Fellow spectators: We've come a long way. Since I founded The American Spectator in 1967, we've been jargogling liberals with wit and humor—and we plan to keep on in that tradition for many years to come. But the method of delivery has changed rapidly, almost as fast as the rotating the cast of congressional clowns, judicial jesters, and presidential pantywaists at whom we aim our jabs. There was a day when photos and articles for the magazine were cut and pasted—literally, physically—into place. A Facebook was a leather photo album, and a Yahoo was an uninformed Democrat (or in those days, maybe even an out-and-out Socialist or Communist).
Brushing aside the cobwebs that have accumulated in my mind while editing this magazine for 45 years, I perceive six phases in its life. Some events that seemed momentous in their day seem less so today. Others that seemed mere ephemera have taken on great significance. Murderers blamed the AmSpec staff for their excesses in the early 1970s; a procession of two generations of writers, activists, and political leaders—one being perhaps the greatest president of the 20th century—have surpassed them handily in significance. Years ago, I did not see the procession for what it came to be.
On November 6, conservatives are going to win big in the elections, but not in the war for our political culture. Why?
Culture trumps politics every time. In fact, culture trumps politics, the law, and even the Constitution. Recently we saw culture trumping the law and the Constitution spectacularly in NFIB v. Sebelius, when Chief Justice John Roberts crossed over to join the Liberal minority and find Obamacare constitutional.
There is in our country a self-styled elite, who propound a culture that is very rarified and very political. Over time it keeps changing, but it remains in the hands of the same elite. The culture is Liberal, cut off from the American demos, but all the more potent because of this segregation. It follows its own eccentric whims unchastened by the demos. Because of its alienation from ordinary Americans and because it pollutes, contaminating all it touches, I call it a Kultursmog.