Kopp Column: Which Came First, The Cultural Chicken Or The Political Egg?


Logically, in the natural world, I’ve always believed the chicken came first. It’s logical.

Historically it’s also logical that culture precedes politics. Pat Buchanan wrote recently that conservatives believe culture determines politics; liberals believe politics change culture. That is one of the reasons liberals are so quick to run to mommy government to tattle on people they don’t like and demand mommy government act. They cry, “there oughta be a law…”

Sadly, our mother government agrees. It’s why a small sliver of a mis-guided liberal minority can successfully drive a wedge between church and state, freedom and responsibility, morals and policies.

Conservatives believe that culture leads politics. Culture is the chicken that produces the political egg.

It was the culture of America’s founding fathers that was reflected in the formation of America and her formative documents The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. The culture they created in the new land reflected their commonly held beliefs in a higher moral order, the restraints of government, the rights of personal property and the equality of humans.

Recently we’ve seen bully liberals push politics to their own liking, crying to mommy government about things they do not like, such as a reminder of a higher moral order. A microscopic minority pressed for the removal of Christ from Christmas displays. They believe that if only there were a law, a rule, a decision against putting Christ in Christmas, that they could avoid being offended by the seasonal reminder of the reason God gave His only Son. (Personally, I would guess many of these same people who say society needs protection from the offense of religion also believe society needs to be exposed to shocking offensive art that includes a crucifix in urine, or the free expression of homosexual acts. It is my guess if you were to say those things are offensive, the “Anti-Christ in Christmas” crowd would rail against you.)

Culture changes our nation’s policies, but it’s not a brazen hypocritical demand for mommy government to make a law. We saw in the last election how culture affected criminal law in Colorado and Washington – the decriminalization of marijuana.

When culture changes politics it’s not instantaneous. Perhaps you remember how college campuses of the 60’s and 70’s attempted a minority-fueled attempt at legalizing pot. They failed. However, the seeds of success were sown as culture changed which then changed politics. 50 years ago, it was said “Today’s pot smokers are tomorrow’s lawmakers.” While that statement in and of itself reflects the liberal belief that change in America can come from the top down, what actually happened is culture produced pressure from the bottom up to reform state laws. Culture changed politics.

Since November, conservative writers have expressed outrage over the successful demands of a microscopic few to remove Christ from Christmas. They also have acknowledged that the pressure from culture to legalize pot is becoming a reality.

That is why conservatives believe that the fight to maintain America as the exceptional nation she is, the land that I love, is not as much a political fight as it is a fight for the hearts, souls, spirits and minds of individual Americans. Conservatives believe in the value of humans and of human culture as a mighty force. Conservatives know that grassroots changes can bring about successful changes in America’s policies.

Mike Kopp has exercised his political muscle as a media director to two statewide campaigns, a television political reporter, a lobbyist, and staff assistant to the Senate Majority Leader. He is currently a communications contractor working from his home in Wilton, ND.

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