Damon Linker writes on his blog at the New Republic about how Obama can end the US’s ‘culture wars’. He suggests this might be achieved by “the slow migration of right-wing culture warriors away from extremism and toward the political and cultural center” on a range of touchstone issues like gay marriage, church/state separation and so on.
If Linker includes the Net as part of the Culture Wars battlefield, he might as well go home and forget about it. All the persuasive power in the world will never migrate enough culture warriors to compensate for the Net’s ability to magnify the voices of the most extreme. Even if moderates – let’s call them “traitors” – move away from the standard right- or left-wing positions, they are likely to have been the less prolific posters, the less committed, the most rational. I suspect that 80% of the comments on the main culture warrior blogs of left or right come from a very small number of people – certainly a tiny percentage of those who would self-identify as “left wing” or “right wing”.