The term “culture war” has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with some conservatives using it to describe the public’s feelings toward political figures or organizations they perceive as “foreign” or “un-American.”
The term is also used to describe a political divide over issues such as the role of religion in American life and the role religion plays in American culture.
In the past, the term has also been used to refer to a range of political groups, such as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement.
Some conservative commentators have argued that the term, while historically associated with the Black Lives Movement, has become a term used to criticize President Donald Trump and his administration, which they believe is trying to suppress political dissent and stifle dissent from a conservative worldview.
But a closer look at how the term came to be associated with political groups that oppose the Trump administration’s policies and the broader American right to freedom of speech reveals a far more nuanced history than the “culture wars” have portrayed.
The origins of the term The term itself was first coined by the American Historical Association, which defined it as an “intellectual” term that was used to characterize a period of time or period of history in which ideas and beliefs were considered “foreign.”
“The term originated in the late eighteenth century, when English philosopher James Buchanan, a member of the radical Conservative Party, described the rise of a “culture of hatred” in which “the new man of the country is to be judged not on the merits of his work, but on his habits and manners,” according to a Wikipedia article on the term.
Today, “the term ‘culture wars’ is used to mean a series of political fights, often among conservative groups and sometimes among liberals, over how to deal with political issues,” the AP’s Ryan J. Reilly wrote in a piece last week. “
From this time, the idea of the ‘culture of hate’ evolved into the concept of a ‘culture war,’ or an ideological war in which groups opposed to government power were viewed as ‘extremists’ and therefore threatened by the ‘authoritarianism’ of the government,” the definition reads.
Today, “the term ‘culture wars’ is used to mean a series of political fights, often among conservative groups and sometimes among liberals, over how to deal with political issues,” the AP’s Ryan J. Reilly wrote in a piece last week.
For conservatives, the “cultural wars” are a way of highlighting how liberals, feminists, minorities, and others have used political rhetoric and other forms of dissent to advance their own agendas and to challenge the existing political order.
For liberals, they are a form of “censorship” that aims to suppress critical speech and expression that they deem to be “progressive.”
For progressives, the culture wars are a time to fight back against the “extremist” left and the “authoritarian” right, which seek to silence dissent and undermine the values of the American people.
They are also a time for liberals to point out the hypocrisy of conservatives who claim to be defending freedom of expression and free thought while promoting “censorship.”
In response to these accusations, conservative commentators often use the term to describe liberal and progressive forces that seek to undermine the American political system, including those that seek a more progressive America and those that try to restrict it.
Liberal media has also used the term in an effort to discredit conservative groups, and to argue that conservatives are using the term because they are “pro-choice” or a “protest movement.”
While the terms “culture” and “war” have become intertwined, the origins of both of the terms have been somewhat obscured by the culture war.
Conservative critics of the administration’s handling of the Dakota Access Pipeline have used the word “war.”
Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly used the phrase to describe Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, which was endorsed by nearly every major political party.
A similar line of attack was used by conservative commentator Ann Coulter to describe Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s response to the Charleston church shooting in South Carolina.
And in February, the conservative website Townhall.com wrote that the “cult of hate” was part of a larger “culture offensive” that included “homophobic attacks against Muslims, Jews, blacks, transgender people, Muslims, women, feminists and leftists.”
And then there’s the “War on Women” that conservatives have also taken up, which has used the “war on women” to attack “the rights of women,” particularly women of color, as a form or way of attacking “the cultural values of a society” and attempting to suppress “women’s freedom.”
A common criticism of the president is that he has been using the language of the culture, using the “words of the establishment” to delegitimize conservative viewpoints and to justify his administration’s actions.
That’s not to say conservatives don’t use the terms of the cultural war.
Conservative commentator and