Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Lessons from the Wendy Davis Disaster

Anarchists and libertarians, pay attention. This article argues conclusively that taking extremist positions on social issues is a political non-starter, as I have long suggested and as this Gallup poll points out.


“But social issues are rating near the bottom of voter concerns heading into the 2014 election. Abortion and other social issues rarely rate more than a few percentage points above zero when Gallup polls voters on their concerns. It turns out that the Republican implosion on social issues in 2012 was not a prelude to Democratic triumphs on the same.”

“…social issues matter a whole lot to a subset of liberals and conservatives, but most of the public doesn’t really care. (Environmentalism is like this too; it polls very low on the general public’s political priority list.) I vote primarily on social issues, but I’m much less likely to do that than I was in the past. This is in part because I no longer believe that politics is capable of addressing the core of our social and cultural problems, but it’s also — and relatedly — because I am much less willing to sign off on hawkish foreign policy as an acceptable cost for getting social conservatives into office. War is a social issue too. When you see how going to war affects the families and communities left behind, you understand that.

Same deal with economics.”

By Rod Dreher

The American Conservative

Discovery World 3/Flickr


3 replies »

  1. >Anarchists and libertarians, pay attention. This article argues >conclusively that taking extremist positions on social issues is a >political non-starter, as I have long suggested and as this Gallup poll >points out.

    Doesn’t that call the viability of the entire “white nationalist” project into question as well? (As if it had not already failed….)

  2. Yes, for the most part, but with the exception that white nationalists are an oppositional subculture, and therefore more frequently amenable to political solutions that involve the dissolution or break up of the state.

    The reason that the cultural left extremists are not amendable to such at present is that they are a rising force that is becoming embedded in mainstream institutions. Piggybacking on the state is a central part of their strategy for the most part.

  3. Of course, I agree that the mainstream of pan-secessionism needs to reflect a general libertarian-populist radical center perspective (the tripartite inside/ouside strategy), though it will likely have its extremists wings from the right and left, e.g. decentralist and secessionist tendencies from the radical right and urban insurgencies from the de jour radical left

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