As much as I enjoy Yglesias, there are days when I have to admit, he's somewhat emblematic of what's wrong with liberalism, both past and present. Today, is one of those days. And so I might humbly suggest to Matthew that the commoners upon whom he gazes from his studious perch just might be a tad bit more libertarian than he gives them credit for.

The religious right, electoral results aside, are a very loud, but very distinct minority in this country. The majority of the populace, it seems to me, while ambivalent about abortion and homosexuals, don't really give a shit about what their neighbor is up to and they don't really give a shit about "cultural issues." If anything they approve of the coarsening of the culture, what with their desperate housewives and their Howard Sterns and their I don't know what else but I'm sure its very very dirty. They also like their taxes low and are pretty damn ambivalent about government programs. This is a fairly small "l" libertarian attitude friends.

But perhaps Yglesias can be forgiven as a free-trading liberal who's not exactly on the front lines of the clash between secular depravity and the morally upright. God knows, I've done my level best to spread depravity and amorality. And you know what? Every now and then I lift my head out of the trenches, and take a look around. And like Robert Duvall after catching a whiff of napalm in Apocalypse Now, I smell victory. How far we've come friends. When the first lady of the United States jokes about her limp-dicked husband jerking off horses, and there's no outrage, you know that the coarsening of our culture is almost complete. Can you imagine if Mamie Eisenhower had said something like that? Of course not, and not just because Eisenhower was a virile man who exuded sexual competency and a disinclination for touching horse erections. Or what about Lady Bird Johnson? She never would have said such a thing and not just because LBJ would have given her the beating of her life if she had. No, my obsequious sycophants, there was a time in this country when dignity was something to be cherished, when women and children were to be shielded from profanity, when you couldn't casually glimpse up a woman's skirt on a Sunday afternoon stroll through the park. Those times are over. And for that we can celebrate.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, there is much work left to be done. Massive gay pride parades with leather-clad men fellating each other on floats are not yet a weekly phenomenon in this nation's suburbs. Cruel and authoritarian age of consent laws still exist. Hollywood is still peddling their nefarious G-rated movies and other trash meant to speak to man's more noble instincts. We must put a stop to these things. We shall put a stop to these things. But it will require diligence and perseverence. We have come far, but there is work left to be done, so that one day our grandchildren might live our dream of living in a society where rape is but a theoretical possibility, and not a criminal reality.


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