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12/28/2017 8:16 am  #1

Who’s Winning the Culture War? Corporate America

Traditionally, the two parties fought mostly over economics. But now cultural issues like abortion and gun control divide Americans more sharply along regional lines than economic policies. One impact of the rise of the culture war in the 1990s was to reorder the popular coalitions of the parties — for example, by attracting evangelical Protestants to the Republicans while propelling secular voters toward the Democrats. This also redefined their geographic constituencies.

But while it has been fueled by widening divisions over social issues within the American electorate, this regional realignment has left a much larger imprint on the direction of federal economic policy than on the nation’s prevailing cultural zeitgeist.

You might say that the winner of the culture wars is neither Democrats nor Republicans. In legislative terms, American corporations have claimed the biggest victories so far.
Political analysts often argue that the rise of the culture war has had an acrimonious effect on American politics by expanding the battlefield of partisan disagreement to include a set of policies that provoke moral fervor, like abortion and gay rights, or activate fundamental personal identities such as religion and ethnicity. These divisions, they suggest, do not lend themselves to negotiation and compromise as readily as differences over economics, where horse-trading and difference-splitting are more feasible solutions.

But the growth of cultural conflict has polarized Democratic and Republican politicians on economic issues as well, by providing the two parties with increasingly distinct and insulated electoral constituencies, and bitter debates over health care and tax reform have generated just as much partisan rancor in the current Congress as any other policy domain.
The numerous Republican victories in congressional elections during the past 25 years have not managed to prevent the cultural change that has occurred over the same period, from declining religious observance and increasing support for same-sex marriage to the decriminalization of marijuana and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Cultural conservatism remains essential to defining the Republican Party’s regional base, but its substantive fruits can be found more in the implementation of conservative economic measures than in the repeal of liberal social policies or reversal of leftward social trends.

Despite a 2016 campaign waged largely on cultural themes, the Republican tax bill represents the biggest legislative accomplishment of the current Congress — and, quite possibly, of the entire Trump administration. Though Mr. Trump once presented himself as a populist enemy of Wall Street, and though many corporations have come to adopt liberal positions on issues like immigration, gay rights and affirmative action, big business and wealthy individuals stand to benefit the most from tax cuts approved by congressional majorities elected on the basis of right-of-center cultural views.

That is why the true winner of today’s culture war is corporate America.

Who’s Winning the Culture War? Corporate America

Last edited by Goose (12/28/2017 8:18 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

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