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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – August 15, 2023

Is Jason Aldean the MAGA Bieber? And other questions pondered

  1. Ohio Strikes Back
  2. Grim Warning for the Climate Movement
  3. Looking At the Teamsters Win
  4. Try That in a Big Country
  5. Striking for Green Jobs
  6. More on Behind the Scenes Rightist Schemers
  7. LGBTQ+ Library Attack Backfires
  8. Political Scientists Get a Test on Solidarity
  9. Hating the National Womens Soccer Team
  10. White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue


Ohio Strikes Back

By Bill Scher
Washington MonthlyClimate

Ohio’s rejection of Issue 1 proves that protecting abortion rights is a political winner. It’s also proof that attacking transgender rights is a political loser. It’s become more evident over the past few months that what plays in Florida doesn’t necessarily play in the rest of the country.  

Grim Warning for the Climate Movement

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By Sammy Roth
Los Angeles Times

The environmental movement has a different theory of decarbonization than others in the climate coalition do. It seems very risky to double down on one political theory of change, the “mid-transition,” where the climate crisis and energy transition would combine to destabilize energy systems and politics. We have to maintain the political will for decarbonization, because it hasn’t gotten hard yet.

Looking At the Teamsters Win

By Amba Guerguerian with John Tarleton
The Indypendent 

UPS Teamster practice pickets were held outside scores of UPS facilities across the country throughout during July. It was a flex that made visible the union’s ability to mobilize its own members as well as a broader network of support. And more broadly it reflected the growing boldness of a resurgent labor movement that has seen a surge in strikes and union organizing.

Try That in a Big Country

By Mesfin Fekadu
The Hollywood Reporter

“Try That In Small Town” includes lyrics like: “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road.” Jason Aldean later sings on the song, “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that shit might fly in the city, good luck.”

Striking for Green Jobs

By John McCracken

Workers in Erie, Pennsylvania, are on strike, asking for familiar items like better pay, voting rights, and health care benefits. They’re also asking for one unique condition: to shift their production plant to greener technology.

More on Behind the Scenes Rightist Schemers

LGBTQ+ Library Attack Backfires

By Rudy Malcom
Metro Weekly

Two San Diego residents checked out nearly every single book in their library’s Pride Month display, claiming that such materials shouldn’t be available to children. As soon as The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the protest, new copies of the checked-out books began to arrive at the library. About 180 people, mostly from San Diego, donated $15,000 to the city’s public library system.

Political Scientists Get a Test on Solidarity

By Mary Yang
The Guardian

The union representing thousands of hotel workers on strike in Los Angeles is clashing with a group of political scientists over a request to move its gathering out of the city. It has sparked tensions within the professional group, as members – experts in power and politics – are dissenting over how they ought to respond.

Hating the National Womens Soccer Team

By Alex Abad-Santos

The team’s defeat has become a talking point among a group of people who usually don’t have much to say about the sport: right-wingers, like former president Donald Trump and pundit Benny Johnson. In the wake of their defeat, USWNT has become subject to the claim that the US women lost because they were too woke and too progressive.

White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue

By Amanda Marcotte

Richard Hanania, a rising star of the right’s supposed intelligentsia, is also known as “Richard Hoste,” who wrote for white nationalist websites, where he expressed a belief that Black people are intellectually inferior, obsessed over “miscegenation,” and advocated for forced sterilization of those he considered “low IQ.”