CultureWatch: GOP Winning Language Wars


This New York Daily News columnist notes some recent successes by political conservatives in "naming reality" such as using Obamacare rather than "Affordable Health Care Act."

He is right this is a recent development, and it is part of the process by which the new conservative-dominated media contests the culture wars.

Culture wars are not primarily political, but they are not apolitical either.

Cultural power is the power to "name reality" as Dr. James Davison Hunter teaches and in this game a handful of Harvard professors are far more powerful than 50,000 ordinary people. But 50 million people have a certain weight that it is harder for credentialed elites to get around.

One of the reasons the prolife movement is more culturally potent than it used to be, is that Democrats got tired of continually losing close elections through pro-choice extremism. They decided to mute or moderate their opposition to pro-lifers, even as they continue to support choice as a policy position--they tend to speak of the position with respect rather than to demonize prolifers.

And this has in turn opened up new space on the cultural front.

Demonizing opponents can be energizing but it is also costly and exhausting.

This is one of the things that gives me hope on the marriage front, by the way, down the road.