Category Archives: Culture

Wow! The Left Celebrated Memorial Day Too

Examining the remarkable change in attitude of the American public toward military personnel over the last few decades

Those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam War recall very vividly the contempt and calumny that was heaped upon our military personnel both during and after the conflict. America lived through a shameful period in which those who wore the uniform were treated horribly by the American public, for whom those slandered soldiers had fought and sometimes died. While it was true that the behavior of a small segment of America’s military – e.g., those that perpetrated the My Lai massacre – warranted public opprobrium, the vast majority of American soldiers (almost all of whom were conscripts) deported themselves honorably, and often courageously, in Vietnam. Nevertheless, when public opinion turned against the war, it too frequently manifested itself in scorn and derision directed against our men (and women) in uniform. This persisted even after the conflict ended. Although the worst treatment meted out to soldiers and veterans was probably limited to the hands of extreme left-wing activists, politicians and media-types, much of the country seemed to acquiesce in an attitude summarized in these points:

• The American military is a corrupt, morally repugnant and dangerous entity that brings shame and dishonor to the country.

• It is a contemptible institution unworthy of the public’s respect.

• Its leaders are venal, self-serving, violence-prone and unrepresentative of American values.

• Its soldiers are at best innocent and unwitting pawns in their leaders’ brutal designs and at worst savage, drug-crazed warriors engaged in illegal warfare.

It was disgusting; especially given how widespread it was and how long it went unchallenged. The attitude was also completely misguided and contrary to the historical pattern of respect and admiration that heretofore had been accorded our nation’s military forces. It symbolized a period of collective madness exhibited by the people of the nation.Thankfully, this attitude softened considerably with the conversion of the military from conscription to volunteer, and then further with the advent of the Reagan administration. Certainly, in the 80s and 90s, the reputation of active military personnel improved perceptibly in the public’s eye. But Vietnam vets were still viewed with suspicion. And in truth, an overall healthy respect for the military was still far from the norm.

America’s remaining coolness to the military in this period is best highlighted by the famous incident in the White House wherein a relatively low level staffer informed a senior military officer that “I don’t greet military people.” An interesting corollary of this attitude was the spillover to police/fire/rescue personnel – or “first responders” as we now call them. The public’s respect for and admiration of first responders, albeit not as low as for military personnel still fell far below its traditional level.

But things changed dramatically after 9/11. A decade later, the public’s respect for, appreciation of and gratitude toward military personnel and first responders is arguably higher than it’s ever been in our nation’s history. I’ll outline the manifestations of this monumental change momentarily, but first let us consider: how did this miraculous transformation come about? Here are three possible reasons:

  1. The monumental heroism displayed by uniformed personnel in NY and DC on that day, and in the next few months in Afghanistan, was so stupendously eye-opening that it caused tens of millions of Americans to reassess their attitude toward military personnel and first responders.
  2. America finally tired of its abnormal distrust of the military and returned to its historical gratitude for the job uniformed people do under life-threatening conditions.
  3. The moderate Left ultimately recognized the damage that they were doing to the cause of freedom in the US and around the world, and so modified its opinion. Having done so, this broke a logjam and the rest of the country was pleased to accept the change of heart and follow suit.

I suppose that the true reason is some combination of the above. Whatever the reason, today, Americans routinely witness enthusiastic and emotional public displays of affection, respect, even love toward military personnel. Whether it be a spontaneous burst of applause for uniformed personnel in public venues; laudatory media stories focusing on the heroism and selflessness of our troops; testimonials to the bravery and indispensability of our armed forces; or just neighborhood alliances with first responders; examples of adulation of military personnel occur frequently all over the land. During the last decade, this change in attitude has survived the bloody civil war in Iraq following our successful invasion but botched occupation; the gut-wrenching disputes over the role of women and gays in the military; and the Obama administration’s devaluing the importance of military preparedness and its draconian cuts to military budgets. Despite these, America’s affection for and gratitude toward the American military remains strong – even on the Left. It is a wonder to observe – as one easily could do on Memorial Day just passed – liberal politicians, media types and activists gushing with praise for our military personnel, and acknowledging the debt that we owe them. I suspect that for some – e.g., Mr. Obama – it’s just a matter of reading the political tea leaves and bending with the current trends. Should America’s support of its military personnel wane again, the hard Left will be off that horse real fast. But I also suspect that among the moderate Left, the affection is genuine. Those folks seem finally to have come to their senses – namely even if they support big government, fear free markets and prefer multiculturalism to traditional American values, they still love America, treasure its freedoms and want the US to be the harbinger of same around the world. They realize, perhaps belatedly, that a strong military is a necessary and vital component of the effort. It gives a conservative hope. Maybe, if we can help the moderate Left to shove Obama – and the hard lefties that surround him – aside, America can resume its normal role as a beacon of liberty and prosperity to the world.
This article also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at:

Who Will Compose a Manifesto for American Revival?

The progressive assault on American society is nearing total victory. The assault was in fact a revolution as it sought to overthrow the governing structures of the United States by undermining and abrogating the fundamental principles that gave birth to those structures. The assault, which began at the turn of the twentieth century, met with almost immediate success. In particular, the ratification of the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution and the establishment of the Federal Reserve bear testimony to that success. Although many pundits argue that it was not until the advent of Barack Obama that the progressive victory was assured, one can make a very strong case that the cataclysmic upheavals in American society that occurred in the 1960s guaranteed the ultimate success of the progressive revolution. There have been a few partially successful conservative counterattacks: Coolidge in the 1920s, Reagan in the 1980s, Gingrich in the 1990s and the Tea Party a few years ago. But all of these have a “Battle of the Bulge” character – delaying the inevitable, not preventing it.

I have argued on numerous occasions that the fundamental strategy of the progressive assault is encapsulated in the aphorism usually attributed to the early twentieth century Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci: capture the culture, the politics will follow. And that is exactly what the progressives did. Through an unremitting assault on the basic cultural institutions of American society, the progressive movement captured virtually all of the society’s opinion-forming organs. Today the media, universities, legal profession, seminaries, federal bureaucracy, journalism schools, educational system, etc. are overwhelmingly dominated by leftists, collectivists and statists. Not surprisingly, the politics have followed – to the extent that a radical statist with absolutely no experience in any qualifying aspect of American life (e.g., business, military, executive) has been elected – and re-elected – president of the US. Surely, when surveying the scene in 1895, the young progressive must have viewed the revolutionary task ahead of him as gargantuan – perhaps even impossible. But he and his cohort set to work and scarcely more than a century later, his progeny sits atop the mountain. With perseverance, single-minded dedication and adherence to the game plan, they overcame the enormous obstacles in their path and converted American society into the multicultural, government-dependent, environmentally-obsessed, racially divisive, militarily-weakened, redistributionist, self-denigrating, secular, morally decadent, class conscious society that we comprise today.

Thus in 2013, a young conservative, when contemplating a counterrevolution that would return America to its founding principles, faces a daunting landscape as inhospitable as his progressive forbearer confronted 118 years earlier. He will need the same perseverance, tenacity and dedication if he is to repeat the success. And he needs to follow the same game plan – that is, he needs to recapture the culture. In other venues, I have proposed some strategies to do so, but here I would like to suggest the need for a tool. All revolutions require a guidebook – a manifesto that outlines the fundamental rationale of the revolutionaries and points the way toward the game plan that will drive the revolution. Historical examples are manifold. Perhaps the most famous is the US Declaration of Independence. Others include: the Declaration of the Rights of Man (issued during the French Revolution), the Cartagena Manifesto of Simon Bolivar, the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Two more recent examples are the Port Huron Statement and the Contract with America. The latter, which inspired Gingrich and to some extent the Tea Party, has had rather limited success. On the other hand, the former (usually attributed to Tom Hayden) has played a significant role in motivating and guiding progressive efforts over the last half century. One could argue that the manifesto for the conservative counterrevolution has already been written by Mark Levin. His 2009 book Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto is a serious candidate to fill the bill. But I fear that its longevity and influence may be limited. Time will tell. However, it is likely that something shorter and more focused, but equally eloquently and passionately argued, might be necessary. I don’t propose to write that document here. Rather I will describe what I see as the five fundamental components that the document must encompass and address if it is to galvanize and motivate the public and also to serve as the inspiration for the decades-long effort that it must guide. Those five are:

  1. Freedom. The primary thrust of a conservative manifesto must be freedom. The basic tenets of the Declaration of Independence must be re-emphasized. The most fundamental ideal of the American Revolution is that all human beings are born free, that each individual is inherently equal to any other before the law, that we all enjoy certain inalienable rights endowed by God, or Nature’s God – specifically, the rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights, and that governments are instituted almost exclusively to protect those rights. The present system, in which the Federal Government acts as the initiator and enforcer of “new rights” in a manner that is far beyond the scope of the powers enumerated to it in our Constitution, is contrary to the spirit of freedom and constitutes a grave danger to our individual liberty.
  2. Economic Opportunity. Building on and consistent with political freedom is our right to economic freedom. The people have the right to choose their mode and place of work, to enter into monetary or labor contracts freely, to enjoy the fruits of their labor and to buy and sell property as they see fit — all, of course, within the rule of law. The government’s sole role in the economic foundation of our lives is to enforce the rule of law – dispassionately, objectively and without prejudice. In addition, our economic system will embrace free market capitalism – because it is the only system consistent with economic and political freedom, and because it yields far greater overall prosperity than does socialism, Keynesianism or any other economic system.
  3. American Exceptionalism. We must re-endorse the following ideas: the American experiment in political and economic freedom makes us unique among the nations of the Earth; America should remain a shining example to the world of freedom and hope; America has been and continues to be a force for good in the world; we welcome immigrants to our shores who share our ideals; and we will maintain the strength and will to move the world towards a more humane, free and prosperous future.
  4. Morality. We must re-endorse the notion of our Founders that our system of government and rules for organizing society (i.e., as a democratic, Constitutional Republic) can work only if the people – who enjoy widespread liberty – are moral, decent and virtuous. We live in a time when one man’s morality is another man’s chains. But hopefully, we all can agree that a moral America is one grounded in: faith, charity, humility and strong families and communities.
  5. Rule of Law. We must re-emphasize that ours is a society in which the law, not men, reign supreme. In addition to – indeed as a companion to freedom, we seek justice. The laws are made by the people and our leaders execute them according to the consent of all who are governed by them. Thus we reject political corruption, crony capitalism, the cult of a leader or leaders, and discrimination – reverse or otherwise.

Who will write the manifesto? The conservative cause needs someone with Levin’s depth of understanding, Krauthammer’s perspicacity, Buckley’s eloquence, Limbaugh’s passion, Churchill’s guts, Reagan’s optimism and the wisdom of a Solomon. Will that person please report to the front desk asap!
This essay also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at:

Understanding the Liberal Mindset

An attempt to explain the liberal mindset based on a simple, but striking example of liberal thought

A dear friend – let’s call him Jack, who is a very prominent and influential fellow in my community, recently penned a column in a local newsletter. In it, he speaks about his desire to express himself more forcefully on the central issues that confront our community. Indeed, he wishes to do more than express himself; he aspires to lead the community to formulate and implement solutions to some of the more serious problems that residents face. But then he specifies the key issues that he believes are ‘…facing us – gun violence, poverty, homelessness, hunger.’ He asserts that we must ‘…engage to try to ‘solve’ these huge challenges – in small and large ways. And as our community grows in size, and our potential to make a real difference starts to multiply, my desire to see our community engage in these issues grows too! ”

I confess that I am scratching my head at Jack’s list of issues that plague our community: ‘gun violence, poverty, homelessness, hunger.’ I think this list passing strange. In fact Jack is an eminent figure in a vibrant community of relatively prosperous suburbanites of all ages living in one of the most affluent, safe, beautiful and even diverse neighborhoods in the region – indeed, I vouchsafe, in the entire country. It is absolutely without question that aside from what could be no more than a miniscule percentage, no member of our community has encountered gun violence, poverty, homelessness or hunger recently – or indeed at any time in his or her own life.

Now I don’t want to give a false picture of an idyllic existence; the local community certainly does face some serious problems. Those that come to mind include the following:

  • Like all Americans, we inhabit an increasingly bankrupt nation (as well as a severely fiscally challenged State) – the burden of which we are laying off on our children. If we don’t get our fiscal house in order, then we – and certainly our children – will not enjoy for much longer the ‘idyllic existence’ of which we are so enamored and to which we are accustomed. The violence done to our economic well-being easily exceeds any inflicted by automatic weapons.
  • Again, like all Americans, we reside in a country and a neighborhood in which the prospects for the coming generations to live as well as we do is clearly diminished. The American dream is in jeopardy. What are we going to do about it?
  • Congestion, overly expensive housing and excessive government taxation and regulation make it difficult to sustain this idyllic corner of the world that we have created. How can we wisely mollify these real threats to our community – any one of which is a far more prevalent and serious problem than ‘hunger.’
  • A uniform political outlook in our local schools, libraries, government and media closes the minds of our children to any questioning of the politically correct atmosphere that permeates our local society. The only homelessness that is evident in our community is attached to those who profess an alternate outlook.
  • American culture is saturated with pornography, vulgarity, permissiveness media violence and a growing disrespect for religion. Is that the ‘poverty’ (of spirit) that keeps Jack awake at night?

When I converse with my neighbors, I can detect other common problems that might trouble Jack – e.g., neglected children due to parents who work long hours to pay for the trappings of the good life that we enjoy; broken marriages and other familial crises that deprive children of a happy and nurturing home life; a stagnant economy that cripples economic opportunity and advancement; increasing alienation from religious faith as exemplified by dwindling church attendance, moral decay and the proliferation of ‘alternate lifestyles.’ But nowhere do I see anyone who has been victimized by gun violence, nor anyone who is hungry, homeless or poverty-stricken. How in heaven’s name can Jack identify these as the central issues ‘facing us?’

Well here is my stab at an answer. Certainly violence, poverty, hunger and homelessness are serious problems in many parts of the world, and in some parts of our nation. When we learn of tragedies associated with these afflictions – be it a Sandy Hook shooting or pictures in the news of a filthy, street-dwelling, vagabond roaming a blighted urban neighborhood – our hearts are rent and we wish that our world could be spared the horror of these calamities. Now compare those poignant tragedies to the more personal dilemmas we face: not enough of a salary raise this year; my wife and I are working so hard that there is barely any time left for each other; my prepubescent son is being bullied in school; or God forbid, my eldest daughter is dating a gangbanger. The liberal mind is haunted far more by the former than the latter. He/she ruminates: if we can fix these ‘global,’ horrific problems, then the world would be good and trivial matters like a faltering personal economy will be much easier to deal with.

Since the dawn of civilization, there has been a dichotomy in the human soul between the universal and the particular. Conservatives tend to focus on the particular – particularly when it comes to the world’s faults. For liberals, the universal is the way to calm the soul. In a way, I admire Jack that he is so deeply troubled personally by a nameless homeless person whose visage on TV moves him to action. I applaud the emotion; but I believe that Jack would be more successful at healing the world if he kept his attention focused on the more visceral needs of his friends and neighbors in the community.

Is the Left Swallowing What Remains of Traditional America?

The results of this fall’s election have raised the alarm that the profile of the American electorate has slid unalterably to the left. The most cited reasons are: shifting demographics, an imbalance in the technical capabilities of the two parties that advantages the Democrats, and the inevitable effects of a century-long march by the Left through the country’s cultural institutions. To elaborate on the latter, the assertion is that now that the Left virtually controls all the opinion-molding organs of American society – but especially the media and the educational system, the people increasingly succumb to the progressive brainwashing to which they are subjected.

The corroborating evidence for these theories is strong: the groups who instinctively support the Left (blacks, Hispanics, single women) form an increasing proportion of the population; there is no question that the Democratic ground game, fund-raising and techno operations significantly outperformed those of the Republicans; and even a cursory acquaintance with the thoughts of the nation’s youth confirms the leftist brainwashing that permeates our schools – from kindergarten through graduate school.

And yet! The House of Representatives remains under Republican (if not conservative) control, thirty states have Republican governors and if one counts counties, the Republican majority is even more striking. However, much of this strength originates in those counties that are outside the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Therefore, the question that I would like to address here is whether those areas – where devotion to the conservative ideals of traditional America remains strong – are also being subjected to the same progressive forces that have turned America’s cities and (many of their) suburbs into leftist bastions.

I will base my analysis on personal observation. I live and work (even though I am retired) in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. The county in which I reside (Montgomery) is as left leaning as virtually any county in America. Moreover, Maryland politics are as blue as they come. We have two ultra-left Senators, an ultra-left Governor and a State legislature that has gerrymandered the State’s congressional districts so as to convert the delegation from its long-established, roughly evenly split configuration into a nearly uniform Democratic majority. One of the recently gerrymandered districts includes the two mountain counties of Western Maryland, which are rural, traditional in their culture and staunchly conservative in their politics. I own a second home in one of those counties and spend much of my time there. The local joke is that when the fiscal collapse in Annapolis and Washington – toward which the profligate spending in those two capitals is inexorably propelling us – finally occurs, we are going to dynamite the interstate in order to insulate ourselves from the chaos emanating from liberal America. Would that a solution were that simple!

However, in the last decade and a half, during my frequent sojourns in Western Maryland, I have noticed the following ominous developments. These impressions are based on my own observations and from extensive conversations with the locals who reside there more permanently:

  • The county’s school teachers and administrators, largely imported from the nation’s virulently liberal colleges of education, are increasingly left wing and have begun to inculcate the local school children with the same leftist propaganda that envelops students from all over the country.
  • Locals routinely sample the national media (movies, TV, and of course the internet) and the messages transmitted therein are very different from those emitted by increasingly scarce local radio stations.
  • The foundation of religious worship, while still strong, is not as strong as it used to be.
  • There was always some outmigration of youth as they came to adulthood, but it is more prevalent now – and even if the prodigals return, say after college, they infect the area with the more ‘cosmopolitan’ beliefs that they absorbed in their absence.
  • The homogeneity of the county – WASP, of course – while still strong, is again not as strong as it used to be. The arrival of several big box chain stores has brought in some workers who don’t fit the profile so well. This migration is not as extensive as in some rural areas – in the Midwest and Southeast, where a huge influx of ethnic minorities fleeing high unemployment in places like California has radically altered local demographics. Of course, there is no a priori reason why a change in ethnic population composition needs to entail a loss of the ideals and principles that have defined traditional America – devotion to individual liberty, confidence in free markets, belief in American exceptionalism, and reliance on a morality grounded in religion. But it is undeniable that since America changed its immigration laws fifty years ago to shift the bulk of legal immigration from Europe to third world countries, the folks who come here do not have the background in British tradition and Western Civilization that underlies those fundamental principles. They are much more susceptible to the siren call of collectivist state security rather than rugged individualism – natural fodder for the overwhelmingly leftist Democratic Party.
  • Finally, I see some signs of fatigue, demoralization and loss of confidence. There seems to be a sense that the country has moved away from the founding principles that have animated the peoples of Western Maryland. Moreover, they see themselves as somewhat out of touch with ‘mainstream’ America and they worry that the trends indicate a growing divergence.
The last bullet is, for me, the most troubling. If you feel that you are beaten, then you are beaten. Sadly, there is too much of that feeling out there in conservative, traditional America. But it is far from ubiquitous. Both in Western Maryland and across our beloved land, there are many conservatives who have not given up, who believe that America will come to its senses and cast off the quasi-socialist, America-denigrating, statist secularists who are currently running Annapolis and Washington. Is there reason for such optimism? In Western Maryland or anywhere in the US? Will the conservative cause eventually triumph and return America to its traditional moorings? Do I believe that or have I given up? Well, it depends on which side of the bed I get up on in any given day. Whichever side it is, the view is a lot better in the mountains of Western Maryland than it is in the DC suburbs.
This article also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at:

Explaining the Romney Debacle

Exploring the reasons offered for Romney’s defeat — while citing relevant words from two recent books by Gelernter and Crowley that essentially predicted it

Conservatives are stunned by the outcome of the just concluded presidential election. They had rationalized Obama’s 2008 victory as an understandable aberration by the American people. Weary of the deleterious effects of the Bush presidency (two inconclusive wars, profligate government spending, the confusing message of a supposedly conservative administration advancing big government programs and, of course, a dangerous economic meltdown); smitten by the purportedly optimistic, post-partisan, unifying message of a largely unknown and untested neophyte – aided and abetted by an adoring media; and anxious to allay once and for all its heartfelt guilt over American slavery; the people understandably engaged in a risky, indeed somewhat reckless act of installing the least qualified individual ever to occupy the Oval Office.

But after four years of: shrill partisan posturing; failed Keynesian policies that prolonged the economic crisis; weak-kneed foreign policy that heralded a sharp decline in American prestige and power; a massive expansion in the Federal debt and deficit that threatens our children and grandchildren’s prosperity; and a draconian explosion in federal regulations (including Obamacare) that are crippling American business – after all that, surely the American people would recognize the folly of their decision to entrust the presidency to an amateur, pseudo-socialist. Surely they would rectify the mistake.

Wrong! America doubled down on the wretched hand that it dealt itself in 2008.

And so the soul searching has begun. How could this happen? What is the cause? Here are the most commonly offered ‘after the fact’ explanations:

  • Demographics. The size of the groups who support the president’s leftist policies – namely, blacks, Hispanics, single women and young voters – has reached a point wherein they constitute a natural majority. This tilt will only intensify in the future.
  • Schism. The split in the Republican Party between TEA Party conservatives and more moderate establishment types depresses Republican voter turnout and, until it is resolved, it will fatally cripple Republican presidential possibilities.
  • Ground Game. The Democrats are doing a much better job of energizing their base and getting it to the polls – both in early voting and on election day.
  • Cultural Shift. The character of the American people has fundamentally changed. No longer are we the heirs of the founding generation. We have become more like our European cousins. In short, we no longer subscribe to the Founders’ principles, to wit: liberty is paramount, above equality; government should be limited, its influence superseded by that of individuals, families and communities; markets should be free, government only enforces the rules of play, it does not interfere in the game, that is, in the commerce of the people; democracy only works when it is grounded in the moral guidelines of a religious people, not because of any abstract belief in the ‘goodness of man’; and America is exceptional, a beacon of freedom to all mankind. We have reached the point wherein more than half the population believes in the precise opposite of the above five principles.

In fact, the last explanation – Cultural Shift – is decidedly not ‘after the fact.’ Furthermore, while the first three reasons all have substantial merit, I believe it is the last that is the most telling. This is because, difficult as it might be, each of the first three ‘excuses’ could be overcome. First, the demographics don’t lie. But as many have pointed out, the Hispanic and black communities are inherently conservative and with the right approach, Republicans might be able to wean them from their hypnotic obeisance to the siren call of the Left. Next, the Democratic Party has been completely captured by its left wing. What is to say that conservatives can’t take an equally firm grip on the Republican Party? Third, improving a ground game is merely a technical/logistical matter.

In the same vein, one might assert that America has had religious revivals before. Why not another that would shift the cultural foundation back to its traditional moorings? Indeed the likelihood of that is minuscule compared to the possibility of a reversal in any of the other three explanations. In fact, many cultural conservatives believe that we have already experienced an actual cultural/social collapse from which it is probably impossible to recover. Furthermore, to return to the thought at the beginning of the previous paragraph, this explanation for Romney’s defeat was not really discovered only after the election. Many conservatives had been exploring this idea in various venues – well before the election. Two excellent examples of such Cassandra-like warnings can be found in America Lite by David Gelernter and What the (Bleep) Just Happened by Monica Crowley. Both are extremely well written and well researched books. Gelernter focuses primarily on the state of higher education and the role it has played in the transformation of American society. Crowley, on the other hand, while she connects the dots to past administrations, focuses her attention largely on the Obama years and how it represents the culmination of a century-long process by which the progressive movement has subverted traditional American society.

Here are some relevant quotes from the two works. The reader may ponder, based on these trenchant observations, whether there is any hope for a preservation of America in its traditional incarnation.

Gelernter. The quality and content of the education provided is a clear indication of the quality and tendency of the democracy that provides it,” wrote Lionel Trilling in 1952. A famous report called “A Nation at Risk,” in 1983, put the nation on notice that its schools were failing. In 1987, Alan Bloom’s widely read The Closing of the American Mind told Americans that their elite colleges were grossly politicized. The facts of educational decay were intolerable and all around us, like a mountainous garbage dump across the street on a hot day, with thousands of cawing crows spiraling cynically overhead and the stench of rot invading every last cubic inch. It took a powerful act of will to ignore the state of our schools, but we summoned up the will and we did it. And are still doing it.

Those famous reports of the 1980s, and others like them, described changes that had already happened. The big change in U.S. education happened mainly during the 1970s; it was widely and reliably reported in the 1980s—and has been largely ignored ever since. For roughly thirty years we have been aware of massive, portentous changes in how we educate our youth—and we have shrugged them off. And things have only got worse. American students learn little or no history or literature or civics. “Only a third of Americans can name the three branches of government,” noted the former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor. “But 75 percent of kids can tell you American Idol judges.” We wince and move on.

So long as the educators are left-wing, the rest of the country could be 98 percent conservative and it wouldn’t matter. The left-lib blot will spread; nothing can stop it. If the educators are left-wing, the nation must fill up inexorably with graduates who are left-wing, just like their teachers.

During the 1970s, many left-wing teachers taught their political beliefs — the message of America’s own cultural revolution — to their students. Those students were the leading edge of the Airhead Army. Among this leading edge, some graduated to become teachers themselves. They handed the message on to their students. Every year saw a new group of students emerge for whom the message of the revolution seemed less like radical left-wing politics and more like simple truth. In modern America, the left gets its way not by convincing people but by indoctrinating their children.

Crowley. We’ve had all kinds in the presidency, but Obama represents a first. All previous presidents had guiding political philosophies, which they all bent—to some degree or another—when it became too difficult politically to stick to them or when the American people resoundingly rejected what they were doing. Some of them pressed on anyway, but all of them at least acknowledged the American people and registered their discontent. All previous presidents had at least some degree of responsiveness to the people they led. Not Obama. This president is driven by such a devout and fervent ideology that nothing—not big majorities of the American people, not the Constitution—can stop him. We’ve seen other transformative presidents—Lincoln, FDR, Reagan—but none of them attempted to transform the nation into something wholly unrecognizable as America—until this one.

This was the essence of Obama’s Declaration of Dependence. Instead of treating them [government programs] as temporary helping hands to only those in need, the redistributionists saw the programs as gleaming opportunities for the massive expansion of government power as well as leverage to build a permanent Democratic majority. If they could maneuver the programs into ever-growing entities that covered ever-growing numbers of people, those same people would become ever dependent on government and, therefore, ever grateful to the party and ideology that made that assistance available to them.

The redistributionists have always kept their eyes on the prize. They have played the long game. And they have carefully cloaked another truth: since the balance between government power and liberty is zero-sum, the more power the government amasses, the less liberty there is for the individual. Their massive spending is deliberate: it is a coldly calculated move to destroy the fiscal health of the country in order to justify a constantly metastasizing state. It’s like the classic 1958 horror/sci-fi flick The Blob. The Blob starts out as a tiny jellylike substance. But it quickly grows and grows, until its mass is enormous and completely uncontrollable, consuming everything in its path of destruction.”

We blindly and willingly gave the keys to the kingdom to a stranger who then blindfolded us and took us on a socialist joyride. What a long, strange trip it’s been—and not in the good Grateful Dead way. As all of the Obama weirdness and destruction unfolded, most Americans began to feel like the coed at the frat party who drinks too much wine out of a box, goes home with the guy she thinks is Ryan Reynolds, only to wake up instead with the Situation. But unlike our fictional coed, in our drunken political stupor we actually married the guy. And the divorce is going to be really, really expensive.”

The particular horror is that we are allowing the theft of freedom to be done to us by our own government. While we luxuriate in abundance, complacency, and apathy—many of us knowing nothing else—Obama and the kooks are maneuvering us quickly into bondage. Once we are truly bound, the relationship between the individual and the government will be changed irrevocably: the individual will have dwindling and ultimately meaningless “freedoms” and the people will be led toward European-style dependence; we will be an enslaved mob…If people believe they can vote themselves a raise, they will. And once that mentality finds its way into the middle class, then America as the land of the free will be history.