The Corner

Culture

Defection

Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln sculpted on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, S.D. (Courtesy NPS/Reuters )

The social scientist Eric Kaufmann has been on the bleeding edge of researching the advance of what he calls “left modernism” and the social movements that make up The Great Awokening. He found a way to gather polling data on core questions of American nationality and found that majorities and near-majorities of “very liberal” respondents would be happy to see the American flag and our public monuments destroyed or renovated. A majority of very liberal respondents agreed that Mount Rushmore should be destroyed. 80 percent of very liberal and 71 percent of liberal respondents agreed they’d like to see the national anthem changed. What we see overall is a stunning defection of liberal and very liberal Americans from symbolic attachments to the nation itself that promises to get worse. “Generational momentum is propelling America toward cultural revolution,” he writes.

Looking at generational momentum, the near-unified liberal control of key educational and governmental institutions, Kaufmann’s suggestion is to look for ways outside of state institutions to preserve America’s cultural and national heritage and identity. Rather distressingly, he points to Ulster Presbyterians as an example of a group that has, with some success, maintained their unfashionable traditions and identity even in the face of their own state’s hostility, a state many of them defended. This is distressing because it is an unwelcome fate to be exiled with one’s own nation.

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