Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza addressed students at Brandeis University in New York, offering his perspective on cultural Marxism and why conservatives are currently losing the culture war. He sought to answer a question from one the assembled students about whether politicians change their professed convictions because of an evolution in their philosophy or out of “opportunistically adapting to political realities,” as he said. A student had asked about the change that was evident during the tenure of Barack Obama who once opposed homosexual marriages but eventually came out in support.
“All politics,” D’Souza said on April 25, “is a hybrid of principle and opportunism.” He said that “Principles have to meet -- you may say -- the test of the street. They have to be accommodated to existing reality.” He noted that Abraham Lincoln, while opposed to slavery, had to modify his rhetoric and strategy in order to keep the Border States and the Union. While at times it seemed that he did not care about slavery, if he had defined the Civil War as an effort to eliminate slavery, he would have lost Kentucky, Missouri, the Border States, and even the war.
While not opposed to diluting principle in politics, in the case of gay marriage, D’Souza said that there has been a “sea change” in American opinion on the issue. “This sea change has not come out of politics. Essentially, it has come out of the fact that the Left has been fighting a culture war outside of politics, and it’s been the only side fighting.
“Republicans tend to hunker down and fight elections. And they don’t realize that the election fight is right over here, but there is a much larger babattlegroundAnd what the Left has done, much more shrewdly and far-sightedly, is occupy the high ground of academia, the media, Hollywood, Broadway, the whole world of music and comedy. I call these the megaphones of our culture. And so the gay marriage debate began when Ellen [DeGeneres] came out of the closet, “Will & Grace,” four hundred sitcoms.”
He added, “The weird thing for Republicans is that when they are like ‘What happened to gay marriage?’, what happened was one side was fighting, and by the time the issue got to politics it was a fait accompli.”
“The cultural shift that is outside of politics,” D’Souza said, “but which affects politics, had already occurred.”
He said finally, “It’s an interesting lesson on how politics is dependent on culture. And Republicans, long term, don’t just have to win in politics, they also have to establish a foothold in the culture.”
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