Heroes, Villains, And America’s Fate

Heroes, Villains, And America’s Fate, by Rod Dreher. It starts with a new Fox News poll.

The headlines are mostly about how far Biden is ahead of Trump. But what caught my eye are what the poll found out about one salient aspect of the culture war:

That’s not so bad, huh? But look, as National Journal‘s Josh Kraushaar did, at the demographic breakdown of the data:

Those young indoctrinated unmarried white women again! So misinformed and willing to act against the interests of their group.

Think of it like this: how could the Catholic Church hold itself together if a significant number of Catholics decided that Jesus Christ, St. Peter, and St. Paul were villains? It couldn’t. A nation is not a religion, but it has to hold its founders in esteem — and this is especially true of America, which was not founded on a tribe, as most other nations were. You don’t have to believe that Washington, Jefferson, and the Founders were without sin — of course they weren’t — but you do have to believe that what they did was good, even heroic. Certainly not villainous. This is what is so poisonous about The New York Times‘s 1619 Project: they are aiming directly at the American founding, trying to delegitimize America as a nation. …

Today the “villains” segment of the population is relatively small, but unless you believe that somehow the “villains” young adults will be educated or persuaded away from their views, and that children now in school, and incoming in the next few decades, will be taught something different about the Founders — the future looks dark. It will be a future of culture war over the legitimacy of our national institutions, and the nation itself. …

In my forthcoming book, I wrote about a conversation I had with a college graduate (non-elite school, as it happens) in her mid-twenties, who told me that communism is a beautiful idea. I asked her what she thought about gulags. She had no idea what I was talking about. None at all! She was born shortly after the Cold War ended, and apparently nobody had bothered to teach her what communism was, and is. This young woman did not strike me as a woke militant, but rather someone just drifting through life, like so many others.

No one who’s read Gulag Archipelago thinks communism is good.

hat-tip Stephen Neil