A Fake Culture War Is All Republicans Have Left

But the Biden administration isn’t taking the bait

Michael Arceneaux
LEVEL
Published in
6 min readMar 11, 2021

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Dr. Seuss books at a library.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

Last week, during a Biden administration press briefing, a Fox News political reporter tried to take White House press secretary Jen Psaki on a trip to Seussville.

Specifically, Kristin Fisher asked Psaki why President Biden had removed mention of the children’s book author in his Read Across America Day proclamation to the Department of Education.

That same day, in a statement tied to the late author’s birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises told the Associated Press that it would cease publishing six Dr. Seuss books — including his first, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street — because of racist and insensitive imagery. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” the company explained.

They don’t want to discuss policy they don’t have, or talk about the work of governance most have no real interest in performing. All they want to do is appeal to White grievance — preferably on Fox News during primetime hours.

Since then, Republican politicians and their cronies in right wing media have been making a fuss over the estate of a dead racist author — and yes, sorry to crush your childhood, but Dr. Seuss himself performed in blackface — recognizing that now is probably finally a good time to pull back on some of the racism in their catalog. Somehow, this is a testament to “cancel culture,” their imagined frenemy. Or if you’re Glenn Beck, this is “fascism.”

If conservatives had their way, we would spend most of our days consumed with whatever trivial issue they’ve stoked for controversy instead of more pressing matters like surviving a pandemic, preventing a depression, stopping violent White supremacists, and recognizing how much climate change will impact our ability to flush a toilet for the foreseeable future. They don’t…

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Michael Arceneaux
LEVEL

New York Times bestselling author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.”