A recent conversation with my sister-in-law showed me the progress of cultural stratification as it effects my family. We discussed several topics over lunch after a long absence. The topics she introduced were revealing. First she indicated that we have lost more soldiers to suicide than to combat in the last year. This was to indicate, I believe, her commitment to global world peace through unilateral disarmament, as in "War is never the answer", showing that our armed forces are obviously involved in unhealthy behaviors that cause them to kill themselves, proving our moral inferiority. I replied that I had read in the last year that though the suicide stat may be true, it was apparently also true that the suicide rate at the same demography in our culture was actually much higher than that for service personnel. She did not comment in reply.
Next we discussed the profession of one of my wife's relatives, an outfitter for elk and buffalo hunters in Colorado and New Mexico. She was very disdainful of his choice of profession. Her facial expression was painfully distressed. I mentioned that without a natural predator, the elk were overpopulated and needed culling annually to keep the herds healthy. Again, no comment.
Finally, we were discussing tax reform in passing, since our conversation was in late December when the nation was approaching the much ballyhooed "fiscal cliff". I expressed some opposition to tax increases that were not offset by spending cuts and lamented the burgeoning size of the government. That did it. She replied with a sneer, "Where do you get your news? Is any of it from someplace besides Fox News?" I told her that I listened to NPR and read blogs on the internet besides a nightly dose of Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly when I had the opportunity. She did not comment further.
Our interaction and her mystification that I held such radical views led me to assert that our culture is now strictly stratified. The ruling class watches NPR, reads the New York Times and watches MSNBC. The rest of the country wants more conservative opinion than what is afforded by the liberal media
(which she believes to be a myth). She said, "I get conservative opinion". I said, "Where"? She said, David Brooks is a conservative commentator she listens to. I said he was a Republican, not a conservative. She said she would have to think about that. Had I had time, I would have mentioned the names of all the liberals on Fox News. But, time was short and I don't think she would have heard what I had to say.
I see stratification here. To get a voting coalition, the liberal elites (the NPR and NY Times folks) need to appeal to a larger segment of the population than they themselves represent. Mainly, they do so by vilifying the wealthy, not on the level of ideas, but in order to generate the common ground of class envy. Never mind that the wealthiest congressional delegation is the Democrats, not the Republicans. Democrats attract minorities with a similar tactic. Conservatives (synonymous with Republicans to them) are vilified as racists, homophobes, sexists and bible-thumping gun=toters. This wins for their side most blacks, a majority of Hispanics, GLBT folks and the environmentalists, and solidly holds the teachers. The trial lawyers and government workers/ trade union leaders are added to the collective with bribes.
How can we overcome this divisive environment in 2013 America? With active opposition of the major media, academia and Hollywood, we're going to need cultural change. Without the presence of voices from the right, the left will hold the culture hostage and take us to socialist tyranny. In short, we need more Andrew Breitbarts.
However, I will not participate in providing cultural/political opposition to this fight. In a change of approach, instead I intend to comport myself as a Christian rather than a conservative. I will be an ambassador for Christ, not a foil for liberal political tactics and divisive vitriol. If I am going to make a contribution to the culture, it will be to use my influence to get our attention back to God where our founders believed it had to be in order to keep our Republic.