Are We Entering a Post-Liberal Era?

New York City, New York, USA - June 28, 2009: A group of men and women march in the 2009 Gay Pride March in Manhattan.

By Michael Brown Published on December 16, 2016

In his December 9th article “Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?,” long-time conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan dared to say that, with the Trump presidency, “we may be entering a post-liberal era.” Could it be true?

According to Buchanan, “Liberalism appears to be a dying faith. America’s elites may still preach their trinity of values: diversity, democracy equality. But the majorities in America and Europe are demanding that the borders be secured and Third World immigrants kept out.”

But it is not just political liberalism whose demise Buchanan is tentatively predicting. He also suggests that moral and cultural liberalism could be on the wane as well. He writes, “As Hegel taught, in the dialectic of history the thesis calls into existence the antithesis. What we seem to be seeing is a rejection, and a counterreformation against the views and values that came out of the social and political revolutions of the 1960s.”

Could it be that America’s future is not as set in stone as we have been told? Could it be that the Trumpian triumph is part of a much larger social and cultural shift?

What? A counterreformation against the radical cultural shifts and moral changes that came out of the counterculture revolution of the 1960s, a revolution that birthed radical feminism, gay activism, and sexual anarchy?

For years we have been told that liberalism had triumphed and that conservative morality was a thing of the past.

For years we have been told that “progressivism” owned the future and that traditionalists were a dying breed, soon to be replaced irrevocably by a younger, enlightened generation.

Could it be that America’s future is not as set in stone as we have been told? Could it be that the Trumpian triumph is part of a much larger social and cultural shift?

On the one hand, it is clear that Trump’s victory, along with that of the Republican party, was not primarily driven by moral issues as much as it was driven by other national concerns. Americans didn’t like the way their country was going — politically, socially, economically — and they wanted to regain control.

They wanted a greater sense of security, a greater sense of strength — Trump’s line that “we never win anymore” certainly resonated with millions — and a greater sense of Americanism, meaning, they didn’t want to lose the unique qualities that, in their minds, have made America what it is over the decades and centuries.

It is not that tens of millions of Americans suddenly became homophobic or Islamophobic or xenophobic, as much as that tens of millions of Americans rejected the left’s “political correctness and the culture of intimidation.”

And while white evangelicals also turned out in large numbers to vote for Trump because they were concerned about their religious freedoms and about the makeup of the Supreme Court, with pro-life issues front and center for many of these voters, it would be wrong to think that the election of Donald Trump represented some kind of moral imperative — unless we look at things from a little bit different angle.

A Different Angle

Let’s focus on LGBT issues for a moment. While Trump did make overturning Roe v. Wade a consistent part of his message, he did not make overturning the Obergefell decision a consistent part of his message, actually saying recently that same-sex “marriage” was the law of the land. And the fact that he featured openly gay PayPal founder Peter Thiel at the Republican National Convention and that Thiel is playing a key role in his transition team indicates that he is hardly an opponent of LGBT goals.

At the same time, the vote for Trump was a way for millions of Americans to say “enough is enough” to extreme political and social agendas — even if they were not singled out by name — and leading the way in those extreme agendas is LGBT activism.

In a remarkable interview conducted at New York City’s famous Stonewall Inn, where the gay revolution burst on the national scene in 1969, Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow about the Trump election and its potential effect on the LGBT movement.

As reported by the Advocate, Maddow “asked Lynch if Trump and his homophobic potential cabinet were a backlash to marriage equality, hate-crimes legislation, and open military service.”

They genuinely feared that many of the victories they had won during the last eight years under the Obama administration could be undone by the Trump administration, and they perceived the vote for Trump to be a vote against LGBT activism.

Could it be that they rightly sensed a larger cultural shift?

In their minds this is all grim and negative, but could it be that Americans have had it with a small minority — whoever that minority may be — imposing their will on the rest of the country? Could it be that many Americans are sick and tired of having their rights subsumed to the rights of a radical sub-section of the populace?

The operative word for Maddow and Lynch was “backlash,” and that for good reason.

Speaking to Fox’s Tucker Carlson, Tammy Bruce, the openly gay, staunchly conservative radio host, stated that leftists, whom she called fascists, “now want Christians to preemptively prove that they pay allegiance to conforming to secular society.” She pointed to the recent liberal attack on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the popular reality TV stars, simply because they attend a gospel-preaching, Bible-believing church, a church that does not believe in same-sex “marriage.”

Bruce noted that the “great news” was that the attack on Chip and Joanna failed, also stating, “I think the election itself was a message about our rejecting of political correctness and the culture of intimidation.”

Precisely. And that is the heart of the matter.

Enough

It is not that tens of millions of Americans suddenly became homophobic or Islamophobic or xenophobic, as much as that tens of millions of Americans rejected the left’s “political correctness and the culture of intimidation.”

In fact, these three articles on National Review, written respectively in May, November, and December of this year, detail the progression well. First, by David French, “Identity Politics Are Ripping Us Apart”; next, by Kevin D. Williamson, “An End of Identity Liberalism?”; and then, by Kay Hymowitz, “Why Identity Politics Are Not All-American.”

Enough with the divisive ways of identity politics. Enough with the attack on traditional American values. Enough with the assault on our religious freedoms. Enough.

Inevitably, at some point, the radical leftist agenda has always been doomed to fail, and there is now a push back against the left’s overplaying of its hand, which includes: forcing transgender activism into our children’s schools; declaring that phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” are transphobic and sexist; students at the University of Pennsylvania replacing “a hallway portrait of William Shakespeare with a photograph of lesbian activist Audre Lorde” — apparently Shakespeare was just too white and too male; and Oregon State University offering a course on “African American resistance to Trump.”

These radical agendas can only go so far before the people begin to push back, and that it is partly what happened with the recent elections.

Enough with the divisive ways of identity politics. Enough with the attack on traditional American values. Enough with the assault on our religious freedoms. Enough.

So, in that sense, yes, we are witnessing a larger moral and cultural backlash, even if some of these issues were not front and center in the Trump campaign. And to the extent we can make the case for a biblically-based, moral conservatism, one that treats everyone fairly but that recognizes that certain boundaries are healthy and good, we can turn the hearts of the younger generation as well as recapture the hearts of the older generation.

As my close colleagues and I have said for the last 15-plus years, on with the revolution.

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  • Joseph

    This is the Twilight Zone era

  • Charles Burge

    I remember hearing Rush Limbaugh proclaiming the impending death of liberalism back in the early nineties. I think we’re likely seeing another swing of the pendulum, but it would be a mistake to assume that liberalism will be gone for good. It will be back, and probably worse than ever. That’s the clear teaching of scripture. “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

    I think you’re also over-simplifying the recent election. While there certainly was a repudiation of President Obama’s liberal agenda, 3 states legalized recreational use of marijuana, and Colorado passed a dangerous assisted-suicide law. Our schools are still infiltrated with Marxists who are intent on brainwashing the next generation. This is all to say, I think it would be foolish and short-sighted to declare victory now.

    • Aaron Brown

      To think that this is the end of liberalism is deceiving yourself.

    • Evry1hasanopinion

      I agree. Living in California, Christians have become the minority, but we are the only minority that does not have the same minority rights and activists groups like the ACLU, fighting for our rights, in fact they actually fight against Christian rights. We lose everytime. Crosses have been removed, L G B T history is now being taught in our elementary schools to our children in 2nd grade, laws have been passed for criminals murderers allowing inmates in prison to have state funded sex change operations while they are in custody at tax payers expense, naked parades of people exposing themselves in public marching through the streets. Gavin Newsom has been a cancerous tumor to California and he is just getting started as he plans on spreading nation wide.

    • Sue McMahon

      Good answer! I actually feel like this is our last chance to make abortion illegal. I think God is giving us one last chance to repent as a nation of our collective sins and especially the sin of murdering unborn babies. Let’s pray for hearts to be softened and for all to come to repentance, especially those in leadership.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Yeah, whatever is built upon sand is bound to fall – that it’s taken this long for the first tremors of that inevitable quake to be felt perhaps says something about a culture of complacency that has permeated a good percentage of American “Christendom” . Let us remember that prophetic commentary of the 60’s penned by that generations iconic poet ; “the times they are a changing ..”

  • Joseph

    ”A young enlightened generation” more like a younger brainwashed generation. that is why they want to censor any opposition. to keep the younger generation brainwashed to keep them believing lies

  • Paul

    It was great when Hillary labeled Trump supporters a basket of deplorables, where everyone who disagrees with the liberal/progressive agenda is a phobic of some flavor. Mudslinging is easier than defending failed ideas. As far as I’m concerned though it isn’t post liberal era until conservatives gain California.

    • Evry1hasanopinion

      Living in California, Christians have become the minority, but are the only minority who does not have the same minority rights and activists groups like the ACLU, fighting for our rights, in fact they actually fight against Christian rights. We lose everytime. Crosses have been removed, L G B T history is now being taught in our elementary schools to our children in 2nd grade, laws have been passed for criminals murderers allowing prison inmates to have state funded sex change operations while they are in custody at tax payers expense, naked parades of people exposing themselves in public marching through the streets. Gavin Newsom has been a cancerous tumor to California and he is just getting started as he plans on spreading nation wide.

      • Gary

        Why don’t you move?

        • Paul

          That’s exactly why it’s ruled by libs. Besides, it’s still part of the USA and has the same US Constitution. Now if we can only get enough SCOTUS clowns who can read, ie what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ is so hard to understand? If the heartland keeps pulling the nation conservative we’ll get there, but watch out for the RINOs

          • FallsDale

            I would suggest that the 9th Circuit also needs an overhaul. For decades now, they’ve been shoveling a pipeline of politically “ripe” cases to the SCOTUS, and with the deaths of Rehnquist and Scalia and retirement of O’Connor, the fervor on the west coast to quicken the pace has only risen.

        • Evry1hasanopinion

          I will move when God calls me to. I was born in California and procreated part of the 5th generation that needs me here. Show some diversity and ask them to move Gary

  • Gary

    Liberalism will not be vanquished until Jesus does it at his return. I don’t have any confidence in Trump, but one of the best things about Trump’s election is the anguish it is causing liberals. I’m having a lot of fun watching that.

  • Evry1hasanopinion

    As a Christian, I was disappointed when the GOP chose Trump over Ted Cruz. I am glad to see Trump is now working with Cruz. IMO it worries me when I see Trump do things like inviting Bruce Jenner to use the ladies restroom, Trump’s wife’s naked lesbian photo shoot, and Trump’s sexual “locker room” comments about grabbing women etc. are just a few of the concern’s I have regarding Trump. I hope I am wrong, but I worry that the conservatives are becoming more pro L G B T and less supportive of protecting the rights of Christians and keeping our nation under God.

  • Andrew Moffat

    I hope it is a reformation and not a last gasp. We’ll see what things look like when the younger generations become old enough (mature enough) to take voting seriously and actually enter a ballot box.

    • Paul

      There will be an app for that

  • galatians328

    The results of ‘the people voting’ is a 2.5 million vote MAJORITY for Clinton. The results of the ‘electoral vote’ will happen Monday.

    In the meantime each and every American can discuss and decide if The Founders would be glad if electors ‘elected’ a serial liar, sexual predator (unless that is also a lie!), braggadocio.

    It makes a great TV show! doesn’t it?! … but of course the Founders “mutually pledged to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” (that is the last line of the Declaration of Independence). What has Trump pledged:

    – his life? NOPE.

    – his fortune? NOPE, and IN FACT he still has not released even one year of tax returns much less 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? AND he still has not released his plan to avoid real and appearances of conflicts (WHICH, you’ll recall, HE EARLIER PROMISED to have for us to see THIS WEEK! … not yet)

    – his sacred honor? … UGH, CHOKE, PUKE … he boasts in grabbing your daughter’s pxxxy, your wife’s pxxxxy, your mother’s pxxxy

    There you have it. Compare the Founders’ intentions and hopes with the current context …

  • galatians328

    Post-liberal, let’s see? Morally conservative, we’ll need to examine that?

    There’s a lot to consider, including the President elect’s lying braggadocio …. but maybe he has some mental illness and we should have sympathy …

    So, let’s consider this:

    The Soviet-regime buddies of the Trumpist Administration perpetuate among the highest abortion rates in the world! Way to go Evangelicals: get a President(elect) who is cuck-sucking buddies with Soviet dictators who perpetuate rampant abortions rates! WAY TO GO!

    • Gary

      We all know you would have preferred Hellary. And yet, you deny being a liberal.

  • galatians328

    BEHOLD …. God has sent/is sending the fearsome polar vortex across Trumpland, the land of grievous unrighteousness, secret greed, lusts, selfishness, and other ungodliness, and manifold idolatries! BEHOLD. THE CLIMATE CHANGED, AND HUMAN WICKEDNESS CAUSED IT! On the eve of the Electoral Vote the angels who sang at Jesus birth, as modest shepherds received the refugee baby as Lord, now wail in travail that the people hurry to anoint a Satanic Lord. BEHOLD. THE CLIMATE CHANGED, AND HUMAN WICKEDNESS CAUSED IT!

    • Gary

      You don’t actually claim to be a Christian, I hope.

      • galatians328

        1. The Haiti earthquake

        A day after Haiti’s devastating 2009 earthquake, U.S. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said the disaster was provoked by the Haitians’ “pact to the devil.”

        The “700 Club” host said Haitians had entered that pact to gain independence from French rule in the early 1800s. “They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story,” Robertson said. “And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ ”

        “Ever since,” Robertson continued, “they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” The magnitude 7.0 earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives.

        2. Hurricane Katrina

        A handful of politically conservative Christians blamed 2005’s Hurricane Katrina – which struck New Orleans, Louisiana, and left more than 1,800 dead – on the Crescent City’s embrace of gay pride events.

        “All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens,” John Hagee, a Texas-based evangelical pastor who leads the Christian Zionist movement in the United States, said after Katrina. “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are – were recipients of the judgment of God for that.”

        3. The September 11 attacks

        Two days after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the Rev. Jerry Falwell said the attacks were, at least in part, God’s judgment on those who would secularize American public life.

        “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen,’” Falwell said on Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” program.

        “God will not be mocked,” said Falwell, who was made famous by leading the Moral Majority in the 1980s.

        In a phone call to CNN later the same day, Falwell stepped back a bit, saying that only the hijackers and terrorists were responsible for the attacks.

        But Falwell reiterated that forces trying to secularize the U.S. “created an environment which possibly has caused God to lift the veil of protection which has allowed no one to attack America on our soil since 1812.”

        4. The Civil War

        Abraham Lincoln entered the White House conceiving of God as a distant creator. But the presidency transformed that view into one of a God who acts in the universe. The turnaround was triggered largely by watching the Civil War’s casualty numbers rise into the hundreds of thousands.

        In 1862, Lincoln scribbled down his thoughts about God and war. “I am almost ready to say this is probably true – that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet,” he wrote. “He could give the final victory to either side any day – Yet the contest proceeds.”

        Lincoln elaborated in his second inaugural address in 1865, framing the Civil War as divine punishment for slavery, which he considered a sin. It was his last speech to the American people before his assassination.

        5. The Holocaust

        During and after World War II, some Orthodox Jews attributed the murder of 6 million fellow believers to Jewish transgression. Many in that camp pointed a finger at Zionists, who they accused of trying to establish Israel too soon, before the Messiah’s return.

        “There were groups that claimed this was divine punishment because there were no other theological options,” says Bernard M. Levinson, a Jewish studies professor at the University of Minnesota. “Their own piety made things difficult.”

        More recently, one of Israel’s leading rabbis generated controversy for claiming that last year’s devastating fire in the Jewish state – the worst in the country’s history – was divine retribution for Jews failing to observe the Sabbath.

        • Gary

          The world is a wicked place. I don’t doubt that many of the bad things that have happened have been done by God as judgment. God has killed a lot of people in history, with many more to come. But Trump hasn’t done anything yet, as far as national policy goes. And the same country that elected Trump also elected Obama.

          • galatians328

            Trump’s team clearly had/has spiritual bonds with the Satanic Lord.

          • Gary

            Evidence?

          • galatians328

            MOSCOW — The Russian government maintained contacts with members of Donald J. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the American presidential campaign, one of Russia’s top diplomats said Thursday.

            “There were contacts,” Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign,” he said.

            Mr. Ryabkov said officials in the Russian Foreign Ministry were familiar with many of the people he described as Mr. Trump’s entourage. “I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said.

          • Gary

            Russia is Satan? Is that what you are claiming? Satan is a fallen angel, not a country. I will grant that the Russians are wicked pagans. But then, so are Obama and Hellary, and more than half the people of the US.

    • Paul

      Just imagine how much worse the storm if Hillary won

      • galatians328

        But, then, … by the arguments made in here that variously beg for the apocalypse to come soon …. that would have hastened the end and you would be rejoicing. What happened to your desire for apocalypse?

        • Paul

          What desire for apocalypse?

  • Conservator

    I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s during the “revolution” and for the most part rejected the radical ideas and nonsense that pervaded our society at that time. What a waste that was. Look at the results of those stupid ideas – breakdown of the family, rampant drug use that destroyed lives, sexual promiscuity that resulted in broken hearts and broken lives, increase in the incidence of STD’s including aids. I could go on and on. Many of the radicals from that era are now in positions of influence in our universities and are brainwashing our most intelligent young people and future leaders with these stupid ideas that they think are so “progressive” and “avante-garde” but if you understand human history there is nothing progressive about their “new” ideas. There is nothing new under the sun – all is vanity. Was I influenced by all the nonsense? Yes it affected me but thank God I had a solid Christian foundation and strong family support that kept me from being sucked too far into, as Francis Schaeffer described it, the age of non-reason. There will always be that leftist fringe that revolt against the status-quo whatever that may be. In Barack Obama they got their chance to lead this nation for 8 years and implement their “progressive” ideas and we see how that turned out. I hope the younger generation can see through the indoctrination they are getting in our higher ed institutions but I think there will always be “leftist progressives” or whatever they call themselves at the time and more rational and practical Americans will have to constantly be on guard against the “reformers and radicals” that would lead us to destruction. Our true enemy is very deceitful and the father of lies and goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy. Without acceptance of Christ as our Savior and the resulting indwelling of the Holy Spirit humans are like a ship without a rudder and can be blown wherever the wind goes. God help us if we continue down the road that leads away from Him and become reliant upon human ideas because that road leads to destruction.

  • James Simpson

    We can only hope.

  • eddiestardust

    One has to ask what a lifelong Democrat, Elected Delegate , Democratic National Convention….1984 is saying when he changes from Dem to Independent and finally Republican and votes for Trump? Yes I rejected LBGT crap with it’s war on everything Christian and especially wanting to Crucify Catholics!

  • Don’t you just love how forcefully Trump says, “Merry Christmas,” and right in front of his podium is big ornate lettering saying the same thing. His whole campaign, and post campaign is one big “In your face!” PC culture. There is something powerfully moral about what he is doing. Most American reject the PC culture, even many who vote Democrat. Only hard core ideological liberals are truly comfortable with it, but they have much of the cultural power in this country. I don’t know if the fall of Obama is the left’s/liberal’s/progressives Berlin Wall, but their agenda and worldview belong in the dustbin of history with it.

  • PaulMcKechnie

    If anyone voted for Donald Trump believing he was going to deliver ‘a biblically-based, moral conservatism, one that treats everyone fairly but that recognizes that certain boundaries are healthy and good’, that person was dreaming.

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