The culture war is over, the liberals won, and the victory was so decisive that the Republican nominee for president doesn’t even try to deny it. He just talks about other things, and hardly anyone (least of all the very voters who once demanded that presidential aspirants demonstrate fealty to the religious right) notices or cares.
Trump called the religious right’s bluff, and no Republican running for president will again feel the need to make an appeal to the dwindling number of conservative religious voters.
None of which means that the issues wrapped up with the religious culture war have gone away entirely. Worries about an ongoing or looming assault on religious freedom persist among many social conservatives. And abortion remains a highly potent issue at the state level, with legislatures across the South and Midwest moving to restrict abortion rights (and the courts often blocking their efforts).
But at the national level — especially when it comes to presidential politics — the culture war is well and truly over.
Read the entire piece here.
Is the culture war over? I don’t think so. Linker is certainly correct about the lack of religion in the Clinton-Trump race. But let’s remember two things.
First, the Christian Right is still out there. They are getting older, but they will be a significant factor in American politics for several more presidential elections. Many are Trump supporters for decidedly religious reasons. They believe Trump will deliver the Supreme Court. They also have a long memories. The Clintons were polarizing figures in the 1990s. The Bill Clinton impeachment and Monica Lewinsky affair galvanized the Christian Right. Those conservative evangelicals who remember the 1990s will follow their religious conscience and refuse to vote for Clinton.
Second, the Christian Right remains a strong force in the GOP. In the 2016 primary season the Christian Right vote was divided between Cruz, Rubio, Carson and, to some degree, Kasich, Bush, Huckabee, and Santorum. If all of the Christian Right voters rallied around one candidate Trump would have been defeated.
So let’s not write the culture wars off too quickly. The cultural warriors will be back again.