This is the article that appeared in the September 2023 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.
William A. Donohue
This article originally appeared in The American Spectator.
It was just a matter of time. Decent Americans have had a radical race and LGBT agenda shoved in their face for too long, and now they are fighting back. Too bad not all conservatives are on board.
Former congressman Paul Ryan recently said that he was not a “cultural war guy,” contending that he is more concerned about the debt crisis. This is what we would expect from someone who found his home sitting on the board of directors of Fox News’ parent company, Fox Corporation.
Under its founder, Roger Ailes, Fox News Network covered what I call the three “M’s” of conservatism: missiles, markets and morality. But in more recent times, with some notable exceptions, Fox News has been more concerned about the first two “M’s.” Ryan’s influence is obvious. Tucker Carlson’s absence is only one clear example.
As it turns out, Fox News is on the wrong side of history. The country is becoming more socially and culturally conservative. Consider three recent Gallup surveys.
In a Gallup poll released June 8, we learned that “More Americans this year (38%) say they are very conservative or conservative on social issues than said so in 2022 (33%) and 2021 (30%). Those who identify as very liberal or liberal on social issues are in decline.” What makes these figures so impressive is that in the past two years, the increase in conservative identification is found among nearly all political and demographic subgroups.
The Gallup poll published June 16 found that support for same-sex marriage is declining: it went from 71 percent to 64 percent in the past year, which is dramatic. This helps to explain the increase in social conservatism.
Why this is happening can be gleaned from a Gallup poll released June 9. The title says it all: “Views of State of Moral Values in U.S. at New Low.” Public assessments on the state of moral values is the worst since Gallup took these measures 22 years ago. “The 54% of U.S. adults who rate moral values in the country as ‘poor’ marks a four-percentage-point increase since last year and the first time the reading has reached the majority level.”
A third of Americans, 33 percent, say our moral values are “only fair”; 10 percent say they are “good”; and a mere 1 percent rate them as “excellent.”
No wonder social conservatism is rebounding—most are convinced we are morally troubled, to say the least. I hasten to add that there are reasons for optimism. Some very good things are happening.
While Covid was a tough time for many Americans, there is one good thing that came of it. Parents, especially moms, found out what some of the schools were doing to their children. Instead of education, there was indoctrination. The content of this proselytization—and that is what it is—is also objectionable: students are being told how racist America is, and that they can switch their sex. Both are invidious lies.
As a result of this kind of activism, we now have Moms for Liberty, and similar other groups. Proof that they are having an effect is the ruling by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center to name them on its “hate map.” That is a badge of honor.
Disney is being beaten up all over the place. It has decided to adopt the radical LGBT agenda, most notably by inviting children to believe that they can change their sex, and that there are many sexes besides male and female. Both are palpable lies.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis led the way in taking Disney to task for adopting the woke agenda. The Catholic League documentary, “Walt’s Disenchanted Kingdom,” added to their problems. The blowback from customers showed up on its bottom line: it has taken quite a hit. We are also happy to note that its summertime film, “Elemental,” featuring a “non-binary” character, bombed at the box office.
Bud Light is still reeling from trying to push trans politics down our throats. It now regrets hiring a trans person to market its beer. It should never have done so in the first place. Ditto for the U.S. Navy which hired a drag queen, a man dressed as a woman, to recruit new sailors. It was a monumental flop—recruitment numbers are down.
Target got into the act by selling “tuck-friendly” swimwear—with “extra crotch coverage”—for men trying to pass as a woman. Ever since, they have been feeling the pinch of a boycott.
Muslims run the Michigan town of Hamtramck, and their city council has banned the LGBT pride flag, making the case that only the American flag should be flown.
The pushback against the Dodgers for honoring drag queens who mock Catholicism, which the Catholic League led, made international news. From all accounts, the message has been received.
Moreover, surveys show that most Americans do not believe men should be able to compete in women’s sports. They also oppose sex-reassignment surgery performed on children.
These are encouraging developments. The culture war is far from over.