Boots & Sabers

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0739, 23 Sep 16

Replacing Culture with Politics

Interesting thoughts from Ben Domenech.

Charlie Rose asks: “Why do you think this race is about even, running against a woman who has been Secretary of State, a United States senator, First Lady of the United States? And the race is about even.” And Bono replied: “I would not diminish Trump’s supporters, or underestimate their angst. Because I feel that, in a way, they have correctly assessed that the center parties haven’t yet become clear.” Rose: “What you’re saying their angst is real and genuine, a sense that ‘I worry about my country and where it is.’”

It’s interesting to think of Bono as a case study in how things change. Sixteen years ago he was working closely with Jesse Helms, one of the most right-wing members of the Senate, on a host of issues. Helms today is held by many leftists to be a racist and a bigot, as someone who held unacceptable anti-gay and anti-minority views. And yet the U2 frontman worked with him to do good. At the same time that Martin Sheen was protesting George W. Bush by putting duct tape over his mouth, Bono was working with the Bush administration on a massive relief plan. He had no qualms about walking the border between culture and politics because that is how something is achieved beyond just making yourself feel good.

Today, the left is entirely in favor of replacing culture with politics. That gives us worse culture, and worse politics. We need more border-walkers who can navigate the world between this tribal divide, or we risk a culture where the tribes become increasingly permanent, and increasingly incapable of talking one to another.


0739, 23 September 2016


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