Sometimes the “cultural wars” over race, gender, sexuality, and patriotism are understood as simply a battle over values, symbols, words, etc. in contrast to the hard reality of economic struggles. Cultural wars, for sure, have that dimension and should be engaged at that level. But as this article reveals how they are fought out and resolved have every bit as much materiality and practical consequence as struggles in the economic arena. Further, economic struggles can’t be separated from “cultural struggles.” Neither form of struggle floats around doing its own thing in some self enclosed space. Instead, they are intertwined as well as mutually constructed. Thus they should be understood and acted on in that way.
The investigation of Russian meddling in our election and the degree to which the Trump campaign colluded with representatives of the Russian government is a legitimate arena of struggle. To ignore such meddling and collusion, even if, in the end, neither rises to the level of criminality or decides the outcome of our elections, wouldn’t look well on the resume of a movement whose mission is to defend, expand, and deepen democracy. No need for apologies or defensiveness!
The suggestion that the Mueller investigation and the attention accorded it by major new outlets has distracted from other fronts of struggle against the Trump administration rests on little evidence other than the righteous assertions by some on the left. Hard facts to prove or disprove this point are harder to come by. I can only offer as evidence that a few months ago millions of voters went to the polls to register their opposition to Trump and his policies and there is little doubt that these voters had been influenced to some degree by exposes, investigating journalism, and distractions of the “fake news” media.
A old friend of mine in Detroit who I met regularly for lunch years ago would invariably say (in Latin) to me upon our goodbye, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Seems like good advice today as Trump, Sarah Sanders and all attempt to turn the Mueller report and Barr’s quick exoneration of Trump on obstruction charges into club to “grind us down.” Can’t let that happen. Too much is at stake. Itching more than ever to elect a Democratic president and Congress next year.