Dennis Prager, perhaps the most cerebral of talk show hosts, makes the distinction between being a “Liberal” and being a “Leftist.”
That distinction is important as we observe how far to the Left the Democrat Party has moved away from its ideological moorings.
As an illustration, let’s look at what most of us thought a Liberal once meant.
Generally, it meant a belief in a color-blind society, a social welfare state with a modest magnitude of income redistribution, a supporter of free speech and unconventional ideas, the advancement of women, a more casual view of sex, and the support of trade unions.
Liberals supported global institutions, but still believed in the nation-state, and many were quite anti-communist.
A case in point is the late Harvard historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
He came from a family of academic historians, was an adviser to President John Kennedy, an admirer, and historian of the New Deal, a winner of a National Humanities Medal, an author of sixteen books, and a Professor at Harvard.
He burst on the scene with a widely regarded book on Jacksonian Democracy.
Imagine how that would fly today?
He was an active Democrat, taking leave from Harvard to advise Democrat Presidential candidates in the 1950s and the 1960s.
With his bow tie and slightly slurred speech, he was a Liberal fixture for decades.
Where would he fit today? Not in the Democrat Party as it is today.
How would we know that? Well, one can’t know for sure as he died in the 1990s, but one of his last books was The Disuniting of America.
We can’t republish the book for you but here are some critical passages:
“The militants of ethnicity contend that the main objection of public education should be the protection, strengthening, celebration, and perpetuation of ethnic origins and identities. Separatism, however, nourishes prejudices, magnifies difference, and stirs antagonism. The consequent increase in ethnic and racial conflict lies behind the hullabaloo over “multiculturalism” and “political correctness,” over the notion that history and literature should be taught not and intellectual disciplines but as therapies whose function is to raise minority self-esteem.
Watching ethnic conflict tear one nation after another apart, one cannot look with complacency at proposals to divide the United States into distinct and immutable ethnic and racial communities, each taught to cherish its own apartness from the rest. One wonders: Will the center hold? Or will the melting pot give way to the Tower of Babel?
The impact of ethnic and racial pressure on our public schools is more troubling. The bonds of national cohesion are sufficiently fragile already. Public education should aim to strengthen those bonds, not to weaken them. If separatist tendencies go on unchecked, the result can only be the fragmentation, resegregation, and tribalization of American life.”
These words were written over thirty years ago and we now know the rest of the story.
Progressives and Democrats have adopted cultural Marxism. This is a movement to divide America and destroy the American idea of ‘out of many one’, enshrined in the term on all American coins, E Pluribus Unum.
Cultural Marxism taught that socialism could not come to the United States with the standard workers divided against the capitalist arguments, but could only come by dividing the country up by sex, race, and ethnicity.
They have been quite successful at pushing this under various guises such as Critical Race Theory and Gender Theory and virtually took over the universities first, and now are down even to the elementary school level.
The good professor was correct. These tendencies have gone unchecked and are resulting in the tribalization of American life. He would no doubt be horrified. But it was Liberals such as he that stood by and abetted this corruption of American education.
Their own willingness to accept new ideas was used as an effective weapon against them and now has created a new intolerance far worse than any problems they may have had with Conservatives of their day.
To his credit, at least he warned about it:
“For history is to the nation rather as memory is to the individual. As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future. As the means of defining national identity, history becomes a means of shaping history. The writing of history then turns from meditation into a weapon…”
Our school curriculum is now being used as a weapon against this country and teachers are all too often, carrying the ideological ball for cultural Marxism, with likely little knowledge that they are actually carrying an explosive bomb into our society that will harm us all.
Both Liberals and Conservatives need to unite to stop cultural Marxism.
It will be a battle within these educational institutions and probably require the formation of our own institutions.
Will the real Liberals please stand up?