With no share of political power anywhere in the country, the culture warriors can’t do any actual harm, except to the conservative side of politics. So, there’s an argument that they should be encouraged, rather than persuaded to give up the struggle.
In a long post about the culture warriors, Quiggin correctly argues that there’s no constituency for most of the moralising mendacity of the punditariat:
As regards the policies themselves, the idea that Australians are brimming with conservative fervour, or any kind of fervour, on these topics is silly in most cases. Most people are vaguely in favour of a republic, but aren’t in any hurry. As regards legal recognition of gay relationships, only a handful of people are aware of the fine distinctions between civil unions and registered relationships, and even fewer care.
Precisely. Which is why, aside from the comedy value, I’d be quite happy for Christopher Pearson and his ilk to go on with their “battlers hate teh gay!” denialism about the fact that the fast eroding economic credentials of the Coalition and WorkChoices were the key factors in swinging the “Howard battlers” away from the
Dear Leader. If they’d prefer to believe that sanctimonious posturing about family values is going to be the bbq stopper that reinvigorates the Libs and hurtles them towards electability, so be it. And if the Libs buy it, we’ll be laughing all the way to the next election, fellas…
Ps: Of course, the culture warriors claim they’re vital because they vigorously fight the battle of ideas. Taking the civil unions will be an electoral liability for Labor “argument” as a case study, the problem with that thesis (as enunciated by John Heard) is, that as Andrew Norton demonstrates, their arguments aren’t arguments and don’t make any sense.