Washington Post: Opinion: Alyssa Rosenberg: If Conservatives Lost the Culture War, That Doesn't Mean Liberals Won
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
When people use the term "Culture War," it's not immediately clear what they're talking about. It could be some pop culture war between Hollywood and Nashville, the capitol of country music, or, perhaps, the broader Bible Belt. Well, that sort of conflict is really not of much significance. A more significant Culture War is in the arena of politics and the way Americans look at life and how they believe they should be living it.
All the evidence you need to know that Liberals won that Culture War is that it's no longer 1955. We no longer watch black and white TV or get together in the living room to listen to the radio. The man of the house is no longer likely to say, "Honey I'm home," when he comes home from work, with honey responding "How was your day dear? Your favorite drink is by your chair in the living room." Honey may not be there. She may still be at work.
This may sound simplistic but we are in a completely different era where both men and women believe that they can do anything they want to if they work hard and get a good education and the skills they need to be successful. Gone are the days of stereotypical masculine and feminine roles. African-Americans no longer live, for the most part, to serve Caucasian-Americans by working in their homes. Gays are no longer trapped in the closet. Men and women no longer feel that they have to be married in order to have sex or live with their romantic partner and have and rear children.
The 1960s was obviously not a perfect decade but it was a liberating (great liberal word) decade for millions of Americans, thanks to the Baby Boom generation. Today, 40-50 years later, we as a country, at least outside of the Bible Belt, feel that we have the freedom to live our own lives and do as we please without the threat of government or the religious and social establishment interfering. Now, legalized gambling, legalized marijuana, same-sex-marriage, homosexuality, and adult pornography are all mainstream. Bye bye, Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Phyllis Schaffly. You lost the Culture War.
As much as the Christian Right may want to put the whole country in a time machine and take us back to Leave it to Beaver Land (1955), those days are long gone. America, today, is much more free than it was then and it seeks ever more personal and economic freedom. It is never going back.