A recent survey of young voters found significant support for the destruction of Mt. Rushmore and public buildings deemed “Eurocentric.” This survey, conducted by Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at the University of London, questioned an admittedly skewed sample of “young, liberal and white voters,” and supports growing concern that belief in America’s founding principles and its Constitution is no longer widely shared.
In his essay, The Great Awokening and the Second American Revolution Kaufmann reports that among his “liberal” and “very liberal” sample, he found overwhelming agreement with these and other radical policies to destroy America:
“Move, after public consultation, to a new American constitution that better reflects our diversity as a people.”
“Move, after public consultation, to a new American anthem that better reflects our diversity as a people.”
“Allow our public parks to return to their natural state, before a European sense of order was imposed upon them.”
“Rebalance the art shown in museums across the country until an analysis of content shows that it reflects the demography of the population and perspective of Native people and citizens of color.”
Kauffman observes progressives are ready to change almost everything about America,
The notion that strict equality quotas rather than antiquity, mass attachment, tradition, or aesthetic excellence should drive everything from the content of museums and history books to place names and the built environment sacrifices multi-generational meaning systems on the altar of utopian universalism. Indeed, over 40 percent of ‘very liberal’ respondents would replace the American flag and rename the United States of America!
Kauffman writes about the Maoist “cultural revolution” many progressives are ready to embrace: “This ‘year zero’ mentality is common among heaven-on-Earth utopian movements and corresponds to a view that people are slates that can be wiped clean and restored to their pristine, blank condition—their souls must be purified.”
The young voters he surveyed were ready to embrace an Orwellian 1984 dystopia. Quoting Orwell, Kauffman observes, “obliterating the past becomes the first task of the socialist regime”:
Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
Kauffman asks, “Is there any way to resist the woke steamroller that’s trying to iron out American distinctiveness?” Kauffman answers his question, “Yes, but this will require a concerted movement to protect the content of cultural nationhood.”
Kauffman points to “civil society institutions, associations, and media to keep the country’s customs and traditions alive in recognizable form.” He writes,
In America, patriotic societies like the American Legion or Daughters of the American Revolution, fraternities like the Masons and ethnic associations like the Sons of Italy once performed this role. With today’s partisan divide, and left-modernist control of education, the quest for a unified memory, taught in schools, is a chimera. The best the centre-Right can aim for is to resist the demonization of established traditions, and rebalance the teaching of history to de-centre the narrative of oppression, according it a weight proportionate to its role in a balanced pedagogy: one of several vantage points on the national story.
Kauffman is pointing in the right direction, but is it enough? There is no substitute for parental responsibility in the home to counteract anti-American propaganda taught in public schools.
Even if homeschooling is not possible for your family, elements of a homeschooling curriculum can become part of family life.
You don’t need to have a degree in teaching to teach your children, but you do have to constantly learn what you are “teaching.” A parent’s choice of teaching material is critical, for what one teaches is what one learns.
Begin by refreshing and extending your own understanding of America’s founding principles. Two outstanding primers for parents are Randy Barnett’s Our Republican Constitution and Brion McClanahan’s The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution.
Working as a family to rediscover America’s principles can be fun. Rose Wilder Lane was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her book, The Discovery of Freedom, is an electrifying read. In clear terms and insightful stories, Lane shows why America is unique among nations. Each member of the family can read the same chapter and the family can have a conversation over a special dessert.
Another excellent resource for your family to discover and cultivate the principles of freedom is W. Cleon Skousen’s The 5000 Year Leap.
For the importance of America to be clear, a thorough grounding in world history is crucial. Homeschooling champion and English professor Susan Wise Bauer has written a tremendous history series for children, Story of the World, History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times through The Modern Age.
If you say you and your children have no time, I say there is little hope of preserving freedom in America. The progressive woke would have all of us deny individual responsibility and become a nation of victims and victimizers. Change that matters won’t occur from the top-down, but from the inside-out. The very principles of the American way of life must be kept alive in the hearts and minds of American families.
Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. To receive Barry's essays subscribe at Mindset Shifts.