November 26th, 2012

And about that anti-Gramscian march…

I see that my earlier post today has already sparked a bunch of comments to the general tune of “all is lost; they’ve won the Gramscian march through education and there’s nothing to do about it.”

I was going to respond in the comments section there, but then I thought a brand new post just might be the best way to handle it.

Since the election I’ve noticed a very gloomy and defeatist mindset circulating on the right, and not just on this blog. Those who hold that view tend to think they’re merely being realistic, however.

To a certain extent I share the gloom, and why not? After all, not only did I fervently want Obama to be defeated by Romney, but I spent many a long hour writing on this blog in order to do my small although probably insignificant bit to further that goal. I even understand the realism of the idea that it may be too late.

What I don’t understand, and don’t share, is the view that it’s not worth it to try. Education is one of the most important—perhaps the single most important—front in this battle. I am speaking in particular of education in the fields of history and government (or what used to be called “civics”), as well as the general leftist domination of the entire educational enterprise. If the right gives up that battle, it may be that nothing else the right does will ever do a particle of good.

Since when can a long-term campaign only be fought on one front? Does trying to take back education, bit by little bit (beginning, I believe, in grade schools and with school boards and textbooks especially in red and purple states), preclude other options and other approaches? Of course not.

And speaking of “bit by little bit,” whatever happened to patience? Remember that the phrase “the Gramscian march” usually contains the adjective “long,” as in “the long Gramscian march.” When the left began that endeavor, it probably looked impossible, but they were undaunted and they were very, very, very patient.

And before you say “but the situation is different now—the right was asleep then and the left is not, and the left knows exactly what they’re doing and will fight tooth and nail” let me just say that I am aware of that. But if the right has no stomach for a fight, even a very difficult one, then all is most definitely lost.

Let’s hear from Churchill, who was talking about a different fight:

If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

61 Responses to “And about that anti-Gramscian march…”

  1. Steve Says:

    neo, I am with you. There is no reason to be discouraged. Education costs are out of control at the state level (paying benefits for public sector unions) and in higher ed (student loan driven). People are paying more or going into debt but not seeing a return. This is a perfect opportunity for a new (low cost) business model. A lot of people are investing in internet-based learning. Someone will come up with the right combination of features. People will vote with their pocketbooks.

  2. Ann Says:

    I’m not buying into the doom and gloom either because I can’t forget that 59 million Americans (48% of the vote) went for Romney. Who are they — chopped liver?

    And I also can’t forget that the Republicans haven’t done a good job of explaining how their policies are going to help make life better for folks who are struggling financially (I’m not talking about the free-loaders), who, I think, formed a large part of the 62 million who went for Obama.

    I’m especially wondering why Republicans didn’t work to introduce much-needed health care reforms (like portability of plans, etc.) during all the years after Hillary’s health care plan failed. It was obvious that this is an area of huge concern to most Americans, but Republicans, what, just looked the other way?

  3. T Says:

    Neoneocon,

    It is characteristic of people to draw trends from present circumstances. In the financial world, when all is going well, most investors can’t conceive of a serious market downturn and when the market is down, we can’t conceive of it ever going up again. IMO this partly explains the current conservative breast-beating and gnashing of teeth along with the fact that the right is still licking its wounds.

    As you point out numerous commentors have mentioned that the left has already won the educational contest, but I submit that this is nothing but developing a trend line from a current circumstance as you point out with your focus on the “long” march.

    We should not judge the future of education from it’s current condition neither in political nor structural terms. The structure of education will undoubtedly be as different ten years from now as today’s electronics are from those of ten years ago. This gives the right plenty of metaphorical ammunition to discharge and many as yet undeveloped educational opportunities in which to do so. I offer a post from today’s Instapundit:

    HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Salman Khan on the future of higher ed:

    Here’s what I think it could look like in five years: the learning side will be free, but if and when you want to prove what you know, and get a credential, you would go to a proctoring center [for an exam]. And that would cost something. Let’s say it costs $100 to administer that exam. I could see charging $150 for it. And then you have a $50 margin that you can reinvest on the free-learning side.

    I think that is consistent with the mission. You are taking the cost of the credential down from thousands of dollars to hundreds of dollars. And the [software] system would tell them they are ready for it. So no paying tuition for community college and then dropping out, or even finishing the whole thing and saying “Oh, I’m $20,000 in debt and what did I get out of it?”

    Now you are like, “Look, there is this micro-credential in basic accounting I can get for $150, and I basically know I am going to pass before I invest that money.” That would be a huge positive for the consumers of education, and it could pay the bills on the learning side.

    All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

    Posted at 10:34 am by Glenn Reynolds

    This could concievably put left-wing professors out of business or at the very least severly curtail their current influence by popularizing course material from alternate and balanced points of view. As you point out some will respond “but the situation is different now.” The rejoinder is that ten years from now the situation will be different, yet again, and if Kahn is correct, we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

  4. holmes Says:

    Hear, hear! Now, I was quite depressed after the election, and I still have reduced my political intake drastically. But…I have a longterm plan to do my part. As I said, I will become a high school teacher when I retire and, while never stooping to the naked indoctrination the Left participates in, will encourage my students to think and consider the other vantage point. That is enough. They will read Uncle Milton, and Hayek. Oh, I know, school boards and yada yada. I’ll find a charter school then, or have my friends take over the school board. Whatever.

    In the meantime, do what we can. We talk nostalgically about the previous generation and their desire to storm Normandy and we ourselves can’t talk ourselves into storming a local PTA or local party apparatus? For shame! :)

  5. holmes Says:

    To Ann- yes, yes yes. 1996 to 2008 was basically wasted time, other than balancing the budget once. The establishment R’s took over and everyone thought the good guys were in charge. Nope. Then came Medicare D, a success by government standards, but the wrong direction in general. None of the preemptive reforms were considered. Agencies with regulations over $100m in impact must go to Congress? Nope. Tax and entitlment reform? Nope, too dangerous. And as you mention, no serious effort to do anything about healthcare to prevent something worse from coming down the pike (which it did, and a lot worse at that). So it was business as usual with earmarks and DHS and yada yada. And now that the D’s have made everyone feel just as safe security wise, and now possibly financial security wise, what is left?

  6. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    What I don’t understand, and don’t share, is the view that it’s not worth it to try.

    Some Dems believe they can shove the US off the financial cliff, and blame the GOP and conservatives for any fallout/backlash that results from it. I believe they are absolutely correct.

    So either the Dems do the shoving, or the Republicans agree to tax increases (my sense is that they will) that start now in exchange for budget cuts and welfare reform in 5+ years.

    Which of course never happens. In any case, do you see anyone willing to say hey we have to cut spending and being taken seriously?

  7. T Says:

    Here is one small effort by way of anecdote. I am very involved in civic activity (I’m a community organizer). I’m a known Republican living in a decidedly blue area in which the Dem party has been in charge for 70-80 years. In applying for a local municipal grant for our community development organization, one of my colleagues (a hard-core Dem) complained that he wished we were a self-funding organization so we didn’t need to deal with the byzantine municipal bureaucracy. M response: “You’re starting to sound like a Republican!” He laughed, and it was a good “I recognize the hypocrisy you’re pointing out” belly-laugh,” not a nervous embarrassed laugh.

    My point, don’t let opportunities like this go by without comment. My humble aside made him realize, if only for a short time, that the “enemy” is not the enemy at all and may even have good ideas which he, himself, shares.

  8. roc scssrs Says:

    Thanks for the pep talk, Neo! Despair, I’m told, is a sin.

  9. physicsguy Says:

    As one of the doom and gloom individuals from the other thread, Here’s what I see as the barriers to education reform:

    1) Higher Ed; Graduate schools now turnout ideological clones of their mentors. This guarantees that the new PhD faculty have the same left viewpoint as the current existing faculty. I look at the 30+ year old new faculty at my school in the last few years, and if anything they are more radical than the Baby Boomer older faculty.

    Now if the cost bubble does burst, then new paradigms for higher ed could emerge which could give an opening for conservatives.

    2) K-12 (this is for holmes). Taking over school boards will not change anything except maybe in hiring of administrators. A start, but not going to affect much. The reason being is that K-12 curriculum is set at the state level and guess who controls that? Holmes, I admire your ideas on teaching, but realize that if you stray from the state mandated curriculum you would be reprimanded, and possibly fired. Even the private schools have the left bent, but are not under the state mandates. Also, look at my comment regarding “dispositions” screening in Ed. schools which do the teacher certification on the other thread. Before Nov. 6, I might have proposed a strategy based at the state level. Now, watch what happens at the fed level with BHO under no constraint. I expect the fed Dept of Ed to be turned loose like the EPA was freed to start setting policies.

    It all reminds me of my time in Georgia when I first heard about kudzu. Once it’s growing in your yard, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. Pull the roosts here, it reappears over there. Someone smarter than me maybe could come up with a plan. I’ll listen and do whatever I can, but it is a gargantuan task.

  10. Gringo Says:

    I tend to be pessimistic about education, having seen how it has become more and more leftward-trending during my lifetime. I can see a ray of hope in the coming financial crash of higher education. The current cost structure of higher education cannot continue.

    In reducing the cost of higher education, the first cut will be in what has most benefited from decades of student loans- administrative staff. The diversity/feminist etc bureaucrats will be the first to go, which will reduce their power and influence over students.

    In the effort to align courses with productive careers, the Studies departments will be the first to go.

  11. expat Says:

    I read somewhere that some colleges are considering cutting back on their adjunct profs because of Obamacare costs. Adding that to the Salman Khan prediction and the Glenn Reynolds forecast of the law school bust, there may be fewer brain-dead college faculty in the future. And if we have to cut back on federal bureaucracy, there just won’t be that many jobs for college grads who can’t read and write.

    We have to prepare alternatives for the disillusioned. Maybe we need alternate guidance counsellors who can tell school kids what the real world is like and how they can prepare for it. It shouldn’t be that hard to produce some inexpensive self-help books for parents who want to know how to advise their kids. Videos and internet sights that offer straight talk to young people about the future and their future are also possibilities. We also have to find way to show respect for blue collar and business people and point out that they have skills that are needed far more than a … studies degree. Identify some heroes who have contributed more than rap stars. Also, find a way to get classic young people’s movies out to kids, as well as books about the difficulties faced by people elsewhere. Maybe churches could recommend some pre-Thanksgiving reading next year about North Korea or Applebaum’s Iron Curtain, or Frank McCourt so that people will have a real idea of what to be thankful for. Remember, it was Frank’s students that told him to write about his youth. They knew he had it bad and yet managed to suvive.

    I think kids do respond to people who they know are being honest with them. Many turned-off school kids probably know what they are being fed is pure BS. We have to establish trust with them, so that when the jobs for the unqualified tighten and the student loans become more unbearable, they may hear us.

    OMT, Gateway Pundit has a post up about a Memphis vice principal who made a fortune lining up people to take teacher exams for others. I wonder how many others like him are out there. It’s just one more chink in the teachers’ union myth about how great and hard working all teachers are.

  12. thomass Says:

    on the ‘its different now meme’ I’d say it is not. It was this bad back in the 70s (if not worse; we worried the USSR was going to kick our butt since the public seemed as squishy then as now)… then look what happened.

    Anyway; on the plus side, school teacher pay is not as bad as the teachers always claim. Only down side is it is not merit based…

  13. thomass Says:

    Ann Says:

    “And I also can’t forget that the Republicans haven’t done a good job of explaining how their policies are going to help make life better for folks who are struggling financially”

    Yep.

  14. George Pal Says:

    There’s more here than an ideological assault having to be pushed back. The question is by whom?

    “there comes a point of morbid mellowing and over-tenderness in the history of society at which it takes the side even of him who harms it — the criminal — and does so honestly and wholeheartedly.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    The change in our society has not been incremental it has been a revolution and those who stood by and watched resemble the morbid mellowing Nietzsche spoke of. They were not revolutionaries whose majority voted for same sex marriage in four different states this past election – they were the exhausted without ever having fought, the go along to get along, the dead to reality. They would turn on nature because that’s the direction of the flow. They, ordinary people – not ideologues or revolutionaries, would see the likes of most of the readers and commenters of this blog as more of a problem than the revolutionaries.

  15. cornflour Says:

    In other message threads written since the election, I’ve admitted to pessimism, but not despair. This is more a matter of temperament than analysis, so maybe what follows reflects my self more than the facts at hand, but that sounds a bit too solipsistic to me.

    After working in universities most of my life, I recently took early retirement. Escaping the left-wing monolith was a great relief, and I see little hope for an anti-Gramscian movement in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In the Sciences, Engineering, and some professional programs, there’s good reason to believe sanity can prevail.

    But everybody’s starting to sense the opening that will come from online education. Instapundit talks about this frequently, and that’s been noted here. I’d also recommend the blog Marginal Revolution, and their start-up Marginal Revolution University. Coursera represents the old guard, and the Khan Academy is the new kid.

    In online education, almost all the big issues are still unresolved, and there’s no reason to assume the online world will be more politically conservative than the universities we now have. There might not even be as much variety. Maybe the world of undergraduate lectures will be dominated by a small number of “star” faculty. Who knows. For now, though, the field is wide open. If you’re qualified to teach something, you can give it a try.

    I do agree that testing, certification, accreditation, and licensing will be critical issues; and this is an area that could see intense political conflict. Conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians need to work hard to prevent the Left from turning accreditation into another opportunity for indoctrination.

    And let’s not forget that the anti-Gramscian march has already had some small success in another institution. What we now call “the mainstream media” used to be the plain old “media.” Still way too strong, but maybe “Newsweek” should now be called “Domino.”

    End of rant. My apologies to all.

  16. parker Says:

    I don’t see a leftist agenda in the curriculum of the elementary school where I work, with the exception of the science curriculum that includes a one sided view of ‘global warming’. I certainly do not see a leftist agenda in literature, history, and social studies. IMO higher education, outside of the hard sciences, is where the real indoctrination occurs. Higher education and the media/entertainment complex are the problem.

  17. Rob De Witt Says:

    It just always annoys me to hear once again the misreading of the term “long march through the institutions.”

    Go back and read your Gramsci; the “institutions” referred to were not the academies, or the government or even the churches. Rather, Gramsci’s notion was that any society could be undermined sufficiently that the masses would cry out for totalitarianism merely to end the chaos.

    His proposed method was an attack on the pillars of a civilization: the “institutions” of family life, national identity, patriotism and morality. The culture, this culture, has been eroded purely by the cession of morality in the public square since the latter ’60s. Normal people just didn’t think it was that important that television was filled with insidious lies, or that movies were increasingly propaganda for libertinism and thinly-veiled jeers at moral positions. And so the chaos gained valence, and the masses have cried out as predicted.

    The “long march” didn’t consist of teaching Lenin in the public schools, but the insidious suggestions therein that Mommy and Daddy were narrow-minded dinosaurs because they just weren’t hip enough. If you want to take your culture back, look around at the future, toddling about at knee-level. Teach them well.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob De Witt: I actually am aware that Gramsci himself didn’t say exactly what others have decided he said, since I learned a bit about him some time back. But when I speak of “the long Gramscian march” I’m not really meaning to give a treatise on Gramsci himself, but rather to use the term in the way it’s usually been used in recent years. It’s used as a shorthand for a leftist takeover of institutions such as education as well as a takedown of traditions involving the family, religion, etc..

    And strangely enough, the much-maligned House Un-American Activities Committee, despite flaws, was aware of the Gramscian march through the entertainment world.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    parker: that may be the case where you are, but in a great many places grade schools are very leftist-dominated, with curricula that focus on American’s sins, such as cruelty to native Americans and blacks, and very little discussion of what American has done right. In addition there are other, non-curriculum based changes, such as the emphasis on self-esteem whether you’ve screwed up or not, and the playing down of winning and losing and logical consequences for acting out.

  20. Armchair pessimist Says:

    I’m less worried about the influence of the education system, since every self respecting college kid will spend much of their four years drunk, than I am by the entertainment culture and the smileyface collective of Facebook & visionary Geekdom.

  21. JuliB Says:

    “Since the election I’ve noticed a very gloomy and defeatist mindset circulating on the right, and not just on this blog. ”

    I don’t recall this long lasting mood back when Clinton was elected, or when O himself was first elected. It feels different this time.

    I’ll admit that I am falling prey to this doom and gloom mindset which is terribly upsetting.

  22. rickl Says:

    As you probably already know, I’m a doom & gloomer.

    But I can see a couple of bright spots. One is the education bubble which others have discussed. Federal student loans are effectively a taxpayer subsidy of higher education. They enable colleges to keep raising their tuition year after year. There is reason to believe that students and parents are starting to realize that going into debt to get a degree is not a wise course of action in today’s job market. Without loans, universities will be forced to lower their tuition to what people can actually afford.

    The other one is the impending economic collapse. While that is not good in itself, and will cause considerable pain, we’re lucky that we’re adopting socialized medicine right about the time when we discover that there is no way to pay for it. The European countries have had it for decades and have reached the point that they literally can’t conceive of a free market alternative. We may be lucky in our timing, and may be forced to abandon socialized medicine before it gets a chance to become entrenched.

  23. James Says:

    I will quit when I am dead. Then despair can have me.

  24. rickl Says:

    Oh, speaking of “higher” education…

  25. parker Says:

    “In addition there are other, non-curriculum based changes, such as the emphasis on self-esteem whether you’ve screwed up or not, and the playing down of winning and losing and logical consequences for acting out.”

    I am aware of the self-esteem agenda. I teach an aiki-jututsu class for kids aged 10-14. Many parents bring their fledglings to the class expecting me to bolster self-esteem. I politely tell them I do not teach self-esteem. I tell them that I teach kids to earn self-respect. I tell them there are winners and losers. Winners remain standing and losers find themselves on the mat starring up at the winners. I tell them that losers can become, through hard work and discipline, winners. You might be surprised how many ‘squishy’ parents, after learning my teaching agenda, still enroll their kids in my class.

    This ain’t no disco, no party, and no tae kwan feel good do.

  26. parker Says:

    “The other one is the impending economic collapse. While that is not good in itself, and will cause considerable pain…”

    Considerable pain is a vast understatement. ;-) What will the victim class do when the batteries go dead on their Obamaphone and the charger does not work because carbon is evil?

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    JuliB: I think it feels different because it is different. Obama’s record was such that he should have been defeated. His campaign was mean-spirited and completely fear- and attack-oriented. And yet it worked.

    And the demographics indicate the Democrats may be in ascendance for a very long time. In addition, Clinton was a man of the right compared to Obama, and an honest guy as well (oh, except for one or two little private details). And when Obama was first elected, we could imagine he wasn’t going to be as bad as we thought he would be. Then he turned to be either just as bad or, if anything, quite a bit worse. And he was re-elected.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl: doom and gloom (pessimism) is not exactly the same thing as defeatism and quitting.

  29. Occam's Beard Says:

    I don’t see a leftist agenda in the curriculum of the elementary school where I work, with the exception of the science curriculum that includes a one sided view of ‘global warming’.

    Would that that were true. Check out The Story of Stuff, which my younger son was shown … in a middle school science class! As if the stupid b—– narrating this agitprop knows the first thing about science. I must have turned light purple on viewing this. Fortunately, little Occam had sufficient intellectual antibodies to resist the pitch, but …

  30. parker Says:

    Occam,

    You are in California? Or elsewhere in the west or east coasts, or perhaps Illinois? We are a patchwork nation. It varies from county to county. The battle is local. Resist the conventional ‘wisdom’ where you live and breathe. And inoculate ceaselessly. Never give up. If you find yourself on the ground, get up!

  31. RandomThoughts Says:

    holmes Says:
    November 26th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    …I have a longterm plan to do my part. As I said, I will become a high school teacher when I retire…

    Good luck with that. Perhaps if you attempt it in a state where they’re actually hiring teachers (which would not be California) you might have a chance at landing a job.

    Two and a teaching credential have not helped me find teaching employment anywhere in this state. There simply are no jobs. Nor will there be any in the foreseeable future, as the teachers pensions are underfunded, and all monies go to that rather than hiring new staff. When teachers retire, class sizes are increased to avoided replacing the teachers.

    And do not get me started on the fact that teachers’ performance is utterly irrelevant in keeping their jobs…

  32. RandomThoughts Says:

    That would be two Literature Degrees and a teaching credential…I need to “Preview” before hitting “Submit.”

  33. Occam's Beard Says:

    I think the way forward lies in the disintermediation of the educational establishment, with Salman Khan inter alia showing the way. We need to do to the educational establishment what the Internet has done to the media.

    We need to clobber universities – all of them – with a major restructuring. They should be perhaps 10% of their current size/number. Research should be hived off to research institutes, and kept separate from undergraduate education (in whatever form it may ultimately assume).

    (Various numbskulls bleat about giving their precious snowflakes access to Nobel Laureates, apparently not aware that 1) with few exceptions, Nobel Laureates (and even members of the National Academy of Sciences) can’t be bothered wasting their time on the Clearasil set, and for good reason, 2) even if a Nobel Laureate were to teach a course to Precious Snowflake, either a) said Laureate would drop the level to the point that a grad student could pinch hit perfectly well, or b) if he didn’t, Precious Snowflake would have better luck following a lecture in Swahili, and 3) many distinguished researchers are appalling teachers. Bottom line: there’s no compelling pedagogical reason not to separate research from undergraduate education.)

    Breaking academia’s stranglehold on credentials is the key.

  34. M J R Says:

    JuliB, 7:25 pm:

    “I don’t recall this long lasting mood back when Clinton was elected, or when O himself was first elected. It feels different this time.”

    Quite a few of us, me included, really actually believed, and now believe, that the 2012 election was USA’s last, best shot. After four more years of the incumbent’s governing by executive fiat, lying through his teeth, apologizing for the USA, heaven knows what I’ve omitted, and appointing leftie Supreme Court Justices (with the Stupid Party going along to get along), this ^was^ our last, best shot.

    (Even had Romney won, could we ^realistically^ have hoped for more than a slowing of the momentum and a slight change in direction?)

    Too much of the electorate is addled and hypnotized by the bread and circuses (and “gifts”, hat tip to Romney). And, for some, in total thrall to the leftie religion. And to the culture of cool. GAWD Romney was square — that’s why I had a smidgeon of hope. We needed someone who was serious (^not^ cool), and who knew what the h#ll he was doing economically — in other words, an intelligent, competent ^adult^. But please do excuse me, I’m stuck in the 1950s wishing for Ike. [self-sarcasm]

    Anyway, to me, that’s why “It feels different this time.” The pravda-ization of the flow of information is now complete. The leftie-mainstream media tag team has it all sewn up now.

    They’ve already fired the first shot for 2016 trying to marginalize Marco Rubio. Already. But I’m rambling and it’s time to quit.

  35. The Elephant's Child Says:

    A small useful step would be to so humiliate every school board in the country that has Howard Zinn’s ” A People’s History of the United States” that they would be embarrassed to have it anywhere in the curriculum.

    Where do you think the kids (and the teachers) get those ideas about genocide and the evils of business anyway? The book is, I believe, is the most popular in the country’s high schools, and does incalculable damage.

  36. Occam's Beard Says:

    A small useful step would be to so humiliate every school board in the country that has Howard Zinn’s ” A People’s History of the United States” that they would be embarrassed to have it anywhere in the curriculum.

    Would a card-carrying member of the CPUSA disparage America?

    It’s a rhetorical question, obviously.

  37. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    }}}} Now if the cost bubble does burst, then new paradigms for higher ed could emerge which could give an opening for conservatives.

    Dude, you have no idea what the hell is going on in higher ed. NO IDEA. A major university president recently lost her job over her resistance to the changing face of higher ed. Might or might not stick, it’s a controversy at the moment, but change is in the air. Online education is being taken as a serious threat to existing forms.

    Most of you also fail to grasp the ebb and flow of these things. there is a steady drift left and right in the general populace, and they happen due to differences in social context as much as in educational indoctrination. I KNOW. I am bleeding edge Gen-X — born in 1959 and technically a Boomer, but I was libertarian/conservative LONG before it became popular, in *1975*.

    The liberals looked at Watergate, and what did they take from it? “You can’t trust Republicans”. The younger, less rigid thinkers learned a very different lesson: “You can’t trust politicians“. The result was a generation of conservative Gen-Xers, and THEY are steadily taking over the mantles of power from the fading Boomers. The drift in the 90s went back to the left. Then 911 occurred. The children of 911 — those who came to teenaged years in its shadow are just reaching early maturity, and I suggest you should quietly survey them — they are far more conservative than the generation ahead of them.

    And all of them are about to be faced with a nuclear Iran.

    2016 will see a GOP president win, and probably a strong resurgence in GOP control over the Senate and House. The Tea Party is resting, not gone.

    There are voices that can make the case quite well, if we encourage and promote them:

    Bill Whittle is a fine example.

    It was long ago noted that the real way to take power is to start at the bottom and “percolate” up.

    Get your guys in chairmanship positions. Get them into local government. Get them into state government.

    And frankly, where education is concerned, separate off the creationist crap from the science curriculum. Creationism is about Faith, not about EVIDENCE or PROOF. Hence it’s not SCIENCE, and has no business there.

    Moreover — It’s astoundingly easy to demonize it, so it marginalizes your candidates when they attempt to promote it.

    Instead, work to put in the VALUES — responsibility, owning your own problems, and working to gain what skills you need to overcome them — appreciation of capitalism and the American system of the individual and their accomplishments — and stop worrying about DOGMA. If you push propaganda, then you’re little better than they are.

    Those things can be derived from things other than religion, so it’s better — especially early on — to not discuss them as religious attitudes but as secular ones, which they CAN easily be justified by.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    The Elephant’s Child: funny thing, I already have a draft for a post about that Zinn book.

  39. Ivy League grad Says:

    I suggest looking up the grassroots campaign to restore ROTC in the Ivy League schools that had rejected them in the wake of the Vietnam War protests. Focus in particular on the Columbia University ROTC advocacy campaign, where the University Senate voted overwhelmingly to restore ROTC in May 2011.

  40. Tamquam Says:

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Out here in Shakytown the Left has turned the schools into radical indoctrination centers. So I volunteered to help with the Confirmation program at my Church. Yes, the people in charge are big into content free education, but the kids . . . Well the kids are another kettle of fish. They show a remarkable thirst for matters of Spirit and religion. This is my my counter revolutionary wedge to undermine Big Bronco Bama and AmSoc. He Whom I serve will not be defeated, though His victories appear small and insignificant.

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    Ivy League grad: can you give a link for that? Thanks.

  42. GoneWithTheWind Says:

    I think that if you aren’t deeply depressed by the current state of affairs you aren’t paying attention. A simple half time pep talk isn’t going to solve the problem. It was doubtful (and I’m being generous) that even Romney winning would have turned us around. My grandfather lost (as near as I can figure out) a couple hundred grand in the crash of 1929. By 1931 he lost his business. My parents and my fathers 6 siblings and their spouses and children all worked hard during the entire 11 years of the great depression to survive. They turned an acre of land into enough vegetables and eggs to feed the extended family of 13 adults and 9 children (along with the handouts and what they could buy with three adults working). The point is that in 1929 they faced a disaster, then in 1931 after two years of working hard they experienced more disaster, then they faced 9 years of continuing disaster. Do you really think a “pep talk” and a few choruses hallelujah was going to “fix” it? The great depression was a common discussion subject when I was growing up in the 40′s and the one really useful statement I ever heard was “we didn’t know how bad it would get or how long it would last. The government kept telling us things were getting better”. In my humble opinion this is 1931; things are bad, really bad and they just got worse, a lot worse and someone thinks they can shine us on and say “things will be better…”.

    We are in deep $hit and things are getting worse. The sooner you come to terms with that the better off you will be. If you are lucky enough to figure this out before most of the rest of our population does you might just be able to improve your lot in this disaster. But just like the great depression sooner or later everyone is going to understand the degree of this disaster and it won’t be pretty. Maybe the time to be hopeful and/or keep a stiff upper lip was in those Halcyon days prior to Nov 6th when we thought maybe we could turn this wreck around. But now with the far left wing of the Democrat party (sorry for the redundancy) saying they want to let us go off the fiscal cliff because it will improve their bargining position with the Republicans, Well, now it’s time to panic. We are in deep shit.

  43. Mac Says:

    Just for the record: I expressed my pessimism in the other thread, but I definitely didn’t intend it as counsel to give up.

  44. neo-neocon Says:

    GoneWithTheWind: Prior to the election I expressed my opinion that a Romney win would at best just buy us a little time.

    And I haven’t seen anyone on this blog (certainly not me) thinking some sort of pep talk will turn it around. Pessimism is warranted; giving up is not, IMHO, and it is also counterproductive.

  45. parker Says:

    “Prior to the election I expressed my opinion that a Romney win would at best just buy us a little time.

    And I haven’t seen anyone on this blog (certainly not me) thinking some sort of pep talk will turn it around. Pessimism is warranted; giving up is not, IMHO, and it is also counterproductive.”

    That is a concise summation of our present situation. As we all realize, we will soon enter “interesting times”. Store powder, but keep it dry. So say we all.

  46. Ivy League grad Says:

    Neo: Ivy League grad: can you give a link for that? Thanks.

    Certainly.

    Gateway to the various Ivy ROTC advocacy campaigns:
    http://advocatesforrotc.org/

    Columbia ROTC advocacy site:
    http://advocatesforrotc.org/columbia/index.html
    - The doc linked at “History” is especially interesting for its grassroots start-up perspective.

    I also highly recommend the book Arms and the University (Military Presence and the Civic Education of non-Military Students) by UWM Professor Donald Downs and Ilia Murtazashvili, which features the Columbia ROTC advocacy campaign.

  47. Jan of MN Says:

    Ann, you’re absolutely right. I’ve always believed that if Republicans didn’t address health care reform, the Dems would march right over them. They should have seen it coming.

    Neo, thanks for standing up for pressing on. It’s not hopeless, patience is very important, and education is MOST important. Yes, influencing school boards and/or getting elected to your school board are well worth doing. I’m convinced, though, that conservative alternatives to public K-12 education must be developed, and that online learning is the quickest, most cost-effective solution.

    I had no idea until recently how online learning is growing. More and more parents are wanting to home school their kids for reasons other than religious doctrine, and I would like to know how many are choosing this kind of education for their kids to avoid political indoctrination.

    There are systems already set up to furnish supplements for physical education and sports, social opportunities, science labs, etc. I could imagine a conservative movement offering educational alternatives online — I think it would thrive.

    Here’s a website with an overview of what’s currently going on: http://www.inacol.org/ and here’s a fact sheet for those who are curious:
    http://www.inacol.org/press/docs/nacol_fast_facts.pdf

    By all means, there can be *no* giving up. Just think of what that would mean. I don’t want that for my grandkids’ kids.

  48. beverly Says:

    Folks, the Left’s support is a MILE WIDE BUT AN INCH DEEP.

    Think about it: the Leftists had to win by lying their backsides off, and by blaming the Republicans for their own bad actions — which shows their actions are still, by most Americans, considered BAD.

    The EneMedia are our biggest target: we need to expose them in one big scandal that can pierce the veil. And remember: even with the EneMedia working overtime as an international Propaganda Ministry on their behalf, they STILL barely won.

    Saddle up, friends! and buck up your spirits! we have not yet begun to fight.

    And here’s something that will stiffen your resolve: Bill Whittle takes it to the enemy –
    http://blip.tv/davidhorowitztv/bill-whittle-6444929

  49. John Says:

    “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we’ve gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent.”
    – Claire Wolfe, _101 Things To Do ‘Til The Revolution_

    Question for you, if it hadn’t been for WWII, would the US ever had pulled free of Roosevelt’s control? He loved the Depression so much he kept it going far longer than it would have lasted.
    That’s where we are today.

  50. Don Carlos Says:

    It is all very well to quote Churchill, but international mortal combat is not well-applied to the fix America is in.

    What I said Nov.26:

    Conservatives whether neo or paleo simply lack the means and fortitude to do our own Gramsci. We will not follow Alinsky, Marx, Lenin, Adolf or Mao. We are crippled by our adherence to the truth of facts and by our morality. The Left has no such scruples. It now securely holds the high ground and it will never let go. Even if we commit to a 100-year counterattack, we are hamstrung in the doing. A call to arms, “Bring your longbows”, is futile in the face of machine guns, artillery and drones.

    The American Left has taken our measure and it has won.

    I’m not defeatist; I am realistic.

  51. JH Says:

    The Gramscians use an insidious and highly effective set of manipulation techniques– including distraction, creating false factions, media control, and especially lulling people into complacence– to push their agenda. The real ideological fault lines in the USA aren’t classic ‘liberal vs. conservative’ or ‘Democrat vs Republican,’ it’s ‘the vast majority of American citizens (i.e. paleocons and old-style Enlightenment liberals)’ vs. ‘the entrenched Gramscian globalists who really do control both parties and the media with their PC agenda.’ The Gramscians are pushing a policy that gives us the worst of both worlds.

    FROM BEHIND ENEMY LINES

  52. JH Says:

    ROTC Returns To Ivy League Universities

  53. Surellin Says:

    In regard to the wickedness of public education, I was delighted to find that my son (age 12) is doing a unit on the Constitution at school. Admittedly, this is a largely rural district in exurbia, but when he came up to me and said, “Hey, the 2nd Amendment says ‘…shall not be infringed’! So how come I can’t get guns through the mail?” I was very pleased and proud.

  54. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Economic and fashion trends circumstances beyond our control and sight will determine the future of freedom in this country. If indoctrination, Gramscian or other, were all important in deciding people’s actions then the Soviet Union would still exist and Assad would be the beloved ruler of a unified Syria.

    As for Obama and the nanny state tyranny, history will catch up to both and history is speeding up. My guess is that government interference in everything will lead to an underground economy and society, like that in prohibition times. A messy way of doing things but the people have decided.

    Anyway if there is doing to be a economic meltdown better it occur under an incompetent leftist.

  55. GoneWithTheWind Says:

    I’m not “giving up” I am facing up to reality. Most Republicans both politicians and pundits are telling us to make some changes on our belief system. Some want us to embrace amnesty, some want us to increase the taxes on the rich (which really means the middle class) some want us to throw the conservatives out of the party so that the kinder gentler Republicans can win reelection. But what all of this boils down to is THEM getting reelected in 2014 and 2016. It isn’t about fixing the disaster we see ourselves in and never was. All that matters to a politicians is “can I get reelected?” and “how can I use my position to get more money and power?”. Does anyone really thing Lindsey Graham or John Boehner have your back or are working day and night to reverse this great depression?? They will throw you under the bus in a heart beat if it means they improve their chance of being reelected and/or get more power.
    The problem is we are in year 3 of the great depression and we just reelected a president whose policies and beliefs will extend and deepen the depression. Sure, it doesn’t look as bad as the great depression of the 30′s with the long lines of men looking for work and the bread lines etc. But that is EXACTLY what the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and EBT cards are. We are borrowing trillions to keep the unemployed and welfare recipients out of the public eye and hide this great depression. It is going to collapse and because we borrowed $6 trillion over the last four years it cannot be fixed. You can hype the future and hope for the best and go along with our Republican politicians who want us to keep our chin up and vote for them in 2014 if that is what you want. But with Obama’s reelection I have turned all my energy and my focus on preparing to live the next ten years in an oppressive and destitute society that will likely turn violent and dangerous. In my mind there is only one unknown, one question that is unanswered: Was this collapse intentional by Obama and his band of Democrats or was it simply stupidity and incompetence? Why does it matter? Because if it was intentional then it is really far worse then my gloom and doom prediction. I fear a full fledged Saul Alinsky push towards socialism but to get it we must first have full anarchy (no crisis should go to waste). Step one is overwhelm the system. Do you see that happening yet? Is it obvious yet that our social safety net is overwhelmed and it is dragging us all down? If not it soon will be.

  56. Don Carlos Says:

    This is a start, but it is soft, kind of like the early Christians whose devotions led to an organized Church…over several hundreds of years. We do not have the time.

    http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/11/16/tread-upon-whats-next-for-the-tea-party/

  57. Richard Says:

    I can tell you exactly when I discovered I was a libertarian: at the age of 13 when I got my first paycheck. I didn’t know it was called libertarian until I was in my early 20s and I discovered Ron Paul running for President in 1988.

    I’ve been an “outsider” politically my whole life — the guys who best represent me are constantly kept out of debates, constantly being called “kooks” (until our positions become mainstream and then people forget we were saying this stuff for decades before they realized it was a good idea), or in more recent times “paulbots”, as if our adherence to positions were somehow tied to the personality of a single individual.

    For me, every president elected since I started casting ballots has been another step down the slippery slope. That Obama was elected was, to me, a big step down that slope and one that I feel only could have happened with the complicity of the mass media. When the 2012 election cycle started in earnest, my analysis was always “this election is the Republican’s to lose”, meaning that this election should have been a slam-dunk for any Republican challenger, but based on yesterday’s weather it felt to me like they would blow it. They would blow it because it’s hard to make a contrasting case against a true Statist by saying “I’m Statist Light” and Republicans have been complicit in the expansion of the State for decades.

    Republican complaints about “how dare you pass health care without reading it!” fall on my deaf ears because those same Republicans voted for the Patriot Act without reading it. It’s Team Red vs. Team Blue and most libertarians, like myself, ceased seeing the differences as significant a long time ago. There are some examples that go contrary to this theme: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and my own senator Mike Lee, as well as a few others whose name escapes me right now.

    Note that none of the people I mentioned are considered the “leadership” of the Republican party. The leadership of the Republican party has long ago decided that any compromise in order to gain power is all that matters. All that matters is being in power so that we can expand the State to impose our views. They have long ago ceased being the advocates for limited, smaller government. Nowadays they don’t even try. Case in point: Newt Gingrich bragged that the reason he should get the presidential nomination is that he slowed the growth of government in the 90s. Note that he doesn’t claim (and rightly slow) that he reduced government in any way, only that he’s better for the job because he took us to the cliff slower than the other guy. Seriously? This is the difference that truly matters?

    So for all you disheartened Republicans, I can say: welcome to the party. That’s “party” with a small ‘p’; I don’t expect many, if any, of you will actually start supporting the Libertarian party, but maybe you will become more small-l libertarian if you weren’t already.

    I can also say: don’t give up. You may have lost a battle, but don’t give up on the war. You have to be in this for the long haul and that means fighting the fight and upholding the cause longer than any single candidate or any single election. Even if Romney won, you would have had to do this in order to keep him, and other Republicans, honest and true to their word.

  58. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    }}} We are crippled by our adherence to the truth of facts and by our morality.

    No, we are not. You look upon our strengths as weaknesses, that’s your failure to grasp that these memes have VALUE, that’s why they survived through much tougher times than the current ones. Your ideas are based on the Prisoner’s Dilemma issue, which is oddly turned on its head when iterated.

    What we need to do is to STOP playing the game on THEIR turf. We cannot “out-left” the left. Any arguments that we need to “move more to the middle” are inherently defective. This does not mean we need to “move more to the right”, but it does mean we need to actually STAND BY our principles instead of waffling and giving half-assed support to conservative principles.

    Again, watch this speech by Bill Whittle.

    Whittle makes the case that Romney’s biggest flaw was his, and his supporters, tendency to be quiet or apologetic when attacked for his wealth. When I saw comments about his wealth I went on the attack. I pointed out that, yes, he gave only 13% of his “income” in taxes last year — but a large part of that is because he gave **20%** of his income -directly- to charity. So essentially he gave away more than 30% of what he made last year directly to the benefit of others.

    See the comments at that link, btw, for a set of links to Whittle’s essays from earlier in the 2000s. They are long but more than good reading. Whittle is/was one of the best political essayists around.

    In fact, Whittle is one of the best writers there are on conservative-libertarian principles and ideas.

  59. Nate Whilk Says:

    The point is we believed there was enough evidence against Obama, including his own lies, hypocrisy and broken promises, that nobody could ignore it and he would be defeated. Yes, the evidence was there, but the people who voted for him DID NOT CARE. What do we do if people simply will not believe their own eyes?

    Obama can now do things that will take years or decades to undo, among which is appointing liberal Supreme Court justices and shutting down coal electric power plants. Like Saruman (who had a very persuasive voice) said in the book of “Return of the King”, “Still I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo in your lives.” If Romney had been elected, those things would have been avoided.

    Yes, we can turn things around. Nothing lasts forever. But now things are going to get a LOT worse for a LOT longer and will be MUCH harder to fix.

  60. Ivy League grad Says:

    FYI, in the ROTC Returns to the Ivy League article that JH linked, the accompanying pic shows Columbia students who are ROTC cadets (all attending Fordham AROTC I believe) doing the military flag ceremony with Columbia’s main campus American flag on Low plaza.

    At least one of the student/cadets in that pic are recent combat veterans from this campus group:
    http://milvets.columbia.edu/

  61. Eric Says:

    Excuse me … At least one of the student/cadets in that pic IS A recent combat veteran from this campus group:
    http://milvets.columbia.edu/

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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