Why are we surprised that our young people are ignorant of US History? For decades now, our academic elite has been consciously making them so. George Washington University is just the latest institution to drop a US History requirement — even for its history majors. Will Jesse Watters of O’Reilly Factor’s “Watters’ World” go to our nation’s capital and ask a GWU student who George Washington was? Will we see a blank look followed by a giggle and a shoulder shrug, and then an answer something like: “Umm… I should know this…”? Watters isn’t the first to expose this ignorance; Jay Leno did it for years with his “Jaywalking” segment on the Tonight Show.
It’s sad, but cluelessness about our nation’s history has been the desired outcome of academia for decades now. A high school graduate may not be able to tell you when World War II was fought, who the combatants were, or even who won — but would have heard about internment of Japanese-American citizens. That’s because the dwindling number of students still taught US History learn more about America’s sins than America’s glory. The texts I used reflected that. After many chapters I had to offer students a contrasting perspective.
According to Ian Tuttle writing in National Review Online: “To the administrators and academics who revise these institutions’ mission statements, the nation-state has had its day… [They] work toward a ‘global community.’” Our elites see themselves as citizens of the world. Senator Barack Obama declared himself such in Berlin, Germany six months before being elected president — and his entire presidency seemed predicated on that vision. By contrast, his successor was elected promising to “put America first.” Donald Trump sees the world through an American lens, whereas Barack Obama saw America through a world lens. After his inauguration, Obama went around the world apologizing for America. Don’t expect that from Trump.
Academia had its way for decades, but backlash has been brewing among Americans living away from coastal bastions who are proud of America and would die for it. The coastal elites acknowledged them, but only to heap ridicule. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described them to a Marin County audience: “[T]hey get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” In 2016, Hillary Clinton called them “[T]he basket of deplorables… racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it… Some of those folks -- they are irredeemable.” Two months later, those people elected a man who traveled the country wearing a baseball cap famously emblazoned: “Make America Great Again.”
Nationalism is ascendant throughout the western world now. People in Europe and in the USA want to preserve their way of life, not see it subsumed under a bland multicultural miasma in the European Union or the United Nations. There’s a common thread in the rise of Brexit and the rise of Trump. It’s no coincidence that Nigel Farage, the face of Brexit, appeared with Trump on the campaign trail here in the USA. Both tapped movements the elites scorned: renewed nationalism and disdain for globalism. Voters in both the UK and USA saw their nations as bulwarks against the vagaries of the world. They were willing to die for their countries but not for the EU or the United Nations (UN).
Nigel Farage wallops EU president to his face
Will the UK be better off out of the European Union (EU)? Will Donald Trump make America great again? Will he take the US out of the UN? 2017 will offer hints, but it will take at least a couple of years for enough evidence to make an educated guess. Government elites, as well as their cocktail party friends in elite media and academia predict disaster. They did their darnedest to forestall both developments and have yet to accept either. Some among them, however, are bold enough to predict the continued decline of EU and even its eventual collapse — with radical Muslim terrorism and uncontrolled Muslim immigration being the driving forces. Trump warned often against both here in the USA. Working through the United Nations, Obama has done his best to hamstring the Trump Administration in the Middle East and keep importing Muslims even after his term ends.
When it looked like her husband would win the Democrat nomination, Michelle Obama said: “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country…” We can assume that, like so many who who attended elite universities, she was ashamed of it.