In the last few decades, America has experienced the phenomenon of culture wars, where society and the establishment are being challenged on a regular basis by members of the liberal left. The origins of these ideological conflicts derive from the concept of the open society. While at first sight the idea of a free and diverse society, where there are rights and protections for all individuals are being upheld, seems like a good and fair approach, the implementation of the laws on these matters leave much to be desired. The reality is that many of the new laws and regulations, or the judicial opinions supported by the judiciary, rather than protect everyone, create an atmosphere of discrimination and fear, due to the conflict that arises when a law or judicial ruling runs against society’s moral and cultural values.
Liberal propaganda and reactionary politics have particularly focused on sex, gender, expression, education, and the abolition of conservative and religious values, even when the latter might attempt to accommodate the left in order to avoid censure or persecution. Even though at times the spirit of the law seems to be part of the common sense ideals found in American culture (freedom and justice for all), the overreach of the government and the judiciary have led to the deprivation of the rights and the silencing of opinions of those who do not agree with the current trends of thought.
The main issue that divides America is the belief that some people are the holders of the absolute truths about morals and behaviors, while others believe that such ideals should be placed at the individual level. While there is nothing wrong with people holding different opinions or points of view, the danger arrives when the same people who advocate for freedom and equality demand that others must follow their train of thought or beliefs. While many believe that the culture wars were a product of the 1980s and 1990s, the truth of the matter is that these social conflicts go back much further, some up to the 1960s and the postwar years, and in other cases, their origins can be traced all the way to the postbellum period.
Race wars, identity crisis, cultural challenges, religious belief and indoctrination (or lack thereof), and socioeconomic status: they all play a significant role in the development and support of ideological conflict in America. Even though freedom of thought and belief it’s the motor what drives America, the modern social movements have gone too far to one side or the other, trying to silence their opponents, and bring down society as we know it.
The main battleground for this divergence of thought comes from the school system, both at the primary and higher education levels. In contemporary America, children, youth, and young adults are subjected to constant indoctrination, sometimes from the conservative side, but most of the time by members of the radical liberal left. Rather than teaching young minds how to think and make choices, students are taught what to believe, and are threatened if they show different ideas or beliefs. The changes in educational approaches have created a counterculture where everyone is offended by anything, and where sensibilities ran high. There is no place for comments, opinion, freedom, or even jokes, unless they abide by the new norms of political correctness. This new and adversarial culture is represented not only by colleges and universities, but found even in lower education establishments (alas, even in pre-k centers) has created a ridge between various sectors of society.
In one side of these social conflicts we find those who uphold moral concepts and conservative values, while on the other extreme we see socialist revolutionaries who aim for a utopia that is impossible to attain. Toward the middle of both sides we find the average American citizen, who while supports the ideas of freedom and choice, it’s abhorred at the never ending changes that are being demanded by the left, while remaining concerned about the eventual backlash that could come from the right.
At the end of the day, American society just wants to focus on those issues that are as important as our historical core values. Family; education; health; religious beliefs; morality; individuality; patriotism; equality; self-sufficiency; and social order, are some of those values that exemplify what America is all about. Notwithstanding the fact that culture and society can be considered multifaceted concepts, with different variants within themselves, at the end of the day a society cannot stand on its own if its members plan to destroy it from within. Even if there will always be disagreements and even a variety of moral and value orientations, the result of a heterogenous society, differences in thoughts and behaviors should be used to solve conflict and improve communities, not to destroy a nation that has given so much to help both its citizens and the world.