The culture war is peaking. That is because the “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton called them, got the message in the last election. Donald Trump’s election as president drove a stake into the heart of secular progressivism at a pivotal moment in American history.

When a cause is being threatened with extinction, panic and desperation set in. Resistance is a natural reaction, thus the “resist” movement emerges from the depths of despair. The agenda becomes clear. The targets will be eliminated one by one. Since the Fox News Network is clearly the strongest pillar standing against the outright assault on American culture, the bullseye is squarely on them.

Roger Ailes, the network’s founder and creative genius, was the first to be destroyed. This highly competent political strategist is best known for his outstanding work for Republican presidents.

Ailes, who published one of my favorite political books, “The Message is You,” was the first to go in what looks like an organized, orchestrated strategy designed to urge several female employees to charge sexual harassment. No sexual abuse or assault charges were leveled. Ailes, it was charged, was basically a dirty old man.

This week, the true “culture warrior,” Fox News star Bill O’Reilly, was next to go.

It cannot be argued, “The Factor,” O’Reilly’s highly rated cable TV show, reaching millions, had become the most influential conservative commentary in America. So O’Reilly must go, using the same formula as for Ailes — charges of sexual harassment, which he vehemently denies. His lawyer said he will release “irrefutable evidence” of a carefully planned “smear campaign” that finally silenced America’s strongest voice for fair and balanced reporting. Isn’t it hypocritical that former Democrat President Bill Clinton, who actually acted on his sexual impulses in the Oval Office, remains the darling of the left. Gender warfare pitting the sexes against each other is succeeding. Hillary Clinton’s election would have sealed the deal.

Then there is Bernie Sanders, whose tempting populist theme is class warfare against the most successful among us. Gender and class warfare have become the two strongest weapons in the fight to change the soul of America.

“The Killing of O’Reilly” leaves only one real national force against secular-progressivism still standing, the real target — President Donald Trump.

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters said it outright: “We must work every day for the impeachment of President Trump,” though he is still in his first 100 days in office.

The straw that broke the camel’s back is the successful appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a big win for traditional values and constitutional law.

The culture war is far from over. Opponents of a traditional American society will not stop short of President Trump’s removal.

In 2006, more than 10 years ago, in his book “Culture Warrior,” BO’Reilly summed it up: “Think about what America would be like now if we (Fox News) had not arrived on the scene … the secular-progressive movement has acquired a tremendous amount of money and power … they do not yet own the hearts and souls of most Americans, but they do have the resources, especially by controlling the media … so each American has to figure this out and understand that today’s culture war, along with the war against terror, will define this country for decades — and maybe generations to come.”

O’Reilly could not have been more prescient a decade ago, and in November 2016, his thesis became the deciding factor in the election of a new president who stood for the survival of a traditional America over forces hell bent on changing us into a socialistic society.

O’Reilly ironically concluded his “Culture Warrior” book with these words, which ring more true today: “I hope that as more and more Americans begin to understand what’s at stake that the traditional forces will grow in power and influence and we will win the culture war … but even if I am wrong and the unthinkable happens — that is the United States ‘evolves’ into a secular-progressive country — I’ll know that I have fought on the side of the angels. I will have fought the good fight, and will have fought it honestly. Also, I will always have insights the S-P legions will never have. There is a right and a wrong in this world. There is justice and fairness. And, finally, there is a strong, binding tradition that has made America the most successful country the world has ever seen. Let’s keep it that way.”

O’Reilly, the culture warrior, has been eliminated. Fox News will fall. Who is going to be looking out for you now?

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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