Those of us worried about the corrosive effects of cancel culture and critical race theory are often accused of obsessing over the culture wars at the expense of "real" issues. But new data suggests that the culture war is only going to rise in importance in future elections—to the benefit of Republicans. This is the gist of survey results contained in my new Manhattan Institute report, The Politics of the Culture Wars in Contemporary America.
Already, cancel culture and applied critical race theory (CRT) are leading priorities for Republican voters and a mid-ranking issue overall—in large part because they unite conservatives while dividing the Left; on one side you have cultural liberals, those who espouse classical liberal views about free speech, due process, equal treatment before the law and elsewhere and the scientific method. On the other is a rising cohort of cultural socialists, who prioritize protecting disadvantaged groups from offense while redistributing self-esteem and power. These aims are used to justify restricting people's freedom of speech and conscience.
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