The cultural road ahead

Donald Trump’s glorious win has rats scurrying all across Washington, D.C.  But it represents an opportunity rather than a mission accomplished.  Cultural Marxist themes still permeate our media, telling us that the U.S. is evil and smashing it is noble.  For Trump’s win to have a lasting impact, he must spearhead a cultural revolution.  But how can we change our infected culture?

Inclusivity and exclusivity

To increase our unity, we must counter the multicultural narrative that the West has no culture into which to assimilate.  We must reject the globalist narrative that all peoples are the same and the West is not special.  We are an English-speaking, tough, individualistic, rights-duties, non-socialist, prideful, Judeo-Christian/Enlightenment-based culture.  Our culture is complex.  Sometimes it is easier to define by exclusion: we’re not a sharia-loving, Confucian, Spanish-speaking nation.

Yet note that this vision is not racially exclusive.  People of all races can learn English.  And our vision, not being racist, also implies white self-criticism.  As Socrates and Jesus said, the soul is higher than the body.  As George Washington argued, hedonistic louts cannot sustain a republic.  We must acknowledge that we have a culture and it has standards to which people of all colors should aspire.

Yet the truth is that assimilation has limits.  Sympathy with sharia law is not compatible with loyalty to Western laws.  Cultural diversity is real.  So we need to take naturalization loyalty oaths seriously again.  Excluding other cultures does not mean we do not wish them well; it means we love ours enough to protect it.  And again, more fundamentally, knowing that some things are not Western is the quick route to knowing that the West has a specific culture to take pride in.

Pride in our history

To spread this vision, we need to rewrite our schools’ curricula on a culturist basis – that is, we need to acknowledge the importance of culture to our history.  This will turn our history from a source of shame to a source of pride.  WWII Japanese relocation was not racist.  It was because cultural diversity can create divisions in loyalty.  Manifest destiny was not racist; it was culturist.

He who controls the past controls the future.  To make America great again, we must teach that the West has long been great!  As culturist common sense dictates, we must inculcate cultural pride with a culturist school curriculum affirming the value of our culture.

Finishing off political correctness

Trump’s victory partially represented a rejection of political correctness.  Every time a person on the right notes that cultural diversity can include bad aspects, the left calls him “racist.”  When Trump, despite the epitaph, continued to say we need a ban on Muslim immigration, we knew we had a culturist hero!

This won’t be easy.  The left has turned a generation into nasty, intellectually shallow folks who reflexively slander discussants as deplorable racist, sexists, etc.  We need to call them on using this cheap trick in order to again be able to have difficult, potentially sensitive culturist policy discussions.

Norman Vincent Peale

Lastly, we need to bring back the ethic of personal responsibility.  Trump has never drunk alcohol or smoked.  He does not even, reportedly, drink coffee.  He said, “If you don’t drink and you don’t do drugs, your children ... are going to have a tremendously enhanced chance of really being successful and having a good life.”  Again, we must be culturist in the sense of critiquing our culture.  This can start with you as an individual and by thinking of yourself as a role model.

From childhood, Trump went to the church of pastor Norman Vincent Peale, who is famous for preaching the “power of positive thinking.”  Famously, his main book begins, “Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!”  We can call for smaller government, but actually sustainably enacting that requires self-reliance.  If we mix Trump’s can-do philosophy with Peale’s cherished “warm patriotism,” we might truly make America culture great again.

John K. Press, Ph.D., teaches international relations at a university in South Korea.  He is the author of the book Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future.  He is also the author of a biography of the first acknowledged “culturist,” Matthew Arnold.  More information can be found at