If an enemy nation conquered and occupied the United States and determined, within a generation or two, to completely abolish American culture and turn its youth against their own country, it could not do a more thorough job than the combined devastation wrought by some within America’s education system, much of its news media, and its entertainment barons.
When will this crisis be taken seriously?
The level of misinformation about America’s history, its role in the world, and its culture is extraordinary in its scope and in its utter defiance of reality.
Many American students are told that their founders were evil men, despite the fact that their accomplishments brought more freedom to the world than any other group of humans in history.
A growing number of politicians denounce the nation’s capitalist economic system, ignoring the solid reality that it has produced the greatest level of prosperity for the greatest number of people than anything else ever attempted. Amazingly, despite a hundred-year record of utter failure throughout the world, socialism is now being advocated by many prominent figures.
It is often stated by those on the left that the United States’ influence on the planet has been detrimental. The truth, however, is that in addition to the influence of seminal documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, America has produced more good for more people than any other source. In its key role in the defeat of Nazis, Fascists, and the Soviet Union, the nation’s record is unmatched in human history.
It’s not that a portion of America’s people are suddenly turning against what their nation has accomplished. Too many have been deprived of the knowledge of those accomplishments, and that foul deed has been reinforced by an entertainment industry that consistently casts patriotic Americans as villains, particularly on television programs, and a news media that frequently warps information against the U.S.
In 2015, ABC’s KSFY affiliate reported that “the South Dakota Board of Education approved new guidelines that do not require high schools to teach U.S. history.”
A Nations Report Card study found that only 18% of eighth grade students are proficient in U.S. history.
Joy Pullman, writing for The Federalist, reports that,
“A series of surveys of adult Americans from 2008 to 2011 found that college graduates tended to know less than the average American about basic government functions, although the average American failed the test with or without a college degree…Younger students are no better…the Obama administration replaced national civics and U.S. history exams with technology assessments in 2013…”
In a Fox interview, the late columnist Charles Krauthammer said that American students are being taught “about all of the pathologies of the United States and very little of the glories."
Throughout American history, there has always been a segment of the population that has been uncomfortable with the nation’s foundational concepts of individual rights, competitive economic practices, and frontier spirit. While always free to advocate their oppositional beliefs, they never had the tools at hand to overturn those basic concepts. That began to change in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, a result of that group’s realization that they would not win at the ballot box and had to find different levers of influence. In that effort, they succeeded. President Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform” America was the most overt expression of this drive.
The hard left attained key control over much of education, entertainment, and a significant portion of the news media. This allowed them to obscure the overwhelming facts which argued against their positions. Since rational arguments worked against their views, the emotional realm of entertainment allowed them to replace reasoned discussion with fiction.
America now finds itself in an existential battle for the survival of its basic principles and culture.
Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government