Politics

‘You will be made to care’

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

When I was a boy attending Wolfsville Elementary in Western, Maryland, a teacher took a poll to see what we wanted to be when we grew up. “Farmer” was the number one answer. “Truck driver” was number two. One of my classmates — a distant cousin — didn’t even get indoor plumbing until we got to middle school. This gives you an idea of the milieu.

Today, I live in Northern Virginia. I take the Metro. I have a pet pug. Sometimes, I wear those nerdy glasses like the guy from Weezer. I’m vaguely aware of “Arcade Fire’s” oeuvre. My wife shops at Whole Foods, which (depending on your point of view) makes me both patriarchal and a hipster.

I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

In this regard, I am perhaps the least likely person to care about the culture wars. In a way, I can identify with both sides. And yet, here I am…

Last night, I presented a binary choice between the red state “Duck Dynasty” and the blue state “Pajama Boy.” In truth, I suspect a lot of us are really somewhere in the middle (since when did loving “vagina” and sipping hot chocolate in some cozy jammies become mutually exclusive? Aren’t these things like peas and carrots?)

And since I personally couldn’t care less if you are gay or a redneck (or a gay redneck!), I would love nothing more than to live in a society that is tolerant and (not to say the sexes aren’t different) gender-blind, etc.

But things are complicated by the fact that progressive activists and agitators aren’t interested in comity or stasis or accommodation. Instead, they view division and conflict as necessary steps to achieve their progressive goals (which seem to be the dismantling of any traditional value or institution.)

As RedState’s Erick Erickson constantly reminds us: “You Will Be Made to Care.”

And so, if you own a flower shop and — because of your religious convictions — decline to work for a gay wedding, you will be made to care. If your five-year old son makes a “gun gesture” with his hand, you will be made to care. If you’re a redneck in Louisiana who believes homosexuality is a sin, you will be made to care.

At some point, this became a zero-sum game. You’re either in the “Duck Dynasty” camp or the “Pajama Boy” camp. Somebody will lose.

No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot be a conscientious objector in the culture war.

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.