These days conservatives are reeling in the face of the sudden ascendance of gay marriage as a popular issue – they’re looking back at all the votes traditionalists (or old fogies) have won in referendums (including one in North Carolina just a year ago) and then looking at the latest polls saying there’s been a wind change and now people are all for gay marriage, and it’s like the earth suddenly shifting beneath their feet – so naturally they’re shaking their heads and wondering: What happened?
And the mavens and masters of public opinion are answering, You just lost the Culture War – it’s a startling revelation.
For thirty years Republicans have been fighting and, if not winning, at least holding their own in the Political Wars. But now, suddenly, they find the liberals (or secularists or whoever) have also been fighting (and winning) another war that has the power – at a touch – to sweep the ground out from under their political feet. It’s as if some enlightened rock star or movie celebrity suddenly has the power to stand up, say, at the Emmy Awards and reveal in a flash of insight that the faithful have been dead plumb wrong about the Sacrament of Marriage for twenty centuries – then the next day some fellow takes a poll that shows a tidal shift in public opinion overnight that leaves people (who, say, a year ago voted no to gay marriage) agreeing with the rock star and saying, Yes sir, the old fogies had it dead wrong all along.