Over the past two decades, I saw this inverting worldview swallow all of the crucial sense-making institutions of American life. It started with the universities. Then it moved on to cultural institutions—including some I knew well, like The New York Times—as well as every major museum, philanthropy, and media company. Then on to our medical schools and our law schools. It’s taken root at nearly every major corporation. It’s inside our high schools and even our elementary schools. The takeover is so comprehensive that it’s now almost hard to notice it—because it is everywhere.
And the movement that is gathering all this power does not like America or liberalism. It does not believe that America is a good country—at least no better than China or Iran. It calls itself progressive, but it does not believe in progress; it is explicitly anti-growth. It claims to promote “equity,” but its answer to the challenge of teaching math or reading to disadvantaged children is to eliminate math and reading tests. It demonizes hard work, merit, family, and the dignity of the individual.
An ideology that pathologizes these fundamental human virtues is one that seeks to undermine what makes America exceptional.
The GAO report points out that the country’s lowest‐income households spent an average of 30.6 percent of their income on food in 2021 compared to 7.6 percent for the highest‐income households. Therefore, policies such as the sugar program that raise the cost of food—and there are plenty of foods that use sugar as an ingredient—are disproportionately felt by the poorest Americans.