A wise man once said, "Politics is downstream from culture." That means who we elect, and the issues we vote for are largely shaped by our culture. That's not a huge revelation. Culture is the collection of our beliefs, behaviors, and ways of life- just about everything that makes a society, a society.
But culture is ever-changing. You can't really predict what it will look like in five or ten years. Often something emerges that we simply do not expect, fundamentally transforming the very fabric of a country's identity, customs, or view of the world.
The perfect example is the Internet- obviously. Since taking root in the late 90's, the proliferation of Internet access has dramatically altered the way Americans (and the rest of the world) interact with one another. This has brought about huge changes to our economy and long-standing industries. Since the early 2000's major institutions have struggled with titanic shifts in the way we learn, think, and entertain ourselves.
Record labels, newspapers, TV networks, and Hollywood studios have been dealt major blows to how they earn cash thanks to alternatives emerging online. None of them saw it coming, and it has changed so much about our lives. In the late 2000's, smart phones came along and changed it even more.
But sometimes culture can be deliberately manipulated, and the effects can be felt for years to come. As a child of the 90's, I watched as Hollywood and TV tried to normalize homosexuality. Personal feelings on the issue aside, it was very clear that pop culture was working to make the wider public more accepting of the lifestyle.
The result of that in politics is obvious. Today we have openly gay elected officials, numerous laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination and hate, and a Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage.
Anytime before the 90's, all those things were unthinkable. But the culture changed, thanks in large part to the message via entertainment, so our laws and ideas changed.
That wasn't the only issue that was altered thanks to the cultural shifts during the 90's. The impact of a predominately liberal culture from that decade was felt during the early 2000's up until recent years. While we did have a conservative president from 2000-2008, you could hardly consider him a successful one, as popular trends in our culture often worked against his policies and agenda.
And of course, in 2008, we elected our first black president, who became arguably the most liberal president in the history of the country.
But the tide is clearly shifting. Thanks to the transformative power of the Internet, big institutions like newspapers and TV no longer hold as powerful a sway on the public's mind. And because of this, they cannot alter our perceptions of life, culture, and politics the same way.
You might be thinking that I'll claim our culture is shifting from liberal to conservative, but that's not entirely true.
The age of traditional conservatism is dead. All those clean cut, Baptist-looking people that filled CPAC this year are not the ones holding the reins in Washington. That era of conservatives died out with Bush--possibly Reagan. The election of Donald Trump to the White House is a clear sign that a new trend in politics is emerging, one that is not beholden to either progressive liberalism or traditional, old fashion conservatism.
Across the cultural stream, we are seeing the rise of new skeptics, mostly young people who are bold enough to question the status quo and come to their own conclusions. Most of these people- who are gaining steam thanks to their blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels- are particularly up in arms over the abuses and extremism of the left, particularly social justice warriors, Black Lives Matter, and third wave feminism.
Computing Forever, one of these figures, explains some of it very aptly in his video:
What's amazing about this shift is they're not all staking claim on the Republican side of the mountain. Many of these young people have little in common with traditional conservatives. They don't identify with the GOP (the Grand Old Party? I mean, come on) or the entrenched established leaders that represent them.
Some might call themselves libertarians, but even that label doesn't fit all of them. The fact remains that young people born after 2000 have access to more information than the rest of us did. It has engendered a kind of healthy skepticism (at least in some of them) that is altering their perceptions radically.
Recent articles are even suggesting that the younger generation is actually more conservative than anyone born after 1945:
Teenagers born after 2000 - the so-called 'Generation Z' - are the most socially conservative generation since the Second World War, a new study has found.
The youngsters surveyed had more conservative views on gay marriage, transgender rights and drugs than Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials.
The questioned were more prudent than Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers but not quite as cash-savvy as those born in 1945 or before. (via Daily Mail)
Where is this coming from? The liberal elite of the 90's would be shocked that younger people are trending more conservative. How did it go so wrong?
The real problem lies in progressives themselves. The left's embracing of radical, unrealistic, and simply ridiculous notions of SJW's and their ilk have alienated anyone with a shred of common sense. Even classical liberals have little in common with the dreck that college professors, activists, and cable pundits are spewing.
I mean, if Bill Maher has to criticize his own party, you know there's a problem.
For quite some time the left has been using issues like race, gender, and sexuality as chips to advance their cause. They wanted anyone that disagreed with them to seem sexist, racist, or hateful of homosexuals. And for a while, they were probably right. But that was a long time ago. Much has changed, and in the United States and other Western countries, people of color, women, and gays enjoy quite a lot of freedom and opportunity.
But the left doesn't know what to do with themselves, now that these matters are settled. The ultimate goal was to use identity politics to establish a Socialist society. They got the equality, but not the dictatorship. What are they to do now? Push for more ground, over causes that few can embrace.
Black Lives Matter pushes a narrative about America that hasn't been factual in many generations. Third wave feminists push lies about the wage gap and sexism that cannot be backed by facts. Transgender groups push for ideas that science cannot support. And fat-positive activists? I mean, really, lose some weight guys.
These transparent attempts at undermining our culture and political agenda are a bridge too far. Many new voices are rising up to question them; not because they are dyed-in-the-wool conservatives or political activists, but because they have common sense.
Just check out how YouTuber Andywarski takes apart a feminist's attempt at inventing a problem:
These guys do a good job at exposing the hypocrisy and stupidity of this wanna be SJW's argument. I've been a gamer most of my life, and I can attest to the fact that gamers really don't care about gender in a game. In fact, most like having the option to choose. But the SJW's had to inject feminism in discussing a game with a female lead, so she had to create a straw man sexist to knock down.
This kind of stupidity is not going unnoticed by the rest of us. It's why many Americans are losing respect for the mainstream media. It's why the concept of "fake news" hasn't gone away. It's why more and more young people are questioning the logic of both the left and right, and are starting to see things from their own perspective.
Like I said, they aren't trending conservative, they're becoming their own thing. The media has tried to brand a few of them "alt-right," but don't be surprised if that label fades in coming years.
It's the same reason why a white-haired old man that looks like Larry David almost stole the DNC nomination from an established politician (and why she had to cheat to beat him). The younger generation is challenging everything we think is right and true.
In the coming years, more surprises are on the way. You thought Trump's election was crazy? You better buckle your seat belts. Things are about to get very exciting- the status quo will no longer apply.