January 20th, 2009
12:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Schneider: Could Obama end the culture wars?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Could an African-American President be the one who finally ends the cultural civil war that has been roiling American politics since the 1960s: liberal versus conservative, red versus blue, Democrat versus Republican? Both Bill Clinton and George Bush set out to end it. Clinton was "new Democrat." Bush was the compassionate conservative and the uniter. Both got trapped in the culture wars and ended up leaving the country more divided than ever. Clinton and Bush were the bookend Presidents of the Baby Boom generation.

Obama is technically a Baby Boomer – he was born near the tail end of the Baby Boom. But his approach and philosophy look beyond the Baby Boomers’ experience. He wrote in "The Audacity of Hope" about his desire to move beyond "the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation –- a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago."

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Jon in Denver

    Of course not. This is ridiculous.

    January 20, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Really

    I think he can feed the hungry too by turning water to wine and stone to bread.

    January 20, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Tanja Carroll

    What we need are critical lovers of America – patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it. ~Hubert H. Humphrey

    Let's get to work!

    January 20, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Jon

    The most liberal president ever elected? End the culture wars? It will take more than nice sounding speeches to end the culture wars. Especially when the nice sounding speeches are coming from the most extreme pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda president ever. Even if you agree with him, to say that he will end the culture wars is absurd.

    January 20, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. JJ12345


    January 20, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. saniya kashif

    I strongly believe he can.

    January 20, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Deborah

    "The psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation –- a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago."

    Count me in as a double nickel Baby Boomer....

    This new president is very inexperienced and naive and if Clinton and Bush couldn't with their greatness this new kid certainly can't!

    We may unite against Obama, but never for him!

    January 20, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Erin

    It's true-- because uniting for a new, hopeful president would be silly. Uniting a country for a man who actually believes in what he is saying would be futile.

    Regardless of your politics, consider supporting our commander in chief. Just simply consider it- your simple minded out look in the face of our nations many struggles is appalling.

    You have to live in these next 4-8 years.... Perhaps trying your best to do what is asked of you, to be a productive and responsible American, instead of creating dozens of reasons not to (all of which portray you as an imbecile), would be a more effective way to show you are a patriot.

    Or, you could simply reconsider your status as an American.

    January 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Obama Victim


    January 20, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The "culture war" isn't black vs. white, it's self-reliance and independence vs. Liberal contempt for those values. It's a war between those of us who take responsibility for our own lives and those who want to rely on government to solve their problems for them. It's a war between those who trust in the competence of American citizens and those who think those citizens cannot be trusted to prepare for their own futures, to decide who among their neighbors are deserving of charity, or to have access to lethal means of defending their lives and property.

    January 20, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. William

    Bush Sr and Clinton are bookends. W and Obama are bookends.

    It remains to be seen if there will be an end to the culture wars.

    January 20, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Matt

    It would be nice if he could unite our country. But when their are such strong issues that he favors such as Pro-Abortion, Pro-Gay Marriage, Higher Taxes on those making more money, then I can't fully support him. I hope he does well as President, but these issues are HUGE with me.

    January 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. ah

    everything is possible if people are up to it. People need to open the eyes and hearts, many can do this, but then there is always someone who cannot...

    It is called tolerance which helps to end the culture wars, and any other wars.

    January 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. liz from Seattle

    Wow– so much vitriol here. As one of the "liberal elite" who were rejoicing on Nov 5th, I have to say that I am thrilled to see this day. But a few months ago if you'd asked me what I would be feeling, I would have predicted there would be some sense of victory over the "bad guys" (which for me has always meant radical conservatives). I have to say that since the election I really have not been feeling that sense of victory but rather a genuine desire to have all points of view represented in our government, even if that means there are people in the administration who I strongly disagree with. I am ready for a government that listens to everyone, not just me (or those other than me). I am ready for true unity. I hope all of us are ready for that because I am sick of thinking of other Americans as my enemies.

    January 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. rena

    Sound like the so called conservatives are out and at it. But it is your kind that will keep us from uniting. If any of knew the word of God, you would know that even God, himself spoke out of the mouth of babes they will speak and prophesy.

    Deborah, both you and Jon truly do not understand Gods love for all mankind. He didn't come here for the righteous, he came here for the sinner. Why don't you and Jon both try looking beyond your selfishness and look to your neighbor, love him as much as you love yourself. I too do not agree with abortion nor homosexuality, but I do believe in people making their choice on how they want to live; just like God gave us the choice to except Jesus Christ as our Savior or not except him. We all have to answer for our sins and according to God, no sin is greater than the other. We sin completely against him with any sin that is committed. So, please before you judge this man or throw your stone make sure you yourself are without sin. I doubt it very seriously that you are without any sin. Please, people it is time we start behaving like Chrisitain rather than just proclaiming to be one. God said, he wil judge us according to our deeds, actions, and every word that proceed out of our mouth.

    In conclusion, how can you say you love God whom you have never seen; but you hate your fellow neighbor or brethren whom you see everyday. God loves the sinner he hates the sin. If we are to become like him then we must think, act, and behave as him. Now, is the time that we live what we confess and proclaim to be. Lets see if we so call Chrisitians can past the test.

    January 20, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |