08/27/2012 11:51 am ET Updated Oct 27, 2012

The Liberal-Conservative War: Is it Cultural -- or Biological?

Fox News pushes its agenda from the Right;

MSNBC pushes its agenda from the Left. 

Moderate senators and representatives are dropping out of Congress, abandoning that august body because it ain't so august anymore.

White evangelical Christians and far right cultural conservatives seem to want to go back to the lost Golden Age of their childhoods, or even before that, in an America where family values reigned supreme. 

The secular and the radical Left seem determined to spoil the dreams of white evangelical Christians and far right cultural conservatives by pointing out that that Golden Age was fraught with, racism, sexism, McCarthyism, repression, intolerance, and doctors who thought cigarettes were good for you.

Conservatives are afraid of America descending into socialism; Liberals are afraid of America descending into a theocracy. 

And compromise has become a 10-letter four-letter word. 

As the American philosopher, Marx -- as opposed to the German philosopher Marx -- once declared: "Of course, you know, this means war!" 

And the war has been named Culture.

But what if the war is not cultural at all? What if it is biological? What if this unbridgeable divide we are experiencing is not just a matter of opinion, but is, in fact, a matter of speciation? 

Speciation, of course, is the process by which a new species branches off from an existing one, the demarcation being set once a member from one branch can no longer parent with a member from the other. We know that speciation has not happened yet because the very liberal James Carville and his very conservative wife Mary Matalin have children. 

But that doesn't mean that a process of speciation, dividing the Left from the Right (or vice versa) won't happen, and happen soon given the current tenor of discourse in this country.

Speciation does not necessarily mean progress. It simply means that certain members of a species have had some mutations that make them better adapted to the current or changing environment. It is not really a raw in tooth and claw situation -- despite Fox News and MSNBC -- it is more a luck of the draw situation. But if there is now to be two Homo species in this land -- Homo sapiens retro and Homo sapiens progressivus -- the question will be, Which is more likely to survive into the future given the current environment of America? Of course, there is no reason why two Homo species could not both survive and co-exist, as other species co-exist. After all, there must be thousands of species of birds in the world, all twittering into the air, each thinking their song is the sweetest. 

But as we in our land love a good race -- and usually only one at a time -- let's look at several aspects of the environment in America today and see how each species might fare.

Creationism vs. Evolution

If evolution through natural selections is, as the vast majority of biologists believe, an established fact, then Homo sapiens progressivus is obviously the better adapted species, for its members are open to understanding the mechanics of evolution and taking advantage of those mechanics to better their lives. I can't really see how evolution as an established fact brings harm  to Homo sapiens retros, except, of course, to their pride.  And if Creationism proves to be correct, then there is not much for Homo sapiens retro to adapt to. Indeed they adapted to and adopted this thought many years ago.  But there is some detrimental harm that may come to their shoulders by all the patting of themselves on the back. As for Homo sapiens progressivus, well if creationism proves true then this species is going to spend eternity in a very hot place -- and let it adapt to that!

Climate Change

If climate change, as the vast majority of climatologists believe, is an established fact, then Homo sapiens progressivus is already well adapted, recycling and driving hybrids and electric vehicles and such. It enters upon species-hood already willing to understand climate change's negative effects and to work, assuming it can grab enough political power, to reverse the harm.  Homo sapiens retro will not fare well if climate change is a fact, as it will probably be flooded, tornado-ed, hurricane-ed, and baked out of existence. If climate change is, as they believe, a hoax, then the only thing that Homo sapiens retros will have to adapt to is the cash from their oil company stocks.  And Homo sapiens progressivus will migrate to coastal areas where its diminished numbers will spend their time sulking and trying to remove crude oil from the feathers of seagulls.


Abortion as a fact is not really a matter of controversy, it's whether abortion is a sin or a matter of a rational, personal decision by a woman.  If it is a sin, then Homo sapiens retro is best adapted as some God-directed catastrophe is likely to ensue that will precisely wipe off the face of the Earth only Homo sapiens progressivus. If abortion is simply a rational and personal decision by a woman, then Homo sapiens progressivus will be much better adapted to take advantage of the intelligence and creative energies women bring to society once they are assured of freedom of choice and allowed stewardship over their own bodies. Homo sapiens retros will survive only if they can compel enough women to stay home, shut up, cook the meals, and be prepared to spend much time in the maternity ward.

But none of this do we face just yet. As I said, given the example of James Carville and Mary Matalin, it is obvious that speciation has not yet happened. But once there has been enough reported cases of a liberal male, say George Clooney, failing to impregnate a conservative female, say Sarah Palin, or of a liberal female, say Nancy Pelosi, failing to be impregnated by a conservative male, say John Boehner, we will know that there are now two divergent and non-compatible species living in the United States of America.  And then it will truly not be a culture war at all, but a species war.

And may the best species adapt.