In an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, Steven Prothero, author of the new book Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections), discusses the dynamics of the culture wars between liberals and conservatives, both past and present, arguing how these battles greatly impact our nation’s identity.
Prothero points to the deeply religious nature of the culture wars and how liberals always triumph over the conservatives. “Conservatives typically lose these battles because the causes they select are lost from the start,” Prothero explains. A timely example that Prothero cites is the fight over same-sex marriage. As we’ve seen in the realm of marriage equality, conservatives shared fervent disagreement for this social issue long after society advanced to accept same-sex marriage.
According to Prothero, conservatives use their defeats in the culture wars to their advantage. Conservatives claim that their failure to win social battles underline the obvious degradation of American society and the need for a strong conservative leader that recognizes that. “Each defeat proves that America is in fact going to hell and is desperately in need of a defender,” Prothero explains. “This is one reason why Republicans often win elections today even as they campaign on lost causes.”