- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2004

New cultural politics, also known as the “new cultural Left,” threaten to harm the national ethos, the Democratic Party and manipulate a culturallyconservative black electorate. For most Americans, the danger of the new cultural left remains an abstract dilemma, but it will soon take center stage during this current presidential election cycle.

New cultural politics are a product of postmodernity and poststructural literary theory. Poststructuralism uses language to subvert otherwise traditionally accepted truth claims; claims that traditionally have stabilized American social order. On the other hand, postmodernism is a culture that creates myths in order to subvert conventional perceptions of reality.

An example of postmodernity and poststructuralism appeared in a recent Inside the Beltway article in The Washington Times, explaining why Democrat Zell Miller, a senior senator from Georgia, is dissatisfied with contemporary American culture. Mr. Miller often publicly speaks against deteriorating and diminishing American values. In this instance, he comments on the tainted Super Bowl fiasco, “The culture of far-left America was displayed in a startling way during the Super Bowl’s now infamous halftime show.” He added, “The scent of this event will long linger in the nostrils of America.” This is a glaring example of the new cultural left’s political agenda that uses the American counter culture (i.e., MTV) to challenge traditional morals and truth claims, upon which this republic’s social order rests.

Those who are influenced by the cultural left’s worldview will more than likely vote for a liberal agenda in the fall. What is the political strategy for the new cultural left? Their strategy, in part, is to use leftist counter culture (i.e., the Super Bowl’s infamous halftime show) as a vehicle to deconstruct traditional American values.

What is at stake here? The heart and soul of the American nation is at stake, and how the electorate responds in the fall will further determine our national value system. As former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan once controversially stated, the nation’s citizenry is in cultural war. Where is this cultural war raging? On university and college campuses.

New-Left cultural politics mostly have been an intellectual phenomena limited to the academy. In fact, most people are unaware that, for decades, many college and university professors have been affiliated with socialist politics, if not Marxist. Consistently they have espoused their views, shrewdly using “academic freedom” as protection. Recently, however, those who are proponents of these leftist theories are looking for ways to apply their social practices into a conservative American social fabric beneath the noses of an unaware American public.

It seems that the new cultural left mostly targets black Americans, who traditionally vote for the Democratic Party. They overpoweringly supported the Democratic Party in the 2000 presidential election, giving nearly 91 percent of their votes to Al Gore.

Yet, data demonstrate that the black America has far more in common with the Republican Party. The Pew Research Center conducted a poll from September to October 2003 that reports, “Voters who attend religious services regularly favor re-electing Bush by strong margins, while those who rarely attend religious services clearly favor a Democratic candidate.” According to the poll, 63 percent of church attendees plan to support the sitting president, George W. Bush, while 37 percent plan to vote for the Democrats’ nominee. Of those who seldom attend church, 62 percent plan to vote for the Democratic nominee and only 38 percent intend to vote for Mr. Bush.

Commenting on black conservative religious values, Steven Waldman, writing for Slate, admits that blacks are conservative on cultural issues. He states, “On many issues over which liberals mock the ‘the religious right,’ African Americans are closer to the evangelicals than the rest of the Democratic Party.” He adds, “Even more important, African Americans tend to concur with the Republican position on the hot issue of gay marriage. Sixty?four percent oppose it as compared to 44 percent among white mainline protestants and 30 percent among secular Democrats.” Mr. Waldman goes on to say that blacks “support the Republican position on the death penalty, despite evidence that its implementation tends to discriminate against blacks.”

The largest battleground is the current presidential election and how the electorate votes will determine the future of Western civilization. Left- leaning Americans, those who were not offended by the Super Bowl’s halftime fiasco, will more than likely vote Democratic. But those who are deeply offended by the same event will more than likely vote as Republicans. It seems that the religious conservatives, including black Christians who are also clearly cultural conservatives, will set the stage for the national debate over values and truth.

The Rev. Joseph Evans is senior pastor at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Washington.

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