Gah, part two

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 23:53 EDT
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Here’s the first part of the post. I thought I had saved it without publishing, but I guess not, and there’s already a bunch of comments, so I’ll just finish it here.

So, I was saying I doubt that many wingnuts realize how far out of their grasp total victory is, even though many of them seem to subconsciously get it, which is why fantasies about the end of the world where Jesus comes and makes everyone dead because they weren’t obedient are so popular. Outside of that, there’s a tendency to act as if it won’t be that hard to start getting the edge in the culture war. Now that abortion has been legal for more than two generations, I get the impression it’s a lot easier for anti-choicers, for instance, to convince themselves that re-banning abortion will return some idealized patriarchy that was already on its way out centuries before Roe v. Wade.

But believe you and me, wingnuts feel their losing status in the culture wars even if they’re winning electorally. Why do you think they invented virginity pledges and purity balls? It’s because the kids in their churches have rejected their values, and they’re trying to repackage them to make them more attractive. They’re so far behind where they want to be that they’re embracing Sarah Palin, a woman who outranks her husband and whose kids have been openly flouting “traditional” values, because they’re that desperate for an inroads. Every day that modernism exists, they lose a little more ground. There’s no one alive now that even remembers the idealized Victorian era where imperialism went unquestioned, Christianity was so standard it was practically the law of the land, there was no such word as “racism”, sex was dirty, and women’s rights were a joke.

None of this is to say that we couldn’t face massive rollbacks of rights. But that’s what they’ll be—rollbacks of rights, not a total turning back of the clock. Fundamentalism exists as a backlash to modernism, and so the hate for modernism extends all the way to self-hate because fundamentalism is dependent on modernism. I’m not trying to be dismissive of the fact that we have a real struggle going on. Just pointing out that if the wingnuts are angry all the time, it’s because they’re fighting to win over everyone’s hearts and souls, and that will always be a losing battle.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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