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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Netflix: American Patriots = Neo-Nazis


The Nazis have always been Hollywood’s go-to villains, the bad guys every American who isn’t an antisemite or eugenicist can agree are the epitome of evil. They also serve as a convenient substitute when Hollywood doesn’t want to address America’s real-world enemies; in 2001, for example, when filmmakers were adapting Tom Clancy’s thriller The Sum of All Fears for the big screen, they changed the antagonists from Arab terrorists to European neo-Nazis. But Hollywood’s neo-Nazis of today are – you guessed it – American patriots.

Case in point: In the Shadow of the Moon, a late 2019 addition to Netflix’s repertoire which is unlikely to have been seen by the vast and growing numbers of conservatives who have cancelled their subscription to the left-leaning streaming giant, the home of production deals with such radicals as Barack and Michelle Obama and anthem-protesting Colin Kaepernick. For that matter, the movie is unlikely to have been seen by very many people of any political stripe, because it’s not worth watching; its audience rating at the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site is a blah 40, and the rating at Metacritics isn’t much higher (I watch these things so you don’t have to). But the film is notable as a reminder that the entertainment industry is the left’s most subversive weapon for fashioning and disseminating the narrative that American patriots are actually white supremacist domestic terrorists threatening to push the country into a hot civil war.

Mild spoilers follow.

The story of In the Shadow of the Moon opens in 1988 in Philadelphia – the birthplace of American independence and home of the Liberty Bell (the location’s patriotic associations are significant). It is the scene of the simultaneous, mysterious murders of three seemingly random individuals, including a bus driver whose prominently-featured reading material is a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Officer Thomas Lockhart, a patrol car cop and aspiring detective, is the first to discover a bizarre link to the three deaths, beating his detective brother-in-law (played by the only “name” actor in the film: Michael C. Hall, Showtime’s Dexter) to the punch: the victims have been injected with something that rapidly corrodes their brains and causes massive hemorrhaging. The suspect is a young mixed-race woman in a hoodie. Lockhart confronts her and, strangely, she seems to know personal details about his life. But she is accidentally killed by a train while trying to escape, and without her or a motive, the case is closed.

Fast forward nine years. Lockhart is now a detective and single father (his wife died in childbirth) struggling to make ends meet. He is investigating murders that seem to be copycats of those from nine years earlier. Again Lockhart’s doggedness leads him to a confrontation with the suspect – and it is the same woman, alive and no older than before. But she escapes, and again the murders languish unsolved.

Fast forward another nine years to 2006. Lockhart is a private detective now, off the police force, and so obsessed with the bizarre mystery that he no longer has time to shower or to trim his tangled mess of overgrown hair and beard (because that’s Hollywood’s visual shorthand for obsessed people). He believes the murder suspect is from the future, traveling back in time to target her victims. His weirdness has alienated his now high school-graduating daughter, because it is a given in Hollywood thrillers that the male protagonists are neglectful, workaholic dads whose kids can barely conceal their disappointment and impatience with them. And his brother-in-law is tired of pretending Lockhart isn’t unhinged.

But Lockhart is right, and his obsessive digging has unearthed a clue: that many of the victims were linked through a mailing list belonging to one of them, now deceased: a Confederate flag-owning, white supremacist gun nut who ranted in newsletters about “globalist elites” and who sparked a movement called Real America Patriots. They are what Lockhart calls “a fringe militia group who want to take the country back for the true patriots. Homemade fertilizer bombs. You know the type.”

The Black Boom

As if the presidency of decrepit Joe Biden weren’t already in a catastrophic freefall, now comes the news that he is hemorrhaging support from black Americans. That’s got to be unsettling for a President who claimed he got his start at an historically black university, who claimed that he was once arrested during a civil rights march, and who declared that if you voted for Trump over him then “you ain’t black.” But the bitter truth progressives must concede is that blacks are abandoning the Democrat plantation because their lives were measurably better under former President Donald Trump, a man the Left spent four years demonizing as Literally Hitler™.

The evidence for black success has been impressively marshalled in a short new book by Wall Street Journal columnist and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute Jason L. Riley. The author of Please Stop Helping Us, False Black Power?, and Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell has just released The Black Boom from Templeton Press, whose central argument – one guaranteed to spark progressive rage, particularly because Riley is black – is that American “blacks saw economic progress under Trump that the Obama administration didn’t come close to matching.”

Bear in mind that Riley is no fan of Trump and did not vote for him in either election, but he has the intellectual integrity to acknowledge that “racial inequality improved on Trump’s watch, and much of the media were too busy agitating against him to take note or give credit where it was due. Reporters suspended any professional and ethical standards in a concerted effort to take down a president they didn’t like.”

Riley begins by noting that, historically, racial and ethnic minority groups in America that have risen fastest from poverty into the middle class did so not through consolidating political power but “rather on developing the human capital – the education, skills, work habits, and attitudes – that facilitates upward mobility.” Irish immigrants of the mid-19th century, for example, quickly established political machines in cities from Boston to San Francisco, but economically, they trailed other immigrant groups who completely lacked such political influence. An Irish middle class emerged only after those political machines declined in power.

So too with blacks, who achieved significant economic progress not through “greater political representation nor with massive welfare-state interventions,” but when they had greater access to labor markets. Blacks do better when America’s economy does better, Riley states: “What’s needed more than political saviors, racial preferences, and wealth distribution schemes, is economic growth and opportunity.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Hollowed-Out Democracy


It is no secret that America’s education system has been failing our children and our country for over a half-century now, ever since the radical left realized that subverting American institutions from within was more effective than outright domestic terrorism. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and remote-learning mandates, parents have gotten a glimpse of just how insidious and shocking the dumbing-down and ideological indoctrination are. Parental outrage has led to confrontations with bullying teachers unions, hostile school boards, and tone-deaf political leaders who declare openly that parents shouldn’t have a say in their children’s education.

A recent book from Regnery Press addresses this hot-button topic and laments a whole generation or more of American youth whose brains as well as souls have been “hollowed out” by ideological brainwashing, technological distraction, the disintegration of families, and the collapse of moral and civic virtues. Hollowed Out: A Warning about America's Next Generation, by Jeremy S. Adams, explores the different facets of this disheartening crisis, but also concludes with a rallying cry for action from a California teacher writing from within the very belly of the beast.

A graduate of Washington & Lee University and CSU Bakersfield, Jeremy Adams was the first classroom teacher inducted into the California State University, Bakersfield, Hall of Fame. He has written on politics and education for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, and many other outlets. Our mutual friend Evan Sayet, conservative political commentator and himself the author of The Woke Supremacy: An Anti-Socialist Manifesto and KinderGarden Of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks, put me in touch with Adams to talk a bit about Hollowed Out.

Mark Tapson:           Jeremy, thanks for the insightful dissection of the state of our culture you’ve put forth in this book. Lamenting the divide that partisan politics has created in our country, you write,Our democracy is hollowed out because the habits, the relationships, the institutions, and the values that allow us to become thoughtful, compassionate, magnanimous, and informed citizens no longer shape and define us in the ways they once did.” Can you give us a couple of key examples?

Jeremy Adams:       I wish I could go back and add the word “content” or “fulfilled” or “joyful” to that list because every day the evidence is mounting about just how miserable—uniquely miserable, in fact—our young people have become. As to their civic deficiencies, the basic problem is a profound lack of knowledge and awareness of what went in to creating the institutions of our civilization. Almost everything they see is a consequence, they believe, of malevolent power being exercised against innocent bystanders in society.

A few examples: we have commercial institutions that create wealth and prosperity and yet what young people often see in economic activity is exploitation. I had a student recently try to tell me that capitalism cannot survive without a permanent underclass. And yet when we peeled back the layers, what was really being said was that there will always be a need for low-skilled workers which, everyone knows, is actually good news for anybody trying to enter the labor market for the first time. And what never gets said, of course, is that people who work hard, get educated, and are diligent don’t stay in a low-skilled job for long. They see political power almost always as an oppressive force and never as a tool for working for justice, which also requires significant political will. They don’t know anything about LBJ and Civil Rights. They don’t know anything about Daniel Webster and the Compromise of 1850.

And then this obsession with power gets carried into private life--families are seen as inherently patriarchal, organized religion is full of negative judgement, all institutions are seen as corrupt and unworthy of veneration. It’s a dark and dyspeptic worldview that most people don’t fully understand.

MT:     In the book you identify some of the social, cultural, and political fault lines between older and younger generations of Americans, fault lines that seem to be dangerously widening, like the collapse of the traditional family and declining religious belief. How do we begin to repair those gaps?

Friday, January 14, 2022

Quarterback Cancels Cancel Culture


In recent years many professional athletes have come to be as well-known for their (invariably leftwing) political stances as for their sporting achievements. Take former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, for example, cop-hating Black Lives Matter icon; or women’s soccer captain Megan Rapinoe, anti-American LGBT advocate; or NBA star LeBron James, enthusiast for the communist regime in China. Celebrities now are expected to be social justice activists; political neutrality is not an option for anyone who wants to be applauded for demonstrating that he or she is on “the right side of history.”

So it’s refreshing when a pro athlete like Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers unabashedly states, “I’m an athlete. I’m not an activist.” Rodgers, a Super Bowl winner, three-time Most Valuable Player in the National Football League, and nine-time Pro Bowl selectee, is generally considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He has also become a polarizing, controversial figure and a target of the totalitarian left precisely because he doesn’t conform to the woke expectations of our heavily-politicized culture.

Last November, Rodgers triggered the left-dominated media after making statements that did not align with the acceptable narrative about COVID-19 and the Biden administration’s (mis)handling of it, such as suggesting – horrors! – that the low-cost, readily available ivermectin was beneficial for people suffering with the virus. Propaganda outlets from the Washington Post to USA Today to Sports Illustrated were quick to slam Rodgers for “mistruths and half-truths,” and for “lying” about his vaccination status (he stated only that he had been “immunized,” which was true).

Rodgers subsequently explained that he had an allergy to two of the available mRNA vaccines, which left him with only the option of the Johnson & Johnson version. But in light of all the adverse reactions reported in the media about the J&J shot, Rodgers decided to forgo it.

“So then my options became, ‘Okay, what can I do to protect myself and my teammates if there’s not one of the big three options for me in my own body?’” he said. “And so I looked into and talked, again, to a lot of medical individuals and professionals and found that there was an immunization protocol that I could go to, to best protect myself and my teammates. And it was a long term protocol that involved multiple months. I’m very proud of the research that went into that and the individuals that I met with and we felt like it was what was best for me.”

He added, “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody.”

What Do White Americans Owe Black People?


Books on America’s racial divide – primarily from the woke, purportedly “anti-racist” left – are all the rage today, making bestselling millionaires out of race hustlers like Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo. Generally speaking, they promote the false narrative that America’s very founding is grounded in slavery, not liberty; that Americans are racist in our very DNA, as Barack Obama once put it; and that we are still in thrall today to an irredeemably systemic racism.

Philosopher, author, and DePaul University professor Jason D. Hill, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and one of the boldest, most original thinkers on race, has written a powerful new counter-narrative titled, What Do White Americans Owe Black People?: Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression. Hill, himself of mixed-race, Jamaican descent, laments that too many blacks today are being sold an identity rooted in “resignation, nihilism, Afro-pessimism, entitlement, separatism, victimology, misanthropy, and hatred of the United States.” His book urges them to practice “radical forgiveness” and “radical individualism,” and to embrace the freedom of a “transracial future.” It is a controversial message that offers black Americans an opportunity which threatens the victim narrative of divisive exploiters like Kendi and DiAngelo.

I posed some questions to the author about his book, What Do White Americans Owe Black People?

Mark Tapson:           Dr. Hill, congratulations on a brilliant, provocative book. So many questions, so little time and space. Let me begin with a question about a subtle but significant point: Associated Press guidelines now call for capitalizing the word “black” – but not “white” – when used in a racial, ethnic, or cultural sense, purportedly to honor blacks’ shared experience and sense of identity. That capitalization swiftly become widespread practice. I noticed you didn’t use that in your book. I assume that was a conscious choice on your part?

Jason D. Hill:           Thanks for the kind words, Mark. They mean much to me. Yes: I’m orthodox when it comes to the mechanics of language. I won’t make an exception in the case of capitalizing the word “black” for the sake of sheer political expediency. Semantic exactitude trumps identity politics in this case.

MT:     You begin by asserting that, while slavery was of course an “egregious evil,” culpability for it is complex and that the argument for reparations to the descendants of slaves is “morally incoherent.” Can you elaborate on that?

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Holding the Thin Blue Line

 

Thanks to the political and cultural dominance of the neo-Marxist left, outright war is being waged on American law enforcement today. Democrat leaders have made defunding police departments, which they smear as irredeemably racist, a prominent plank of their party’s platform. Anti-cop rhetoric from politicians and leaders of radical movements like Black Lives Matter, disseminated by the complicit news media, has created a lethal environment on the streets, where police officers are literally targeted for assassination. Cop-hating communists like former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who calls for the abolition of police and has been known to wear socks on the football field depicting officers as pigs, is elevated into a cultural icon, offered lucrative sponsorships and his own show on Netflix.

Enter longtime comic book writer and artist Mike Baron, winner of two Eisner Awards (the comic industry equivalent of the Oscars) among others. Along with police officer Joseph Arnold (on pencils and layouts) and illustrator Jeff Slemons, Baron has created Thin Blue Line, a counter-cultural, police-positive graphic novel which follows officer Valeria Baca and her partner Bob Mack as they fight for their community and their own survival amid rioting in the streets. “Mobs burn down city hall, forcing the officers to improvise on the run, relying only on their training and wits as the mayor’s protestations and eagerness to placate the rioters prove fruitless,” reads the description at the project’s crowdfunding page.

Baron opted to crowdfund the project after the concept was rejected by major publishers, who were repulsed by a story line that presented cops as heroes rather than villains. As of this writing, Thin Blue Line has earned nearly three times its goal on its Indiegogo page; all the 56 pages for the book are completely penciled and inked, and some are fully colored. Only the remaining colors and letters are left to complete the book and send it to the printer.

Baron hastens to note on the crowdfunding page that Thin Blue Line is not “a police recruitment pamphlet.” The characters are flawed and the story is never preachy. “It's just entertaining and exciting and very simply demonstrates that not all heroes are perfect, and not all heroes wear capes.” But they do very often wear blue, despite what the propagandists of the left would have you believe.

It is a testament to the creators’ respect for law enforcement that a portion of every contribution to the crowdfunding page will be donated to one or more of the following police assistance programs: 

I asked Mike Baron some questions about Thin Blue Line.

Mark Tapson:           Comics aren’t just for kids anymore like they were when I was a boy. Who exactly is the audience for comics today, and why is this an important arena in the culture war?

Mike Baron: The audiences are as disparate and fractured as our country. The audience for Marvel and DC are people who don't read comics, but fervently believe in the official narrative. The audience for independent comics are people who want to become lost in a good story.

My first goal is to entertain. The vast bulk of corporate comics make no attempt to engage, amuse or intrigue the reader, because those writers are not interested in entertainment, leaving comic fans adrift, at least to the point where they are abandoning established publishers and embracing independent comics.

The audience is out there. If your product is outstanding, and by that I mean a story that grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go, the audience will embrace it. Comics are a visual medium, so it helps to have good art.

MT:     Working in the belly of the beast, as it were, of the comics industry, how would you describe how the biz has changed in recent years in terms of the kinds of storytelling and messaging it puts forth?

The Islamophobia Industry

 

“There is an industry at work today, taking advantage of our liberty, infiltrating and influencing Western values and democracy,” writes Canadian author and blogger Diane Bederman in her brand new book The Islamophobia Industry: The Insidious Infiltration of Islam into the West. As the memory of the 9/11 attacks on American soil a generation ago recedes for many, this courageous short new work serves as an essential wakeup call to a Western world that, in the name of tolerance and inclusion, is allowing our rights and freedoms to be eroded as the value system of Islam grows in influence and power.

FrontPage Mag readers may recall that I interviewed Ms. Bederman here about her previous book The Serpent and the Red Thread, a unique history of antisemitism blending fiction, history and myth. She is also the author of Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here.

I posed some questions to Ms. Bederman about The Islamophobia Industry.

Mark Tapson: To paraphrase a question you pose in the preface to your new book, why did you decide to write a book about Islam at a time when saying anything critical of it is immediately denounced as bigotry?

Diane Bederman: It says 365 times in the Bible: Do Not Fear.

Fear is debilitating. We often run away rather than confront.

I am of an age and in a place where being called an Islamophobe does not worry me. I cannot be canceled! I worry more about my children and grandchildren. We have to teach our children the importance of protecting democracy and freedom. Ducking and hiding will only lead to a loss of that freedom. The ethic that underpins our freedom, the Judeo/Christian ethic, is 3500 years old. We cannot let it perish out of fear of being called a name or even under threat of death. Without freedom, there is no life.

MT: What is the Islamophobia industry?

DB: There are two #Islamophobia Industries. One is run by Muslims to fight Islamophobia – what they refer to as the irrational fear of Islam. I would suggest that for many, fear of Islam is rational.

The other is the one about which I write: the Industry set out to silence anyone who criticizes or questions Islam. This Industry has managed to turn Islam, a religion and political ideology, into a race. By doing that they can legally stop any criticism because race is immutable; one, obviously, cannot change one’s race, so attacking race is forbidden.

MT: American parents have had their eyes opened about the relatively recent, insidious promotion of Critical Race Theory in schools, but a pro-Islam agenda has been infiltrating our K-12 classrooms for some time now too, hasn’t it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I Can't Breathe

After a few years of the widespread tearing-down of statues honoring American heroes such as the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln, Founding Father George Washington, and anti-slavery giant Frederick Douglass, recently a few new statues went up for a change. Massive golden busts of the late, far-left Congressman John Lewis and Black Lives Matter icons George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were erected in Manhattan's Union Square.

Lewis arguably achieved something in his life – albeit in the service of communism. Floyd and Taylor, however, are being venerated not because of any extraordinary accomplishments, but because their deaths in police-involved incidents were successfully exploited by the Marxist revolutionaries of Black Lives Matter to inflame racial rage and demonize police officers all across the country as genocidal bigots, even though there is zero evidence that racism was a factor in either death. Floyd, now an international symbol of racist police brutality, was an inveterate criminal and drug addict who died of a fentanyl overdose while being restrained by police for resisting arrest. Breonna Taylor died when police who were entering her darkened apartment with a search warrant returned fire after her drug-dealing boyfriend began shooting at them.

This is where America is in 2021: monuments honoring Frederick Douglass, a black man who rose from slavery to become a statesman, orator, writer, and noted abolitionist, are now destroyed by the woke mob, but blacks whose unintended deaths can be weaponized against America are lionized in the public square as martyrs.

Floyd and Taylor are only two of the police victims elevated to household names by the powerful Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization. The self-proclaimed trained Marxists who founded that subversive movement exploited, and continue to exploit, those victims in order to incite a civil war in America by hyping a false narrative of the systematic targeting of blacks by law enforcement. That is the subject of I Can’t Breathe: How a Racial Hoax is Killing America, the newest book by Freedom Center founder, conservative warrior, and bestselling author David Horowitz.

Friday, October 15, 2021

America Enraged

One thing Americans can presumably all agree on in our current cold civil war is that civility, mutual if grudging respect, and rational if testy debate in our political discourse have all been replaced by a hair-trigger performative outrage, the scorched-earth warfare of cancel culture, and even occasional violence. It’s difficult to remember that there was a time when even acerbic antagonists like William Buckley and Gore Vidal could trade barbs onstage without hurling chairs at each other and inciting nationwide rioting. What has happened to us? How did we come to this point? And is this state of rage destined to be a permanent feature of our cultural and political landscape?

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars and author of the essential 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, has addressed these questions incisively in a must-read, brand new book titled Wrath: America Enraged. He agreed to answer some questions about the book.

Mark Tapson:           Mr. Wood, what is the “new anger,” and what is the difference between anger and wrath in a political context?

Peter Wood:              "New anger" is show-off anger, the display of someone who expects to be admired for the performance or to boast about it afterwards: anger mixed with self-delight.  New anger contrasts to the older ethic of trying to master your anger and not to let it master you.  Through much of American history, giving free vent to anger was regarded as a sign of weakness and immaturity.  We admired the man or woman who, when provoked, found ways to handle the situation without descending into rage.  Of course, that kind of self-control often failed, at which point brawls erupted.  Those who brawled in public or in private, however, were not regarded as good people.  Those who turned to anger too quickly or too often were shamed.

"New anger" became a recognizable force in American life in the 1950s, though it was at first a trend confined to avant garde parts of society:  the beat generation, early adepts of Freudian psychoanalysis, and people reading French existentialist novels. From these seeds grew the counterculture of the sixties, and then the disillusioned anger of the Big Chill 1970s.  I am collapsing a lot of history into a few sentences.  The breakdown of the older ideals of emotional self-control and their replacement by a new ethic of emotional expressiveness didn't happen overnight or all at once or equally in all sectors of society.  Fifteen years ago I spent a whole book (A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now) to describe the slow progression of new anger into the position it now has of cultural dominance.  I'm mindful that whole generations have grown up for whom there is nothing "new" about "new anger."  It is all they have ever experienced unless they have been immersed in the world of Turner Classic Movies, where you can glimpse a world ruled by different emotional norms.

But you ask me "what is the difference between anger and wrath in a political context?"  The political left, going all the way back to the 1950s and even earlier upheld the view that American society is so unjust that people should indeed feel righteous indignation and anger at our institutions.  The form of this leftist anger, of course, shifted with other changes in the national temperament.  A Woody Guthrie protest song of the Dust Bowl years expressed leftist anger in a vivid way but it was meant to rally people and it had a good-humored element to it.  As new anger emerged in the 1950s, leftist anger began to take on a darker tone.  The Beat poet Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem in 1956 titled "America," in which he told the country, "Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb."  The shock of a line like that has dissipated over the years as vulgarity has become common, but it was a pretty big step at the time, and it opened a rhetorical arms race on the left.  Finding ever newer and more offensive ways to express anger became a competition among leftist artists, intellectuals, and self-styled rebels.  

I won't recite that long chain of developments either, but it eventually landed us in the 24-hour sneerfest of Facebook and Twitter, and the perverse joy of Antifa and BLM rioters.  Anger for the left is not a response to provocation. It is rather a settled way of life, a lifestyle in which emotional satisfaction comes from vituperation and sometimes naked aggression and vandalism.  Anger does indeed make people feel powerful, at least for a while, and the left has developed ways of excusing the perpetrators of it as people driven to violence because of the oppression they suffer.  

Both the anger and the excuses for it are a distinct characteristic of the political left.  The political right has its own long history of anger too, but it is anger of a very different character.  It might be called reluctant anger because it is anger always at odds with other values which block it or complicate it.  William F. Buckley's God and Man at Yale (1951) was an angry book at some level, but on the surface it is cool and restrained. There were episodes in the ensuing decades such as the "hardhat riot" on Wall Street in May 1970.  But it took the rise of talk radio in the 1980s for American conservatives to discover a more expressive angry style of their own, and it was generally one of mockery and disdain for the left.  Donald Trump ultimately became the master of this style.  But that doesn't get us all the way to "wrath."

I'm using the word to capture that moment of emotional impasse in which the person has been angered beyond endurance and sees no way ahead.  All the exits have been blocked and the places where emotional expression could be channeled into political or legal action seem to be out of reach. Wrath is collective despair suddenly torn free of all (or at least most) restraints because the other side has chosen to rule by foce and intimidation, not by the consent of the governed.

MT:     How has anger become such a dominant factor in American politics?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Road to Civilizational Collapse


On the cusp of the 2008 presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama memorably told a crowd at Missouri University that “we are five days from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” This notion that the incoming administration intended to burn down the old, flawed America, so that a social justice utopia could rise from its ashes, was greeted with ecstatic cheers from the crowd and from Progressives everywhere.

Obama’s promise took two presidential terms to gather momentum; former President Trump temporarily stalled its course. But under new President Joe Biden, that fundamental transformation is cascading to fruition so rapidly that one is reminded of a Hemingway character’s reply about how he went bankrupt: “Gradually, then suddenly.”

Indeed, “fundamental transformation” no longer sufficiently describes the accelerating chaos in our country: economy-killing pandemic lockdowns; the collapse of law and order; unprecedented racial tensions; Big Tech control of the flow of information; spiking inflation and the threat of food shortages; a tsunami of illegal border crossings; a media-driven COVID panic dividing the country; the new racism of  Critical Race Theory; rising Antisemitism (always a reliable bellwether of barbarism metastasizing in a society); “cancel culture” assaults on freedom of speech; and more. Obama’s promise of “fundamental transformation” could more rightly be considered “civilizational collapse.”

If you think that sounds like hyperbole, re-read that partial list of our current crises. But what underlies those crises is the culmination of a concerted war of attrition on the three basic pillars that keep a society grounded and stable: love of God, love of country, and love of family. Faith, nation, family.

Faith

This year’s White House Prayer Breakfast featured a proclamation from President Biden in which, for the first time since the tradition was instituted in 1952, the word “God” was not uttered. This registered barely a blip in the news media, but it symbolized an unsettling, dramatic shift from the priorities and worldview of the previous administration. By contrast, former President Trump's 2017 proclamation mentioned God five times; in 2018, five times; in 2019, seven times; and his 2020 proclamation mentioned God 11 times. 

This August, the organization of chaplains at Harvard, a university founded by Puritans to train clergy for the new commonwealth, elected its newest president – an atheist who authored a book called Good Without God. He proclaimed in a New York Times interview, “We don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.”

In a recent article, pastor and political scientist Ryan Burge shared research highlighting what he said “may be the biggest cultural shift in our lifetimes”: the exodus of Generation Z (those born in 1996 and later) out of religion. Nearly half (44.4%) identify as atheist, agnostic, or belonging to no religion in particular. That makes them the least religious generation in U.S. history.

These are only the most recent examples confirming that the secular left has gradually and fundamentally transformed America from a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values into one in which the diminishing number of devout Christians are openly demonized by the cultural elites as our “domestic Taliban.”