How is this election different from other elections?
First, aside from it being preceded by a longer and drearier campaign than most others, the Labor Party might just as well change its name to the Green Labor Party. Second, aside from any clear issues, there is the undercurrent of what astute commentators have referred to as “the culture wars”. Third, as a result of those culture wars, the tactics are very different. (Culture Warriors Push Safe Schools As Proxy Angela Shanahan, The Australian)
Culture wars is a pretty vague term. In every election campaign there are claims that our entire way of life, our culture, is under threat if one side of politics does not prevail.
However, culture in this context is a sociological catch-all for things like the family, religion and sex. The term culture war has been employed as an oblique reference to the gender warriors and their war against the traditional family and the natural binary facts of human sexuality; a war enshrined in the so-called anti-bullying Safe Schools program, which promotes the idea of gender fluidity. Yet, aside from getting a drubbing in The Australian, we don’t hear much criticism of the Safe Schools program in the popular media, on television and online media.
This is because the Safe Schools program is actually a proxy for another issue: same-sex marriage. And the promotion of Safe Schools could do a lot of harm to the same-sex marriage movement, as the marriage equality movement is well aware.
It is disingenuous for politicians and supporters of same-sex marriage to claim the two issues are separate. The link was made explicit this week by opposition education spokeswoman Kate Ellis. She said: “Given Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are intent on pursuing their divisive plebiscite on marriage equality, it’s more important than ever before that LGBTI young people, and kids growing up in diverse families, are safe from bullying at school.”
The linking of one issue with the other is quite clear, as are the negative connotations for opponents of the program. Labor’s support of the radical Safe Schools program is of a piece with its support of same-sex marriage.
Ellis’s use of the word divisive is important. It is typical of “we are so moderate” virtue signalling, a tactic for the new green-Left, which is anything but moderate.
Any contest of ideas is divisive, but it is that “moderate” champion of the Safe Schools program, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who has referred publicly to its opponents as “bigots and homophobes”.
Indeed, the online media is positively bristling with insults for anyone who opposes same-sex marriage and, by extension, the Safe Schools program. In a culture war, unlike a normal election campaign, the truth is easily obfuscated by insults, fashion, fear, false linkages and subtle censorship, under the banner of “community standards”, which really means all intelligent people must all have the same view, must conform…”