Culture War accelerated into 21st century

Romney writes off half the American population.

Still not following the race for President? Allow me to apprise you of the latest from the Romney Campaign. In a closed-door secret meeting with wealthy supporters last May, Mr. Romney bluntly insulted and wrote-off 47 percent of American voters as hopeless, emotional weaklings who: “see themselves as victims”, “never pay income taxes”, and “who expect the government to take care of them.” Google this for yourself. This was not a slip of the tongue or "gaffe," although it contained many factual errors in addition to the newly revealed (and astonishing) political philosophy that he thinks he can govern just 50 percent of America as president while ignoring the rest.

Consistently, decade after decade, campaign after campaign, Republicans have set about to divide Americans. Today the wedge is successfully in place, created by cynical strategists between those Americans who have been convinced they alone are "moral," have "family values," and are "pro-life" versus their opponents who are portrayed as immoral, as people who are anti-family or are "anti"-life. Preposterous, but sold nonetheless to roughly 50 percent of the country throughout the past 30 years.

It started with Reagan, but a firm calendar date was Pat Buchanan's keynote speech to the 1992 Republican Convention. Do not take my word: always Google it. In plain language, Buchanan specifically praised conservative Republicans as the sole standard bearers of Freedom and Morality, as opposed to liberals who were portrayed as, literally, the source of all Evil. You may remember the term "Culture War?" It was that summer night in 1992 that the Republican Party openly declared the equivalent of "war" against an enemy (their fellow Americans) so Evil that compromise today has become unthinkable.

I know, in '08 candidate Obama commented about people "clinging to their guns and religion." So we're even, right? No. Google it. The entire Obama quote, if read in context, was about reaching out to the very people who distrusted Obama and communicating with them. Romney's entire quote is about ignoring those who have different perspectives; it's about disrespecting his opponents. I don't know about you, but I don't like being Mitt's write-off.

Larry Bollinger is retired from broadcasting and loves his grandsons. Reach him at

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