Slate, rather unexpectedly, ran a somewhat civilized interview with Eric Nelson at broadside books about conservative publishing. It’s not especially interesting to conservatives since it’s the usual liberal anthropological take which views conservatives as space aliens.
But there’s a concluding line from Nelson that jumped out at me.
The more things you have in common with the left, the easier it is for them to find you and be mad at you.
It’s an interesting point.
The idea here is that the people whom the Left targets for cultural reasons most obsessively have things socially in common with them. The examples in the interview include Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson. Presidents are obviously an exception with any Republican in the White House being described as the new Hitler. As I demonstrated, even being the GOP nominee means you’re the next Hitler.
When it comes to culture wars, it’s another story. Somewhat.
In the past, the Left was obsessed with Christian conservative leaders. But that’s not what you tend to hear so much anymore. And I think part of the reason is that the country is becoming less religious as a whole. And it’s hard to have a culture war with people you don’t share a culture with. You can’t have a culture war with people you see as space aliens. You can hate them. You can persecute them. But they’re too alien to have a culture war with. There needs to be some cultural intersection for there to be a culture war.
There are two basic dicourses now
1. External – Contempt for the ‘Other’. Viral videos and tweets rage with disgust at the ‘otherness’ of the other tribe, depicting it as contemptible in every possible way.
2. Internal – The cultural civil war, whether it’s cancel culture or other purges of people who are part of your culture, but whom you would like to push out
No dialogue is possible with the former. While the latter are familiar enough that they have to be forced out of the culture.