Daniel Oliver

Fighting, And Losing, The Culture War

Just because Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is in the marketing business is no reason she should ignore the culture war.

She recently tweeted: “@GOP is proud to have doubled our LGBTQ support over the last 4 years, and we will continue to grow our big tent by supporting measures that promote fairness and balance protections for LGBTQ Americans and those with deeply held religious beliefs.” That’s the Big Tent Theory at work.

The problem is, if your tent is big enough to accommodate tigers and leopards, some people won’t go on your safari. It’s not that they don’t like tigers and leopards: they’re happy to support efforts to keep them from going extinct (and they don’t believe in throwing them off tall buildings). But tigers and leopards are — well — different, and most people don’t want their children … you get the picture. Especially when the tigers and leopards are trying to teach the kids to walk on all fours.

Many Republicans are probably willing to let the LGBTQs do what they do in peace — and in private. But shoehorning them into “normal” society (and your work place) by means of the civil rights laws has seemed a perversion of those laws. It’s a cultural thing — and we should ask, where was the black community when those laws started to be perverted?

The politics of today is culture — pace those (former Speaker of the House of Representative Paul Ryan?) who still think the only issue that really matters is the economy (stupid). And Republicans, or at least the conservative Republicans, think they’re losing the culture war — and they’re right. A headline in the Washington Post makes the point: “The fight for gay marriage could have left society fractured. Why didn’t it?” And because it didn’t, we moved on to the whole LGBTQ business and even gender reassignment surgery, which now has its own acronym — GRS!

Here’s a cultural note you may have missed: the Public Broadcasting Service decided to broadcast a children’s show featuring a drag queen singing, dancing and reading a book to an intended audience of 3-to-8 year-olds.

PBS is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. If you look up (on Google) “How is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded?” you get: “CPB is a private nonprofit corporation that is funded by the federal government.”

You gotta love “private nonprofit corporation that is funded by the federal government.” Verrry private.

The episode is part of the series “Let’s Learn” and was produced by (you are going to believe this) The New York City Department of Education and PBS member station WNET. “Let’s Learn” is not a PBS series but was made available to PBS stations.

It stars drag queen and author “Lil Miss Hot Mess” who reads her children’s story about drag queen culture and addresses the young audience as “drag queens in training.”

“I wrote this book,” Lil Miss Hot Mess is quoted as saying, “because I wanted everyone to get to experience the magic of drag and to get a little practice shaking their hips, or shimmying their shoulders to know how we can feel fabulous inside of our own bodies.”

What would Pat Nixon, in her Republican cloth coat, think of that? What do you think of that? And — this is the real point — what do you think most voters, Republicans and potential Republicans, would think of it?

How many LGBTQ people are there, anyway? And where do most of them live? Are they evenly distributed throughout the country, or do they tend to live in New York, with the diminutive Ms. Hot Mess, or in California — two states that aren’t likely to vote Republican until … climate change makes Hell feel like Beverly Hills.

Isn’t it possible, or even likely, that for every LGBTQ voter McDaniel recruits, she loses a voter who feels that her religious freedom is being threatened by the LGBTQ agenda and its supporters among the politicians who are forcing that agenda on the public — and on her children?

It’s so easy not to vote, especially if you feel threatened by people on the opposite side of the culture war. And certainly these days: say the wrong thing and you could lose your job, especially if you work at Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS or Merck (Donald Trump’s list of the wokest companies), which employ a total of about 1.2 million people.

Chasing LGBTQ voters may produce a certain … shaking or shimmying sensation for McDaniel and Republican campaign consultants, but it’s likely to alienate cloth coat Republicans who want what goes on in New York and California to stay there.

And who see the culture war as the struggle of our time.


June 16, 2021
The Daily Caller

Reimagining Donna Brazile

Loose lips sank ships and caused carnage at sea during the Second World War. But loose lips today—mouthing the Democrat Party and Black Lives Matter police brutality canard—cause carnage in America’s inner cities.

Donna Brazile, a Democrat operative, wrote this recently in the Wall Street Journal:

As a black woman, I’ve experienced plenty of discrimination… [I]n the past year I’ve watched the same videos and read the same accounts that millions of people around the world have seen—images of police killing unarmed black people in American cities. I cried over these horrific killings.


Except it’s really not right, it’s mostly wrong. People in the public policy space should know better.

Last year this writer took after Catherine McGehee, the headmistress (you can still say “headmistress,” but not “headmaster” and certainly not “house master,” at least not at Yale) of Foxcroft, a girls’ finishing school in Middleburg, Virginia. McGehee had said, “We struggle with the loss of yet more unarmed Black men and women, which regrettably continues as a cruel legacy of our nation’s racist history.” We remarked that if Ms. McGehee had bothered to determine how many “unarmed Black men and women” had been “lost,” she might not have had to struggle so much.

If McGehee had bothered to look up the statistics, she would have discovered that, in the year in which she struggled so much, just one unarmed black woman was killed by police, and nine unarmed black men were. Of the 10 killings, only two resulted in criminal prosecution because the rest were considered justified.

Ms. McGehee runs a secondary education organization, while Ms. Brazile, au contraire [see below], is a public policy maven—she’s the person who helped Hillary Clinton cheat in one of her debates with Donald Trump, and she is a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“Au contraire,” incidentally, means “to the contrary” in French, a language many schools have probably given up teaching, much like Princeton has given up requiring Latin and Greek in the Classics Department(!) because the “history of our own department bears witness to the place of Classics in the long arc of systemic racism.”

Of course, a viewer can’t tell, as she watches killings by police on television, how many of them will not result in criminal prosecution. Even so, there wouldn’t seem to be enough to justify Brazile’s phrasing (“images of police killing unarmed black people in American cities,”) which implies, obviously, multiple images. Yet that was her phrase, and written in a column, not ad-libbed in an interview.

Maybe Ms. Brazile thinks two unjustified killings is a scandal requiring wholesale uprooting of policing and the broader criminal justice system. But adults, at least those who don’t help people cheat on exams, might ponder that number (it was two) in relation to the population of the United States, which is about 340 million.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the “defund the police” movement has been causing havoc and death, especially in black communities, and you might think that would receive special attention from people like Donna Brazile.

Murder is up everywhere. According to the Council on Criminal Justice, “Homicides, aggravated assaults, and gun assaults rose significantly beginning in late May and June of 2020. They jumped by 42 percent during the summer and 34 percent in the fall when compared to the summer and fall of 2019.” This trend has continued. Murders are up 800 percent in Portland, 56 percent in Minneapolis, 40 percent in Philadelphia, and 27 percent in Los Angeles.

Some people have blamed the Chinese Flu, but murder rates in other countries have not gone up. In this country, however, crime rates have soared where Democrats have “re-imagined policing,” which is woke-speak for defunding, or cancelling, the police—even as Princeton has re-imagined the Classics by giving up Latin and Greek.

Brazile’s piece may have been primarily about anti-Semitism, but someone in her position obviously can’t resist playing the race card. Too bad she couldn’t spare a few tears for the dozens of black Americans killed in the inner cities by other black Americans in the last few months, though not—alas?—on national television. Now there’s a scandal, and one that far outpaces police misconduct.

But unfortunately for the people who live in the inner cities, that carnage is not a scandal easy to blame Republicans for, and so it will be forgotten or ignored—as World War II is soon likely to be. After all, President Roosevelt described it as “a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization,” which does not align with the woke ideology.


June 8, 2021
The American Conservative