Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Culture Wars

Will Wilkinson (late of Cato) over at the Economist has the best description I've heard:

Unlike liberalism, social/moral conservatism is essentially a creed of lost causes. It is about delaying the inevitable, standing firm against the tide of progressive social change for one more decade or year or day. Vulnerability—a sense of a treasured way of life under siege—is at social conservatisms' heart, and embattled reaction to the slings and arrows of liberal reproach and condescension is intrinsic to conservatism. In contrast, liberalism is generally confident, sure that it is the vanguard of history. But the arrogance of liberals frustrated by the futile intransigence of America's morally conservative majority is fuel for the conservative grief machine.

(Emphasis mine.) I don't really have anything to add, except that this is just spot on. It also does a good job of describing the dynamic behind the scared and hysterical tone of discourse on today's right.

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