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The Culture War Is a Myth

By Michael Warren Davis, The American Conservative

Andrew Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And yet, strangely, he didn’t go on to become a painter or a playwright or an operatic tenor. He went into politics.

I’m sure Breitbart meant it at the time. At some level, though, he must have known the truth: culture is a function of politics. In the modern world, everything is.

Just take the most recent example. Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned, NPR helpfully compiled the reactions of sixty-four musicians, all of them negative. Taylor Swift said she was “absolutely terrified” by the ruling. Lukas Nelson wrote a new song about a girl who’s forced to carry the child of her own father, a self-righteous, church-going hypocrite.

“F—k the Supreme Court,” Lorde said during her set at Glastonbury Festival. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong went a little further. “F—k America,” he told another crowd of Britishers. “I’m f—king renouncing my citizenship. (Like abortion, the F-word is now an integral part of our culture.)

It’s not just the artists, though, and it’s not just the left. These days, no frat party is complete without at least one dude in a Reagan/Bush tank top. A backwoods bonfire must have at least a dozen MAGA caps. Ten years ago, every bar in the country had sports on the TV. Now, half of them show cable news. Between Kanye’s strange foray into politics, Kim’s lobbying President Trump on prison reform, and Caitlyn Jenner’s run for governor, the Kardashians have replaced the Bushes as our most important Republican dynasty.

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