Who Is Winning the Culture War?

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In "The Great Debate" segment tonight, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan (search), who works at a television network I can't remember the name of, has a new book out called "Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Administration and Hijacked the Bush Presidency." Wow, what a title.

But what we want to know from Mr. Buchanan is if the left is really winning the culture war? Pat Buchanan joins us now from Washington.

I'm right in the middle of this culture war. In fact, my next book is going to be called "Culture Warrior." And, you know, I'm right in the middle of this thing and I didn't know I was losing.


O'REILLY: Am I really?

BUCHANAN: Well, look, in the battle against Marxism (search) and Leninism, in economics and politics the Western civilization won, the United States won. The Soviet empire collapsed.

But what I called cultural Marxism and militant secularism are clearly winning in the United States of America.

You just did that ad by Paris Hilton (search). That would never have been shown in the '50s or '60s in the United States. If you take a look at the pornography and the filth that pours into American homes and you see the consequences in divorces and broken families and delinquency and all of the rest of them.

There was a communist known as Antonio Gramsci in Italy who argued that this is the only way that Marxism is going to win. And I have to say they are sure making progress and I think they're on the offensive.

O'REILLY: Yes, but in the totalitarianism regimes of China and the Third Reich and Stalin, they didn't want any of this stuff. I mean, they knocked this stuff out.

Franco in Spain. I was in Spain when Franco was in power. Man, they didn't want any of that. Even in Singapore. The totalitarianism regimes did not want them. So what's the difference here?

BUCHANAN: What's the difference here is that this is sort of, if you will, soft Marxism. And what it's done is replaced Christianity. You know, a culture is a product of a cult. Western civilization is a product of Christianity.

And Gramsci and the others realized they had to de-Christianize the culture. They had to change values. They had to make people think differently, and then the citadel of western civilization would collapse.

If you look at western nations, there's not a single one today, Bill, that's got a population that is not dying out. And I think if you take a look at the culture we have now, compared to what we had in the 1950's, you cannot say that is progress.

Especially when you see folks that are cutting off their TVs or throwing them out. They're not going to movies; the language is filthy. I think you take a look at the popular culture and you can't say we're winning.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, the secular progressives who were at the forefront of promoting this kind of behavior -- and I'm going to ask you why in a minute -- will point to the declining pregnancy rate among teens. It's going down. Crime rate's going down. Education scores are going up.

And they're going to say, "Hey, we can digest this kind of stuff, and it's not going to have a pernicious effect on our society." How do you answer that with the stats?

BUCHANAN: Well, take a look at the stats. You have something like more than two thirds of all African-American children are born out of wedlock. It was only eight percent in the 1940s. Something like a third of white children and 40 percent of Hispanics or maybe 50 percent. And you've got all these attendant social problems.

Now I'm not saying we lose every battle. You know, the battle of gay marriage, you win it at the ballot box. But the idea you'd be talking about homosexual marriages -- in the 1950s nobody would believe it.

So I think what is happening is there's no doubt that the left is making tremendous progress. We win some battles, but I believe we're losing the war.

O'REILLY: Now, the vanguard, the panzers of the left, are the press, the elite media, The New York Times, L.A. Times, L.A. Times column by this nut -- what's his name? -- Robert Scheer -- attacks the Catholic Church for opposing gay marriage and saying the pope is an awful guy. And they're all a bunch of hypocrites.

I've never figured out why The New York Times and The L.A. Times or even network news, which doesn't actively promote secular progressivism but certainly is comfortable with it, why they want to change the society in that direction. Do you know why they do?

BUCHANAN: Well, do I know exactly why? I'm not exactly sure, but I can tell you this.

The elites, you mentioned the media elites. But you take the culture elites in Hollywood and New York. You take the academic elites. All of them have been converted to what we used to call the counterculture in the 1960s.

In those days Reagan and Nixon could roll up 49-state landslides. Conservatives, social conservatives can't do that now. We're 31-state landslides.

It goes back, frankly, to the French revolution, the ideas do, and even before. And it is fundamentally, deeply anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, because it rejects the values and beliefs and what those cultures basically created in the west. That's why it's cultural Marxism. The great enemy of Marxism is western civilization.

O'REILLY: But you don't know why the people at The New York Times want to promote this kind of behavior? You don't know why, what the genesis is? Because I don't. I have to confess, don't know why.

BUCHANAN: I mean, let me say this, Bill. I can't understand how someone, even an atheist who disagrees with me, is going to want to put this filth in the movies.

O'REILLY: Yes, why would anybody want...

BUCHANAN: There's filth on television.

O'REILLY: Right. Why would anybody want gangsta rap to go into the poorest neighborhoods in the country and teach kids who are already disadvantaged and largely unsupervised, in some cases, how to curse, sell drugs and carry weapons? Why would any corporation want to do that? We know they make money. Why would they?

BUCHANAN: The corporations are basically, they are animals. I mean, they're like sharks. They swim and they eat and they feed or they die. The corporations make money.

But why the elites converted to this idea -- and you can go back to Robespierre. You go back beyond him to Rousseau. All of these ideas you find, in my judgment, of basic war against the ideas and the philosophy that is rooted in Christianity.

And if you take that down and destroy that in the hearts, minds and souls of people, you get what we got today in a significant part of our society.

The question is, why do they so hate it and why do they want to bring it down? I don't have the answer to that question, why it's in these people's hearts to do that. When they see the consequences, as you point out...

O'REILLY: Yes, very damaging.

BUCHANAN: You see what gangsta rap does.

O'REILLY: Tremendously dangerous to society, with no judgments made about any behavior. Just read "Lord of the Flies" and you're going to know what kind of behavior you're going to get.

BUCHANAN: Exactly.

O'REILLY: Very interesting, Mr. Buchanan, as always. "Where the Right Went Wrong." Pick up Pat's book. And we appreciate it.

BUCHANAN: Thank you, Bill.

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