Why Traditionalists Are Losing the Culture War

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly reporting from Southern California.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Why traditionalists are losing the culture war, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." The answer's simple... Americans who believe traditional values are important have no leadership.  Secularists who believe  society has to change to include income redistribution, drug legalization, gay marriage, social promotion in public schools, no display of Christmas symbols or overtly religious images and on and on, those people have aggressive leadership.

The mayor of San Francisco is a great example.  This Gavin Newsom (search) guy, like him or not, is pretty gutsy.  He's simply doing what he wants, violating state law, violating the will of the people.  But Newsom has made a calculation that few will stand up to him.  And he's absolutely right.  At this point, it's me against him.


GAVIN NEWSOM, SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR:  Someone tried to arrest me yesterday, a citizen arrest or something.  You got these talk show -- you were watching Fox News and some -- I guess it's a network, a national network.  A lot of people that are on there, some of the folks saying I should be arrested.


NEWSOM:  Someone, yes, Bill O'Reilly or someone.  You know, I guess a lot of people have different points of view.


O'REILLY:  All right.  Now the San Francisco situation is a microcosm of what's happening all over America.  The ACLU (search), pressure groups, unions, renegade politicians, and activist judges do pretty much what they want and largely get away with it.

Here, Governor Schwarzenegger's absolutely missing in action.  He's too fearful the press would hammer him if he actually enforced California law. President Bush, a tough guy on terrorism, doesn't engage on social issues very often. So pressure from the White House is almost non-existent in the culture war.

How about your senators and congress people? Are they standing up for your values?  Most of them hide whenever culture war issues appear. Once again, it is the powerful elite media that is the best ally of the secular forces in this country. Anybody opposing gay marriage, for example, is immediately branded an ultra conservative or a Christian fundamentalist. This game has been going on for years.

Progressive politicians know they have friends at the network news and in most big city newspapers, but traditionalists have few friends in the media.  One final example, our pal, Bill Moyers (search), is quitting his show over at PBS.  Few people watch it. And Moyers is going to go write a book. And reporting this, the press didn't describe Moyers as a liberal, even though he's the poster boy for that ideology. Now if I retire from this program, the word conservative will be used 18 times in the article about it.

Here's a prediction. If President Bush and other traditionalist politicians don't start to confront the forces of secularism in this country, we'll be completely different five years from now.  Hillary Clinton might well be president, our courts will be populated with very liberal judges, and the USA you used to know will be a memory.

And that's "The Memo."

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