Monday, April 21, 2008
By now I'm sure you've heard about Obama's "bitter" speech. I think it is emblematic of the "culture wars" thesis. Two recent editorials do a good job pointing this out. George Will, speaking from a conservative viewpoint, argues that Democratic leaders have become elitist, and out of touch with middle America, the red state, or the traditionalists. E. J. Dionne, speaking from a liberal perspective, argues that the Republican Party has used these cultural issues (God and guns) to get middle class voters to vote against their pocketbook interests. There is a certain segment of the population that would hear Obama's comments and say, "yeah, that sounds about right." While there are others who hear his comments and say, "what!, that's outrageous!," thus suggesting that there is a cultural divide in the US, where the two sides speak a different language and have difficulty understanding each other. What do you think? Was this incident truly emblematic of a larger cultural divide, or was it just a misunderstanding?