The declaration that the Culture Wars are over and won by the Lunatics, is, I think, true, at least in América del Norte. Reality has lost and is in full retreat.
(Realists acknowledge and abide reality, even its hurtful parts. A Lunatic is one who had abandoned reality for fantasy; i.e. the insane.)
Harvard (the main Lunatic base) professor Mark Tushnet made the official announcement about the end of the Culture Wars in the article “Abandoning Defensive Crouch Liberal Constitutionalism“.
Since the Culture Wars was a cold war, it is difficult to peg exact dates. It’s not like the Lunatics marched on sacred Reality ground and planted their flag. No surrender document was signed. So, as in all cold wars, some event must needs stand in as a close. Tushnet suggests that this was in these once United States the death of Antonin Scalia. Alternates exist, of course.
Before details, what of the defeated Reality troops? Many will convert, judging correctly (more or less) that this is economically wise. Others will attempt guerrilla actions, which will provide minor entertainment. Aged warriors will gather and talk of the Old Days when the word obscene still retained its old meaning. A few will seek and perhaps even find Exit.
Reality itself can never be vanquished, obviously, and indeed many structures are still Reality strongholds. But there’s no guarantee Reality will regain its former dominance, and I expect most isolated encampments will wither and fall.
Tushnet is a worshiper of the Supreme Court, taking the “supreme” literally. It’s his belief that whatever the Supremes say goes, as long as what they say aligns with the Lunatic position. Now that Scalia’s dead, Tsuhnet would have the Supremes overturn such cases as Bakke, for every Lunatic loves Affirmative Action.
As far as the surrender terms, Tushnet says this:
[T]he question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who — remember — defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) I should note that LGBT activists in particular seem to have settled on the hard-line approach, while some liberal academics defend more accommodating approaches. When specific battles in the culture wars were being fought, it might have made sense to try to be accommodating after a local victory, because other related fights were going on, and a hard line might have stiffened the opposition in those fights. But the war’s over, and we won.
Realists are equivalent to defeated Nazis and Hirohitoists, and should be treated as such. Well, and they probably will be, too. Most (I mean more) Realists will be purged; those who are useful and willing to cooperate (paging Herr Doktor Professor von Braun) will have their Realist pasts hushed up. The rest will be offered to keep their mouths shut.
We mustn’t hold Tushnet’s glee against him. It’s natural to celebrate after a victory, especially one as monumental as this, though there is the unfortunate tendency to go too far. Which he has. Remember, now, Tushnet is a credentialed Lunatic stationed at the Lunatic Pentagon—its Cathedral, as it were—and is therefore a figure of some authority. His public pronouncements, as he should know, give a strong indication of the kind of man he is (what men say in private among other men is different).
One of the major points in his victory speech, set in italics, is “fu[dge] Anthony Kennedy.” I alter the word, this being a Realist family blog. (And I warn the reader the blog filter will not allow any comments that include the genuine article.) The actual word is sure and certain proof that the Lunatic general staff is in no mood to give quarter.
Tushnet realized he went too far, and so returned later to “clarify” that, while he still meant what he said, he wish he wouldn’t have been caught saying it so bluntly. He said about the minor flap his words caused:
I can’t help thinking, though, that the outraged reaction is just an indication that — to extend one of the historical examples I used — like the Japanese soldiers who were stranded on islands in the Pacific and didn’t know the war was over, so too many people on their side haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that they lost the culture wars.
I think he’s right.