If there are two issues that I could ban from public discourse, they would be abortion & gay marriage. It's not that I don't care about these two issues in the world's stupidest war (a.k.a. The US Culture War), but they are so polarizing that they blind the average person to political matters we can actually manipulate. The truth is that the Culture War has only one winner - The GOP. Here's why:
Right now, the GOP has realized that the economy can't be the issue of 2012. Life is better out here and we all know it. That "hopey changey thing" that they had bet heavily would fail has actually worked. The economy has favored the President.
It is no coincidence that, just as the economy improved, a flurry of extremist bills hit every Republican body in the country. We have bills to eliminate schools, force women back to the kitchen, create a government-sponsored religion, and authorize war with Iran. The GOP has draped each of these issues cleverly in the Culture War (another issue I'm certain to rant about excessively). Limiting female access to healthcare? Of course not! The GOP is valiantly defending freedom of religion (a "freedom" that only a handful of male bishops in the northeast ever requested and even their parishioners say it's an unnecessary element since the EMPLOYING BODIES within the church are totally cool with contraception). War against women? Surely you jest! We are protecting the sanctity of the womb! State-mandated rape (I actually think this one is RIDICULOUS on the left. A medical procedure is not a RAPE - I have banned that word outside of its legal sense, thank you.)? Not at all! We are pro-life!
While this should all be simply laughable - seen as the antics of a group of overgrown toddlers denied candy before supper - the Left has eagerly pandered to the screaming tot. The GOP is full of killers! How dare they?! They are anti-freedom, anti-woman, anti-peace, anti-marijuana for heaven's sakes! We must fight them - FIGHT THEM! We must insist that every woman has a right to kill any baby as long as it draws one ounce of blood from her. If she wants its throat slit post-delivery but before that umbilical cord is loosed, then doctors ready the scalpel! Religion is a horror! Mormons are scary! Christians are evil! Only the godless have any moral place in society! Fight them! Fight them! FIGHT THEM!
Yes, it IS that ridiculous. Probably more so. I'm not a great writer so I fail to capture the true idiocy of either side. I don't even believe it's a coincidence that Rush Limbaugh - the standard bearer of the right - is currently licking his wounds. His attack ramped up the ire of liberals while the boycott has rallied the conservatives with a new freedom to faux-support (speech).
The reason for all this crazy seems simple to me - by forcing the culture war into the limelight, the GOP saves itself. Liberals can't avoid letting their terrifying anti-religion, pro-baby-killing monster loose in the streets (usually carrying a sign or camping in a park). As soon as that terrifying beast is seen by the wavering Republican, he or she dashes back to the right, back to the power-hungry GOP stronghold. (It's brilliant strategy - I always give the GOP credit for really brilliant strategy.)
Oh, it's all such a joke. If the American people woke up tomorrow and yawned at the whole disaster while quietly working to put in power people that could make a difference on issues that truly matter to our lives, then we would change the world. We could undo the billionaire tyrants who rule our nation at present. We would have fair tax laws. The support of our country would fall equally across all citizens. We would have decent healthcare, supported public schools, and breathable air. So, maybe, anyone out there, tomorrow take a deep breath and repeat after me, "I will not be swayed by polarizing rhetoric. Today, I focus on what unifies rather than divides." Have a conversation with your neighbor where abortion or gay marriage can't be discussed. It may be illuminating.*
*That said, if you show up at the neighbor's house and the boorish Limbaugh is bellowing in the background, just leave your bundt cake with a smile & head home. After years of having his or her head beaten in by that fool, there is little rational thought remaining. My apologies to his fans, but if you turn off the drivel, you will find your brain has not yet atrophied & your heart is still capable of hearing the cries for justice.