How the 'rank idiocy' of GOP 'culture wars' gives the left political ammunition: conservative

How the 'rank idiocy' of GOP 'culture wars' gives the left political ammunition: conservative

Political comedian Bill Maher, on his HBO show “Real Time,” hasn’t been shy about calling out what he views as culture war overreach on both the left and the right. Maher’s politics lean liberal, and he has been a scathing critic of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. But Maher hasn’t hesitated to slam “cancel culture” and “woke” progressives he views as hypersensitive and too easily offended.

Fox News and other right-wing outlets are quick to report on Maher’s angry rants against “woke” excesses, but the “Real Time” host resents the fact that those outlets ignore all the things he has to say against far-right MAGA hypersensitivity.

Not unlike Maher, Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes believes that MAGA culture warriors can be way too sensitive — a subject he tackles in a column published by The Bulwark on January 26. Sykes, however, comes at it from a conservative perspective, arguing that MAGA Republicans often give their liberal and progressive critics plenty of material to work with their “rank idiocy.” And he argues that some on the left can certainly be guilty of “faux outrage” as well.

READ MORE:How parts of the 'anti-woke right' are pushing a 'secular culture war': report

“We all recognize this story: the faux outrage/indignation/freak-out over some trivial, made-up issue that becomes the latest front in our deeply unserious culture wars,” Sykes writes in his Bulwark column. “Think gas stoves. Or the fights over Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss, and a Twix commercial.”

Sykes quotes and recommends reading a recent article by writer Jeff Mauer that draws attention to culture war “freak outs.”

“Maurer strikes a cautionary note,” Sykes observes. “The M&M fiasco, he writes, represents a familiar pattern: Someone on the left oversteps. The right freaks out. Many on the left respond with ‘Wow, can you believe what the right is freaking out about now?’”

Maurer writes that “liberals can also be selective in our disdain for culture war bullshit” and brings up the term “Latinx,” saying, “We can’t invent the widely-despised word ‘Latinx’ as part of a relentless language-policing campaign and then dismiss Sarah Huckabee Sanders as frivolous when she bans the word immediately after becoming governor of Arkansas.”

READ MORE: Historian: America's culture war is transforming into an actual war

“Latinx” is a term that has drawn a lot of criticism from the right but also has detractors who are either Democrats or allies of Democrats, including Maher, veteran Democratic strategist James Carville and liberal Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona (who recently announced a U.S. Senate run). During a conversation on “Real Time,” Maher and Gallego both railed against the term. And Gallego, a bilingual Latino and hispanohablante, made it clear that he doesn’t appreciate non-Spanish speakers policing a language that they don’t even speak. Gallego’s blunt message — one Maher agreed was — was essentially: nouns are gendered in Spanish, deal with it.

READ MORE: Republican culture war 'rooted in white anxiety and fear

Read Charlie Sykes’ full Bulwark column at this link.

Read Jeff Maurer’s full article at this link.

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