"Dumb news" shows why the culture wars aren't a giant waste of time

The stories catalogued, however, have more in common than a tribal, emotional component. Another name for “dumb news” might be “dispatches from the latest, nastiest iteration of the culture war.” Virtually all of the stories in this genre revolve around two features of the rising New New Left: identity politics and the impulse to enforce them in a totalitarian manner.

The identity politics stories often nominally involve characteristics like race and sex, but taken as a whole are directed toward how America ultimately sees itself. Is America still a nation that believes in the universalist ideals set forth in our Declaration of Independence and secured by our Constitution? Or will America contemptuously dismiss the Founders and their descendants for their failures to meet those ideals in order to spend our time endlessly adjudicating the claims of competing, balkanized identity groups in a society of seemingly endless intersectionality?

The New New Left seeks the latter vision of America by means that are often totalitarian in outlook. Preemptive disqualification of opponents by invoking the concept of “privilege,” attempts to suppress debate through creating “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” and “micro-aggressions,” and persecuting opponents through boycotts and social media mobs are largely creations of the New New Left, and are typically employed to push toward an America shaped by identity politics.

So-called “dumb news” stories generally chronicle the degree to which the New New Left is taking the Old New Left slogan that “the personal is political” to its thoroughly illiberal conclusion that everything is political.

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