Beto smells blood in the water. With Texas frozen over, former Democratic Rep. O’Rourke sought to pin the state’s power outages on a Republican culture war.
“While they focused on bathroom bills, ‘show me your papers’ legislation and fighting with sports teams over the Star Spangled Banner, 30 million Texans were left vulnerable to uncontrolled COVID spread, a bungled vaccine rollout and now this ‘rolling’ power blackout,” O’Rourke tweeted Tuesday night.
While they focused on bathroom bills, “show me your papers” legislation and fighting with sports teams over the Star Spangled Banner, 30 million Texans were left vulnerable to uncontrolled Covid spread, a bungled vaccine rollout and now this “rolling” power blackout. 2/4
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 16, 2021
This point is worth rebutting because it could be a potent line of attack in a state where Democrats are on the brink of seriously disrupting GOP dominance. It’s also predicated on a dangerous misconception about our politics—one that is wreaking immediate consequences.
The so-called culture war is not being waged by conservatives. That is an indisputable reality. (See here.) By definition, the culture war is being waged by “progressives” who wish to change the culture. That isn’t to say the matter isn’t politically expedient for Republicans. Sometimes it is and, as a consequence, sometimes Republicans latch onto culture war issues for political reasons more than moral ones.
It is not, however, the right’s fault our discourse is being suffocated by culture war conversations. Take O’Rourke’s tweet.
It was not conservatives who tried to fundamentally change public restroom policy. Colin Kaepernick took a knee. That’s why we’re talking about the national anthem. While Beto is trying to fault conservatives for creating culture war distractions, he’s actually just upset the right is responding to demands from leftists like him instead of being bowled over.
The left is openly seeking to induce dramatic cultural shifts. Those who don’t admit it should. It’s literally in the “progressive” label. What does O’Rourke expect the right to do in the face of this serious effort to change aspects of society like patriotism and sex they wish to “conserve”? Ignore it? Go with it? Change their deeply held principles about biology?
We don’t have to talk about bathrooms and the national anthem at all. We wouldn’t be talking about any of this if not for the left’s constant, daily insistence on it! Nevertheless, Beto is blaming the right for distracting everyone and the media will help perpetuate his narrative.
But Robert Francis is right about one thing. We shouldn’t have to spend so much time fighting over bathrooms and the national anthem. It is indeed coming at a cost to our infrastructure, preparation, and everyday wellness. This has been evident in the vaccine rollout.
The internet may make it seem like we have endless time and space to cover every path of political ground imaginable. That’s simply not true. We are flailing and unfocused, fighting needless battles in a culture war perpetuated by leftist radicals suddenly calling all the shots.
Unless you believe conservatives should swallow every dramatic demand without question, we will continue to be bogged down by the culture war so long as those demands are being made. Beto should take it up with his own party, because the blame lies squarely with them.