Our National Political History Deficit

Many Democrats, pointedly its ‘progressive’ left wing, enjoy thinking of themselves as ‘people-person’ trailblazers.

This collective and persistent fiction chiefly works because their ‘novel’ efforts cancel out quietly or die in silence, as failures. The brilliant, new ‘initiative’ du jour becomes unworkable—either upon execution or, worse, is frankly untenable for America--eventually. The progressive voice is the loudest and most constant while the majority are barely heard. This progressive public bullying is a problem now owned, if not altogether liked, by the Democrat party; it is rooted in the stupidities of our failed education.

American history is rife with a century of spectacular flops in persuading our people to adopt Indo-European, Asian, or eastern bloc communism, socialism, or fascism in our own governance. We have, abundantly, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—each and all of these are foundational and written into our law. Our popular freedoms and rights are of inestimably higher value and privilege--as truly government by and for the people—than any in history, anywhere.

Yet, how many U.S. citizens know how ‘lucky’ they are? Education in U.S. civics and history is the antithesis of the progressive interest in reactionary self-gratification, however absurd. Our national desolation in truthful ideas (absent an appreciation of America’s founding as, in greater part, virtuous) --is chiefly the product of a great educational failing:

“Politics are more divisive than ever. America is torn by social issues involving race, gender and wealth. Social media is a hotbed of impassioned opinions. Youth are more involved, they’re voting in greater numbers, and they are more visible as advocates and activists than ever before.

Eighth-grade students continued a decade-long score decline on a national U.S. history assessment and posted the first-ever decline in scores on a national civics assessment, according to results released Wednesday by the National Center for Education Statistics.

These data are of national concern,” said Peggy Carr, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department.

“A well rounded education includes a grounding in the democratic principles,” she said. “These assessments challenge students to show their knowledge and skills as they prepare to become engaged citizens in a democracy. Too many students are struggling to understand and explain the impact of civic participation and how our government works and the historical significance of events. This is concerning. Quite honestly, I was shocked.”

‘A National Concern’: ​​Student Scores Decline on U.S. History and Civics | Education News | U.S. News (usnews.com)

See also the Bing videos of Victor Davis Hanson speaking in a Hillsdale College video presentation of the decline of citizenship in America:

Were U.S. citizens still decently educated in the vast differences between our freedoms and those of the ‘isms,’ we might now have fewer insistent grievances coming from the Left. Even so, the progressives appear unaware of--or are obtuse about--the historical failures and present frailties of their touted ‘isms’--even socialism, following communism, is in predictable self-destruction or precariousness, globally.

There are no ‘progressive’ movements that have withstood their own disintegration over time. Hear also former U.S. House Speaker Gingrich on the American Left in this RealClearPolitics video, on the world’s rejection of socialism: 

Professor Carlo Invernizzi Accetti has made a recent study of the current deficiencies of American ‘democratic socialism’ as a coherent or viable movement.

This is from Accetti’s 2023 Abstract, in the Journal of Political Ideologies (emphasis added):

“This article examines the political ideology of the contemporary US democratic socialist movement. The argument advanced is that this represents a specific form of socialism, which incorporates key features of the ‘populist turn’ recently taken by many left-leaning political movements, while also moving beyond it in significant respects. The result is a constellation of ‘partially decontested’ concepts, holding together a loose constituency through a series of questions, rather than answers, under conditions of high social fragmentation.”

“These ‘partially decontested’ concepts are: socialism, democracy, class, and revolution. In each case, I examine the broad areas of agreement that exist over these concepts’ meanings, as well as the ongoing disagreements they generate. To be a democratic socialist in the USA today, I suggest, is to be involved in these disagreements, without necessarily assuming they can be resolved, either at the individual level, or that of the movement as a whole.”

Yet Democrats are well known for rejecting any blame, when their happy ‘change’ turns into ‘worse’ or even, in the longer haul, ‘really, really worse’ (see all Democrat-run major cities). Democrats hide their failures well and secure a good deal of elite back-up in so doing.

The Left’s familiar, self-congratulatory proclamations of cultural and political virtue are seldom substantiated in cold fact. The self-defining ‘rightful and good’ glosses serve to provide a neutral, hallucinatory playing ground for Peter Pan psyches to sport about in, unchallenged. (Republicans have a famous, unfortunate diffidence in standing up to such nonsense, but that may be changing, e.g., the advent of U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson.) See here.

The progressive social engineering playbook goes something like this:

  1. “Reprise an historically disproven or disavowed Bad Idea {e.g., Communism—see Eastern Europe, the Philippines, China’s Cultural Revolution, Cuba’s boat flights}; and announce this bad idea as a Good Idea; this old idea as a New Idea. On behalf of this Good Idea—often really happenstance--, secure media and corporate buy-in; stage and underwrite a gaggle of diverse, violent protests; and, yes, pay the crowd in cash, if need be. (Many clueless folks on the scene will ask, ‘Protest against what?’ Instruct them: ‘Just wear the T-shirt and grab the poster.’)”
  1. “Ignore the actual fallout—short or long term--from any Democratic adverse action: always Declare Victory (note: media must stay on board!). Whatever the policy, personnel, or leadership disasters: never ‘own’ a smidgen of blame {e.g., the Democrats’ larger blameworthiness on Slavery, the Vietnam War intelligence run-up, Benghazi, fatherless families, inflation, drug addiction and mass shootings, election fraud, Epstein, Afghanistan, Iran, Biden, CCP, Fentanyl}. Let the human chips fall where they may; forever deny any part in each cumulatively disastrous outcome.”
  1. “Avoid validating any ‘unhelpful’ expressions of compassion (or the odd historian’s admonitions) for the millions of hapless victims of progressive policy/ideology.”
  1. “Swiftly and publicly react to each emerging or potential human crisis as a political opportunity. Fasten hard onto the fake news, especially the Left-adopted acronyms and triggers—racism, sexism, Pronouns, LGBT, Gay, Abortion, MAGA, Globalism, Climate Change, Redneck, Diversity, Multicultural--useful to conflate or distort any real news content. The less logical the conflation, the more it repeats itself.”
  1. “Fully appreciate and leverage this: Fact: the American common man (and woman!) is a dunce. Falsely and repeatedly announce/ publish/stream, ad nauseum, the invented successes, faux crimes, and buzzword ‘likes’ and links (see George Floyd, January 6, BLM, Ferguson, MO, Charlottesville, VA, Nazis, Fascists, Fair Elections, etc.) co-sponsored by the MSM and corporate bigwigs. Encourage and invite the feds’ mighty bureaucracy of intelligence involvement in this ‘disinformation initiative’.”
  1. “Always lawyer up: the criminal justice system works not just against criminals, but also against your political foes and the ‘innocent,’ unpersuaded bystanders who get in your face.”
  1.  “Rinse and Repeat in 2024.”

On items 1-7, above, millions of Americans-- who care about our country’s enviable past, present, and, we hope, future-- should loudly resolve otherwise in the coming year.

Image: בר, via Wikimedia Commons (extracted) // CC BY-SA 3.0

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com