The Culture War


Breanna Reynolds, Writer and Head Political Contributor

The “Culture War” is a familiar phrase for many interested in modern politics. It’s defined as “a cultural conflict between social groups and the struggle for dominance of their values, beliefs, and practices” but what defined the modern culture war? What are the values and beliefs we’re fighting over? Why are they being fought over? How is the fight happening? Is anyone winning?

One of the most recent headlines I’ve seen concerning the culture war is “Biden’s fake burger ban and the rising culture war over meat” from Vox. It covers the claim that Biden would be banning red meat to try and fight climate change. The claim is false (as seen in the title). It was mostly spread around by Donald Trump Jr., Texas Governor Greg Abbot, and a few people on FoxNews. This is an example of fake outrage. Someone can say anything to get their crowd angry and people don’t really question it. 

Another example of this happening is Ben Shapiro doing a video on his instagram story where he claimed that “the left” was boycotting Home Depot. He encouraged people to go out and buy from them (he went in and bought a single plank of wood with a grocery bag hanging off the bottom). But I had never heard of anyone on the left calling for a boycott on any store recently. The ‘left’ is a big group, who was calling for this specifically? PETA? The DSA? Black Lives Matter? Anyone in the Democratic party? Nope, I looked it up and it was a small group of church leaders in Georgia. 

They want to make people angry, to have something considered a Culture War you need some sort of anger. Let’s look at some more examples of this. Many conservatives were outraged over Mr. Potato Man’s company changing their company name to be gender neutral. It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen people get angry over. No one even asked the Potato Head company to change, they just decided to rebrand. Another recent example would be the 6 Dr. Seuss books that will not be published anymore due to racist imagery. Not only was this not something requested by the public, but the books they stopped printing didn’t sell well, the publishers were saving money by doing this.

What I really want to stress is 99.99% of the time when something is part of a “culture war” it holds no substance, and has no real effect on people’s lives. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion make a song that you think is inappropriate? Just don’t let your kids watch it. A publishing company is pulling books they don’t want to sell anymore? You probably didn’t know they existed until they were pulled. A company changes its name? Why does it matter? How have these things affected people’s lives in any way? It’s a really good way to avoid talking about policy. Republicans have the culture war, Democrats have virtue signaling. 

Even the points that I could kind of get behind, like certain forms of abstract art being bad, is always somehow linked to overdramatic dogma. Sure, I think random colors on canvas with no clear shape are made without passion or skill but I don’t think they’re degrading society. Paul Joseph Watson, British political commentator, happens to believe the latter. In a video titled “Latest atrocities in Modern Art” he says 

“What kind of damage is all this doing to the fabric of Western civilization? If this is what we call high culture – an endless parade of meaningless debris that promises nothing and delivers nothing – what does this say about our society? What does this say about our contribution to the grand tapestry of mankind’s collective achievement?” 

It’s so dramatic. Why doesn’t he just check out a different form of art? Does he know that people are still making other kinds of art? Of course he does, but if he does that what will he be angry about? What would he fearmonger about the fall of western society with?

Watson is actually who inspired me to write this article. A YouTuber I watch, recently did a video reading out some of PJW’s tweets from March, 2019:


“Staying in Austin, where many restaurants serve pretentious, hipster pidgin food which wouldn’t even satisfy an incel makes me appreciate the Trump hotel in DC (best hotel in the world) even more.”

“How is this supposed to fill up a man who has been working all day?”


“This f–king wet sponge of a dinner cost 35 dollars. I am horrified and appalled.”

“AND no options for sides. Sides are NOT trendy. Being ripped off and still hungry after paying for a wet sponge is TRENDY. Embrace it, bigot.”

“Look at this menu. What kind of human would be satisfied by ‘glazed cauliflower’ for dinner? Only a complete lunatic.”

“Dessert menu is even worse. ‘Candy bar’? That’s not a dessert. It’s a f–king Snickers.”

“Where is Gordan Ramsey when you need him!?”

“I ordered the ‘king candy bar’ to troll them and it’s literally a f–king 1 dollar chocolate Hershey type bulls–t thing surrounded by crumbs and poncy generic ice cream. Why? Just why?”


It’s the most confusing twitter thread I’ve ever laid my eyes on. What was the point? Was he reviewing the restaurant and their service? No, he never even mentions a name. Is he making a funny story out of an unpleasant situation? No, he was just being angry. It’s written in a political tone by using “hipster pigeon food”, “incel”, and “Embrace it, bigot”, making it even more confusing. He even felt the need to name drop the Trump hotel (which, when I looked up the menu for the one in DC, sells $35 burgers). What is he trying to say? Nothing, he’s just being angry. 

It’s a perfect example for what the “culture war” he pushes is all about. He made a choice to go to a specific restaurant out of hundreds in the city of Austin, ordered food after not liking the menu and prices, and complained about it. Why didn’t he just look at the menu online or leave when he couldn’t find anything he liked? Why did he buy something from them to “troll” them? Why is this political? None of it makes sense because it doesn’t have to. It could have never affected him in any way but he chose to be mad over the fact that it exists. 




Beauchamp, Zach. “Biden’s fake burger ban and the rising culture war over meat.” 

     Vox, 26 Apr. 2021, 



Bort, Ryan. “The Latest Battle of the GOP’s Culture War Is Somehow Even Dumber 

     Than the Last.” RollingStone, 6 Apr. 2021, 



Eckardt, Stephanie. “So the Alt-Right Just Discovered Modern Art.” W Magazine, 

     30 Nov. 2017,