Paradigm Shifts, Liberals & Conservatives - Culture Warrior


I’ve long viewed U.S. politics in terms of Republicans & Democrats - and as I got older, and learned more, I shifted into viewing people as either liberal or conservative.  JFK, for example; in today's terms, was far more conservative than the liberal icon he’s supposed to be.  On the other hand, one of the most famous POW’s of all times, U.S. Senator John McCain, although allegedly fitting into the Republican party; is not uncomfortable among Liberals.  It would make far more sense to me if Liebermann and McCain swapped parties…

But then I picked up Bill O’Reilly’s new book, Culture Warrior, and discovered an entirely new way to view the politics of America.  Without going into any great amount of detail, O’Reilly asserts that there is a war in America between ‘Traditionalists’ and ‘Secular-Progressives’.

Traditionalists believe that there is an inherent right and wrong - and largely look to religion as the basis of that distinction.  They believe that America is basically a good and decent country - and does the right thing most of the time - even if there are problems that need to be corrected.  The Bible’s 10 commandments are good.

Secular-Progressives don’t like such clear-cut guidelines, and would insist that everything must be viewed in its own context.  They believe that America is basically a faulty country, inherently bad - and needs a great deal of correction.  They’d like to see America headed in the same direction that many European countries are going.

Bill O’Reilly prints the following as an example of what the Secular-Progressive’s would have as their 10 commandments:

  • Thou Shalt Not Make Any Judgement Regarding Most Private Personal Behavior.  Man/Woman Is the Master/Mistress of the Universe and His/Her Gratification Is Paramount.
  • Thou Shalt Not Worship or Acknowledge God in the Public Square, for Such an Exposition Could Be Offensive to Humankind.
  • Thou Shalt Take from the Rich and Give to the Poor.  No Private Property is Sacrosanct.
  • Thou Shalt Circumvent Mother and Father in Personal Issues Such as Abortion and Sex Education in Public Schools.
  • Thou Shalt Kill if Necessary to Promote Individual Rights in Cases of Abortion and Euthanasia.
  • Thou Shalt Be Allowed to Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor if That Person Stands Against Secular Humanism.
  • Thou Shalt Not Wage Preemptive War in Any Circumstances.
  • Thou Shalt Not Impede the Free Movement of Any Human Being on Earth.  All Countries Should Be Welcoming Places Without Borders.
  • Thou Shalt Not Prohibit Narcotics or Impede Personal Gratification in This Area.
  • Thou Shalt Not Limit the Power of Government in Order to Provide “Prosperity” to All.

(Taken from pages 69-70 of his book)

It’s a fascinating book, and regardless of which side you fall out on - should be quite interesting to read.  O’Reilly makes a compelling case, and you may well experience the paradigm shift in political thinking that I did.