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Running Against Sodom and Osama

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Fissures and Wedges

Progressive social change activists can’t win the Culture War, because it is a guerilla action, with the central frames established by the Christian Right. George Lakoff correctly points out that if you stay within the frame established by your opponent, you are more likely to lose the debate.~69

New frames can be developed by progressives that stress wedges in the current configuration of the coalition that emerged with the New Right. Possible fissures, or cracks in the cement that binds sectors of the political Right together, do exist: The Christian Right, as one sector of the U.S. Right, shares some positions with other conservative political interests.

Neoconservatives: The Christian Right has been building a coalition with the Neocons around the anti-terrorist (and anti-Islamic) aspects of the “clash of civilizations” thesis, but some neoconservatives are nervous about the anti-modernist theocratic aspirations of some Christian Right leaders. In addition some in the Christian Right are growing tired of war in the Middle East, their Holy Land.

Conservative Business Interests: Calvinism and capitalism have long been partners, but the way some in the Christian Right chastise unrestrained materialism makes some business entrepreneurs nervous.

Libertarians: The Christian Right can agree with economic libertarians on lowering taxes and government regulations and raising individual initiative and responsibility; but most libertarians want the Christian Right out of their bedrooms.

By reframing the debates and shifting the political terrain on which these debates occur, progressives can engage the multitude of Christian evangelical voters who are not consolidated around the issues outlined by the Christian Right. This recognizes that the Christian Right is a powerful force on the political and social scene, but that it is not nearly as powerful as it would have us believe.

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