Progressives Are Trying New Culture War Strategy; It Won't Work

Progressives Are Trying New Culture War Strategy; It Won't Work
Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow responds to allegations of wanting to groom small children. (Screenshot credit: Mallory McMorrow Twitter video)

For the first time, Democrats are finding themselves in the position of having to play defense in the culture war – and they aren’t faring so well. Progressives are on the wrong side of some very contentious issues, and conservatives are wisely taking full advantage of their blunders. But now, it appears the left is forming a new approach to turn the tables.

In a recent iteration of Politico’s Playbook, the outlet acknowledged the precarious situation in which Democrats find themselves due to culture war issues. The authors wrote:

Whether it’s pandemic restrictions and schools, or critical race theory and political correctness, when it comes to the culture wars raging across America, the right often dances circles around the left.

And because of that, many Democrats — particularly those in vulnerable seats — either avoid engaging on those topics altogether or privately beg their colleagues to avoid overly ‘woke’ rhetoric or policy prescriptions they believe could hurt the party politically.

In response, the authors explained, some on the left are looking at a speech given by Michigan state Senator Mallory McMorrow, as she refuted allegations of being a “groomer” and supporting pedophilia. On Tuesday, she addressed a fundraising email sent out by one of her GOP colleagues alleging that she wants to “groom and sexualize kindergarteners” and teach children that “8-year-olds are responsible for slavery” because she is critical of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.

McMorrow responded with a fiery speech in which she took her opponents to task for making these accusations against her. She said she wondered why Republicans have gone to these lengths to smear her and said:

“And then I realized, because I am the biggest threat to your hollow hateful scheme, because you can’t claim that you are targeting marginalized kids in the name of, quote, parental rights if another parent is standing up to say no. So then what? Then you dehumanize and marginalize me. You say that I’m one of them. You say ‘she’s a groomer. She supports pedophilia. She wants children to believe that they were responsible for slavery and to feel bad about themselves because they’re white.’”

The lawmaker continued, giving her background as a white Christian, suburban woman who grew up singing in the choir. Her speech was ostensibly intended to repudiate the notion that she is some purple-haired, screechy feminist seeking to sexualize small kids.

It worked.

Politico reported:

By Wednesday, McMorrow’s impassioned speech had gone viral. As of Wednesday night, the video had amassed more than 12.9 million views (and counting) and propelled more than $285,000 in donations from 6,200 contributors to her campaign — an exorbitant sum for a state-level pol.

Now, it appears Democrats are looking at McMorrow’s speech as a template for other left-leaning politicians to follow when pushing back against conservative arguments on the matter. Democratic strategist James Carville, who has repeatedly criticized Democrats for embracing wokeism, told reporters that the speech was an “enormously effective piece of communication,” and that he would “show this clip as an instructional video.”

Democratic communications strategist Ben LaBolt also chimed in, telling Politico that relying on her personal story and emphasizing the need to build a more inclusive society was an effective move.

“He noted that many conservative ‘culture war’ arguments are built on the premise of a foreign idea or set of values invading a local community or family unit, threatening what they hold dear,” the authors wrote. “But McMorrow turned that narrative upside down by accusing the GOP of being the ones threatening values held by most people in the community.”

Carville and LaBolt are not wrong. McMorrow’s speech was persuasive, in that she effectively rebutted accusations that she is a groomer seeking to sexualize small children. Indeed, one of the flaws of applying the groomer label liberally is that it allows clever Democrats to flip the conversation around to their advantage. The reality is that nobody other than conservatives will buy the idea that she wants to groom children, which is why her speech won her so many donations.

However, Politico and Democrats seem to be missing the point. McMorrow did an excellent job of shaming her opposition for unfairly painting her as pedophile adjacent, but she did not give a compelling argument as to why laws prohibiting teachers from instructing small children on sexual orientation and gender identity are harmful. She did not explain why legislation mandating more transparency and giving parents more of a say in their children’s education was an undesirable outcome.

Moreover, as passionate as her speech was, it does not change the fact that she and her ilk are still arguing against the idea that teachers should not be giving instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to small kids. Moreover, while most parents – regardless of political affiliation – want all aspects of American history to be taught, they do not want teachers influencing children with ideas suggesting America is a fundamentally racist nation. People can tell the difference between education and indoctrination. Lastly, these folks are pushing back against legislation that would allow parents to have more of a say in how their children are educated.

To put it simply, she is against what the majority of Americans – Democrats included – believe to be the right thing to do in this instance. It’s a losing position because it is nearly impossible to defend, which is why many progressives have simply taken to lying about it and trying to gaslight the public into believing no teachers are trying to indoctrinate children with far-leftist ideas on sexuality, gender, and race. Unfortunately for Democrats, they are still going to lose on this issue — even if they adopt McMorrow’s example.

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