Both of my grandfathers were proud Tejano (Texas Mexicans) Catholics. Each came to the states for different reasons, but they both loved America and were grateful to live here. They were also on opposite ends of the political spectrum. One was a democrat and the other was a republican. Back then that didn't matter much though, because they were fundamentally the same. This is because they had broader cultural connections through their ethnicity and their religion. Essentially they had shared values and beliefs in spite of their political differences.
In their simple, patriotic lives they encapsulate everything that has changed since the 60s. Prior to the 60s republicans and democrats were from the same culture, shared the same values. But the 60s brought a radical shift to "liberals" as they stopped being liberals and became Leftists. Millions of Americans have yet to understand this, and our current dialog does not help as we tend to use the word "liberal" instead of the more accurate "leftist." Why is this important? Well, for one thing millions of Americans still think of the democrats as liberals when in fact they are leftists. Why is this important?
Because a leftist is radically different from a liberal. I have written about this in my post "If 6 was 9" analyzing the fundamental dissonance between "liberals" who adore a Marxist thug like Che Guevera and liberals like JFK who would have opposed Che. This difference is extremely critical on an intellectual level because it explains the activism that has replaced scholarship in our universities. Leftists built a brave new world on a foundation laid by a number of important 20th century scholars like Thomas Kuhn, Michele Foucalt and a number of other important thinkers we can label under the broad term "postmodern." Bear with me because this obscure academic discussion has world changing implications for America and American culture.
Kuhn argued that even science was biased because it was filtered through subjective human beings. Complementing this argument Foucalt argued that things like "knowledge" and "truth" don't exist and all that really matters is power, and who has power. Think Nietsche. Truth does not matter, power does. This philosophy led to Stanley Fish and deconstructionism, which argues that meaning and truth are "deconstructed" into every text and every situation by a person's cultural norms and beliefs, but that those deconstructed interpretations have no real validity. Enter all these new fields of scholarship like ethnic studies, women's studies, and a host of other "disciplines" that function more like religions than disciplines.
In essence, truth becomes relative to the observer or the culture. So who cares? Well, how does one be a "patriot" in such a mindset? How can one country, one culture, one way of thinking be worthy of anything we call patriotism? On an intellectual level Leftists have no reason for such a thing as patriotism because it is an irrational concept within their frame of mind. There is no good reason to decry a leftists lack of patriotism, because they are being rationally consistent and intellectual honest. The "truth" behind patriotism is nonexistent. This explains why revisionism of western history is so important, because western culture must be proven to be no morally or culturally better than any other culture if Leftists assumptions are correct. In spite of the fact that major developments in the history of human rights, let alone the concept of "human rights" itself, came out of western culture. Such things must be proven to be accidents of history and not a result of the intellectual foundation of Greek and Judeo-Christian thought.
This is why we have abandoned Martin Luther King's ideas. His core principles were founded on western thought, western thinking and Christianity. Our government and our schools honor him once a year, and then spend the rest of the year actively undermining everything he valued in their focus on skin color and culture rather than character and ethics. We can even imagine a time when he will no longer be read in American schools because of the religious content of his
thought and arguments. This is why our high schools no longer teach "history" and instead teach something called "social studies." Social studies falls in line with postmodern thinking about ethnicity and history- less facts, more theory.
Ultimately, this is why our cultural institutions have abandoned the Founding Fathers. They do not agree with them. Their understanding of justice, and government are distinctly different because they are based on a completely different worldview than the Fathers. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, they could be right, but they are also extremely deceptive about these differences because they know that the vast majority of Americans still agree with the Fathers and not them. The answer for those with power, the postmodernists, is to undermine American culture before they discover the bait and switch that has been played. Don't teach history while simultaneously revising it to create an America and that is dirty, ugly, and imperialistic.
Ironically, my conservative grandfather sensed this years ago. He had a sixth grade Mexican education, but read a lot, and rose through the ranks before the days of slobbering multicultural obeisance to actually help draft real estate law and teach real estate at Texas Universities. Maybe that is where he sensed the inherent imperialism and deception of postmodern leftists. I can remember being fairly young and hearing him warm me about the deception of the new white man. I never really understood what he was talking about at the time, but his vivid descriptions of the Faustian deals he saw postmodern leftists striking with minorities across America eventually came back to memory when I saw them being enacted out in college.
My other grandfather, a committed FDR democrat never saw this and continued to vote for FDR well into the 90s in spite of the fact that the only similarity between democrats today and FDR is their love of failed government spending programs... Why is this important? Well, think of Rome, which failed not so much because of external defeat, but because of internal cultural decay. but more importantly, a democracy needs real transparency and honesty for the people to make informed decisions. Instead we find ourselves voting for a man who on one side of the country goes bowling and has a beer with the common folk before jetting off to a champagne San Francisco fund raiser and mocks those little people for clinging to their thundersticks and sky god. The same man who channeled voters frustration with Bush's spending, and then promptly spent more than Bush in his first two months in office.
Those are the immediate issues. But those are not the most important. What really matters are the long term cultural affects of such a situation. For a democracy to be healthy the people, the voters, need to be in the loop. Democrats and republicans no longer come to the table with the same culture and values. The broader and deeper connections my grandfathers had no longer exists, as the Left has adopted an entirely new and fresh way of thinking about humanity, the world, government and culture. Ironically, they are the preachers of multiculturalism and tolerance, but fail to act this out every time they call people on the Right intolerant, racist, bigot, homophobe, sexist, etc. Much of their cultural power relies on not acknowledging the cultural differences between them and the Right, because once they do, they have to be genuinely tolerant. In academia I have found this argument to be ab extremely successful wedge issue, because most honest Leftists will admit that we should think of the Left and Right as separate cultures, which has immediate implications about the incredible lack of real diversity on campus among other things... Maybe we can also learn to understand and dialogue about those differences better when we consciously accept the cultural differences. My students have told me that this revelation really made it easier to understand the other side of the political spectrum and not immediately dismiss the other side. We need to expand this to ther rest of the nation.
Both of my grandfathers liked each other and even went on hunting and fishing trips together, but that was because they were still from the same culture. Such is not the case anymore. Political difference amount to much more than a simple difference in preference- I like Coke but you like Pepsi kind of difference. They now reflect something more like the difference between an atheist and a theist. They are vast and huge and we need to explore them for the sake of the democracy.