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Ever since the beginning of decade-long wars in the Middle East and the expensive failure of the United States’s attempt at foreign occupation, I have considered myself something of an anti-conflict, pro-peace isolationist. I still consider myself one, but I do believe there is a present-day war worth fighting: The United States Culture War. It’s a battle that must be won, and right now the good guys are losing.
Passing sound legislation that aligns with conservative values is important, but conservatives need to reevaluate their approach. Unless the quest for policy enactment in state and federal legislatures is dually matched with an effort to dismantle woke culture, the impact of any legislative victories will be temporary.
In a similar tone as Andrew Breitbart’s warning years ago, Ben Shapiro has argued that “[t]he battle has to be first won in the institutions, then you talk about the policy that ought to be promulgated.” He continued: “Yes, policy matters. But you know what matters more? The durability to the policy because you can pass something today and if the culture has shifted around you, it doesn’t matter one iota.”
The culture war is real. Sadly, it has become increasingly difficult to find a single institution in the United States that hasn’t been poisoned by radical leftism dedicated to race-based politics, the expansion of victimhood narratives, virtue signaling and wokeism.
The mainstream media (arguably the top facilitator of leftism), corporations, Hollywood, professional sports leagues, higher education and even the military have all bowed to this culture in one way or another.
Consider the case of Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021.
First and foremost – and it’s ridiculous I even have to point this out – the legislation is not racist nor does it help facilitate voter suppression. President Biden calling it “Jim Crow on steroids,” in fact, leaves us with two possible conclusions about his Administration: they are either ignorant or have simply not read the bill.
Tying this bill to laws of the Jim Crow era — which mandated the segregation of blacks and whites in schools, public transportation, water fountains, restrooms, etc. — is a deceitful and disgusting comparison. Biden is lying through his teeth.
Worst of all, those who make up the left-wing propagandist media are salivating over the opportunity to use that talking-point to push their antiracism narrative, even though they know it’s a damned lie.
Here are some common misconceptions – or just blatant lies – about the bill that have been amplified by the political-activist hacks (aka the mainstream media):
WRONG: “It reduces the amount of drop boxes.”
Drop boxes were a temporary coping mechanism implemented to protect voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill, however, will permanently authorize the use of drop boxes for the first time in the state of Georgia. The COVID-19 emergency drop boxes would have expired, removing boxes altogether, if this provision hadn’t been added to the new bill.
WRONG: “You can’t have food or water in line.”
The bill restricts partisan actors from giving voters money, gifts, food or water within 150 feet of a polling place to reduce the chances of coercing someone into voting a certain way. This isn’t a radical idea. It’s actually quite logical. There are no provisions, however, outlawing a voter from bringing his/her own food or water, asking a friend to bring some, or even receiving them from a nonpartisan poll worker while standing in line.
WRONG: “It shortens the hours of operations at polling places.”
President Biden has falsely claimed, many times, that the law forces polling places to close at 5 p.m. “so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over.” In actuality, it sets 5 p.m. as the earliest time a polling center can close, but allows polling places to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during early voting, which would extend voting time for some Georgian counties. Additionally, the law expands early voting days to include Saturdays, while making Sundays optional. If anything, voting hours increase under the bill.
WRONG: “The bill is racist because it requires voters to show an ID.”
Critics have long argued that voter ID requirements disproportionately target low-income communities and people of color. How? Does the left think Americans of certain demographics aren’t smart or capable enough to fill out a number on a piece of paper in order to obtain an ID? Georgia even offers a free state ID that can be used to request a ballot, so the cost of obtaining an ID is also not an issue. Showing an ID to vote has nothing to do with race.
Additionally, a Rasmussen study released in March showed 75% of “U.S. likely voters” support voter ID laws. Contrary to the media narrative, blacks (69%) and other minorities (82%) say voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to vote.
Of course the lengthy 97-page bill covers more than these provisions, but the primary fuss used by the left’s campaign to degrade the bill as “Jim Crow 2.0” originated from those four talking points. And it’s all a bunch of bologna.
Yet the activist media is using its power to force corporations into speaking out against the Georgia legislature, making it seem as if every employee within these organizations is overtly against the voting law, when in fact this is not the case. The left finds a few loud voices within these organizations to “demand” that businesses like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola (which I will refer to as Woka-Cola going forward) oppose sensible legislation like the voting bill. If the companies don’t act, the media runs attack stories against the corporation. So, in the minds of the business leaders, it’s probably better writing up a statement that kisses the feet of the woke than to face bad press. This scheme is becoming clockwork for leftist activists, and it’s working.
Another casualty of the culture war is Major League Baseball, which recently decided to move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta to protest the Election Integrity Act.
The scheme used by the left to force corporations into speaking out against any political occurrence that threatens their narrative was similarly brought to bear on the MLB when a few outspoken athletes decided they were puppets for Stacey Abrams. Fewer than 50 MLB players (out of more than 1,000 total players on opening day MLB rosters) spoke out against the law and demanded the All-Star Game be moved. Sadly, in fear of angering the leftist mob, spineless MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred agreed.
The current political/social climate in the United States is so morally backwards that (what should be) uncontroversial legislation causes more of an outrage than the fact that these same organizations snuggle with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Woka-Cola recently lobbied for Congress to loosen restrictions on the Xinjiang region in China which uses Uyghur Muslim slave labor to manufacture goods.
I wonder why?
Oh, that’s right, Woka-Cola gets its sugar from that region. The “civil rights warriors” at the soda company, who are fully convinced that showing an ID to vote is racist, seem to not give a damn about any form of human decency if it affects their own production. Hypocrites!
The MLB, in a similar fashion, just signed a deal with a Communist Party-backed Chinese company to help grow the game in Asian countries through rights to stream MLB games in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Never mind that this same company dropped the NBA over an executive’s pro-democracy support for Hong Kong. I guess President Biden was right — the CCP doesn’t have “a single democratic bone in its body.” The MLB doesn’t care.
Our culture is changing for the worse. This entire situation was manufactured by racial-suppression lies that were then fueled by the media. Conservatives need to take an unapologetic stand immediately.
Davis Soderberg is an associate for the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter at @soderberg_davis.
Author: Davis Soderberg