28 Comments

I like this piece as well, especially the end....."If the right cared about freedom..." just about sums it up. The phrase 'culture wars' exists alongside a slew of other related terms like 'woke', 'parental rights', 'groomer', “political correctness,” “cancel culture”: These all work together in service of the larger issues of power, status and who gets or deserves privilege. They are the opposite of any reasonable definition of freedom. The CPC joins other RW parties in the West in advancing reactionary political projects because it is no longer interested in helping all people. It’s economic ideas, if we can call them that, have largely failed, and in that vacuum socially conservative anti-democratic forces have filled the void. It knows it can no longer claim a majority of support. So it pursues a scorched earth policy (literally). You can’t, IMO, understand the term ‘culture war’ without seeing its role alongside the other moral panics they have created and how together, they form the frontline of their crusade against multiracial pluralism.

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Thank you for this precise analysis of the current Conservative strategy of using non-economic values to appeal to voters and their donations. I would just explain further that the investors behind all this cover want certain goals: a conservative govt that lowers corporate taxes, that supports fossil fuels, that spends less on social supports, etc. So the culture wars work as a very effective cover for the powerful's underlying economic goal to retain their privilege. Canadians need to see this game exposed more bluntly. Keep it going, David!

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by David Moscrop

Well, sad to say, it seems to be working judging by the discourse. Economics and policy are certainly tougher to talk about and certainly stir less emotion - usually. Its more a competition of loudness than critical thinking.

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The right-wing, in fact, does not care about freedom. However, they are very good at putting forth that the oppression of non-white, non-heterosexual, non-male, non-Christian people means freedom for white, heterosexual, male Christians. Their goal, as has been clearly demonstrated by Poilievre in his rants against Trudeau and about the economy, is an authoritarian central government that controls every aspects of most people's lives while letting the few wealthy have their way. In other words, fascism.

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The origins in the culture war are not difficult to trace as to why the right wing political parties pander and promote these causes. It's quite simple. It's a recipe for political success among a significant part of the population who are susceptible to fear and prone towards authoritarian views. Combined with the challenges faced by the average workers and major companies who can no longer are willing to pay living wages, there are more people willing to align with the intolerant, authoritarian politicians like Pollievre.

A second reason is that right side parties in Canada and the USA have a bankrupt economic strategy that worked well in the days when lower taxes for the rich led to jobs for others and when small government and balanced budgets got along just fine. Today lower taxes for the rich don't create jobs as the wealthy "make money off paper" as Bill Clinton has been quoted as saying. Small government is not able to handle complex problems and investment in necessary infrastructure.

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> If the right cared about freedom and not just fanning the flames of their prejudice, they would focus first and foremost on class and economic power; they would see themselves as allies of the groups they seek to marginalize or even eliminate

Then they'd be the left

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My advice: never, ever take the bait. Never discuss human-rights issues. I'm serious.

"My opponent wants me to follow him down the conspiracy rabbit hole by attacking human rights, the right of a small group that need champions against bigotry. He'd like to change the conversation to a settled issue. Canadians, be they gay, Black, or trans, have no need of more human rights. They already have human rights, because this is Canada. They can fight for their human rights in court, and win every time, because this is Canada. My opponent is trying to change the topic, to the rights of half a percent of the country, when half the country is not making a decent wage. Why do you never talk about a decent wage?"

etc.

Yes, it seems rotten to not defend the attacked group, but they're being used like that sniper in "Heavy Metal Jacket": wound somebody, get him screaming, then pick off the guys who come to the rescue.

Have a little faith: by attacking them, the attackers are looking bad, ensuring their loss in the longer run. Do people remember who stood up to Bull Connor's dogs on the bridge at Selma? No, they remember those awful dogs.

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Parents are responsible for their kids until the age of majority. Allowing the interjection of outsiders--in the absence of parential irresponsibility--is an abrogation of the family unit.

Generally, teachers as a group have proven their absence of judgement in such situations. Their interests are elsewhere.

Please get out of kids lives and let the family deal with family matters. Concurrently, do not let bad parenting off the hook by suggesting that there's a suitable substitute.

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An interesting rant...but a rant nonetheless. It is steeped in generalities, presumptions and stereotypes. Your objections to the rights of parents are unfair to your own parents.

Sadly, David, I beleive such rants damage the respect of those who seek balanced change.

If you are trying to ignite some sort of left-wing-style protest by non-Liberals, you have failed. I am a paying subscriber and will continue to pay your fee simply as an attempt to understand thinking like this.

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As a centrist I often see both sides of an issue. I do not like the far right, but I also do not like the far left. One is trying to keep us in the dark ages and interfering with human rights issues. The other is taking us to the brink with giving children the right to decide whether or not they should take dangerous drugs and have radical surgery - when they are not even the age of consent. I don’t know a parent today that would harm their children over this purposefully. This is where social services and family therapy comes into play. I don’t happen to believe in the gender theory introduced in the 50’s by John Money, who turned out to be a disturbed person who abused his position of authority. However, I am sympathetic to those who struggle with gender identity issues and want them to be free, as adults, to live the way they want and respect their rights to full inclusion in society. However, that comes with limits when it comes to women and girls safe spaces and some Women’s sports. There are ways to solve these issues but if we could stop demonizing people on both sides of the issue, and have civilized conversations rather than name calling and cancelling people with different views, our culture wars would not exist. When one side pushes too far, the other will want to slam on the brakes. This is the push and pull between progressive and conservative views. They both exist to keep us from going over the edge. My whole life I’ve voted liberal except for one PC vote, but if the cons had voted in Jean Charest, I would have seriously consider changing. There are far more people in Canada with the same views like me than the far right/left realize. It’s time to swing back to the centre.

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Let's all be clear about what the Conservatives are doing here: stoking fear and anxiety over children in order to gain political power. It's one of the oldest and most effective playbooks used throughout history, because what is more emotionally compelling than insecurity about our children?

The fact is, there is no epidemic of trans people or kids, yet the right is oddly obsessed with gender diversity.

Canada has a long list of challenges to solve. Conservative politicians making sexuality such a priority is ridiculous and terribly sad, both for the kids affected and for our political discourse.

My hope is that most Canadians recognize this as a cheap, manipulative, ignoble tactic.

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Ah! The name-calling Meaghan appears. "Misogynistic", "belittle", "not capable of civil debate". As I said, we have a profound difference of opinion. But that's all. Accept that. Ditch the vilification.

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Thanks to David for generating a spirited discussion!

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Your position is clear. Thanks for sharing. However, you are on the wrong side of this debate.

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Huh? Vivian, to whom are you prepared to surrender your kids?

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