Seventy percent of self-identified “liberals” want to rewrite the U.S. Constitution “to a new American constitution that better reflects our diversity as a people,” according to survey results published in Quillette this week. Seventy-nine percent of self-identified “very liberal” respondents agreed with this suggestion.
Seventy-six and 81 percent of “liberal” and “very liberal” respondents supported the idea to “Rebalance the art shown in museums across the country until an analysis of content shows that it reflects the demography of the population and perspective of Native people and citizens of color.” Seventy-one and 80 percent of these groups, respectively, supported this idea: “Move, after public consultation, to a new American anthem that better reflects our diversity as a people.”
These were the cultural upheavals that received the highest support among the survey’s 16 suggested options, but liberals in the survey also supported many others. The survey was run by Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at Birkbeck College in the University of London, and administered to 870 Americans recruited from the Amazon Mechanical Turk and Prolific Academic platforms that researchers frequently use for such surveys.
“In order to find out how willing liberal Americans are to jettison the country’s cultural identity, I decided, on May 7th, to ask what I thought were outlandish questions…” he wrote. “The answers I received amazed me. I then repeated the exercise on June 15th, after the George Floyd killing and subsequent protests to see whether things had gotten even crazier. It turns out they have.”
“Respondents on these platforms lean young, liberal, and white,” Kaufmann noted, but he wanted that, as these groups are the most politically extreme. After getting the survey results, he focused on the 414 respondents who identified themselves as “liberal” or “very liberal.”
He had asked them to disagree or agree with 16 questions that aimed to gauge support for “a radical blow to American cultural nationhood.” Besides the three mentioned above, the next most supported changes were, in order:
- “Rebalance the history taught in schools until its voices and subjects reflect the demographics of the population and heritage of Native people and citizens of color” (60 percent support among liberals, and 60 percent support among very liberals);
- “Allow our public parks to return to their natural state, before a European sense of order was imposed upon them” (58 percent support among liberals, and 68 percent support among very liberals);
- “Remove existing statues of white men from public spaces until the stock of statues matches the demographics of the population” (51 percent support among liberals, and 60 percent support among very liberals);
- and “Gradually replace many older public buildings with new structures that don’t perpetuate a Eurocentric order, until a more representative public space is achieved” (52 percent support among liberals, and 59 percent support among very liberals).
In addition, majorities of “very liberal” respondents supported destroying Mount Rushmore and renaming streets and neighborhoods according to racial quotas. So did significant percentages of “liberals,” as you can see in the below graph. A third or more supported renaming the United States of America something “that better reflects the contributions of Native Americans and our diversity as a people.”
Americans who have more recently emerged from U.S. education institutions were more likely to support these radical changes, Kaufmann noted: “Averaging across the 16 questions, and controlling for education and gender, 20-year-old liberals in the sample average an ‘agree’ response while 80-year-old liberals fall slightly toward the ‘disagree’ side of the ‘neither agree nor disagree’ category.”
When he asked these same questions soon after the George Floyd killing and subsequent riots, support for cultural revolution had increased and support for President Trump had dropped, among both self-described liberals and conservatives.
“All of these protest-driven changes are statistically significant,” Kaufmann writes. “…Far from being a disaster for the Left, as in the past, the protests and rioting seem to have invigorated it.”
Despite these depressing results, Kaufmann thinks it’s still possible to “resist the woke steamroller that’s trying to iron out American distinctiveness.” Yet it “will require a concerted movement to protect the content of cultural nationhood.”
“Faced with neglect or hostility from the media and educational establishment, conservatives should use civil society institutions, associations, and media to keep the country’s customs and traditions alive in recognizable form. This may extend to advocating for, or relocating, statues and other elements of heritage,” he says.
The main problem with this prescription is that the “commanding heights” of culture have already been wholly captured by the left. In the wake of the Floyd riots, Americans have been inundated with statements from big businesses and social institutions declaring their financial and rhetorical support for the Communist movement Black Lives Matter. The media and our education system is controlled by far-left ideologues who think conservatism equals bigotry.
To keep America’s traditions and principles alive requires boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning the left’s sources of cultural power. It requires taking spoils after successful tactical operations, such as cutting off federal funding to higher education, enacting full-scale school choice at the state and local levels, buying American-made products from smaller businesses that don’t fund Marxist change agents, and starting and joining new cultural institutions to replace the formerly apolitical ones they’ve mind-hived, like the Boy Scouts and League of Women Voters.
It requires getting a real education so we know the whole truth about history and can inform friends snookered by ideologues backfilling trained ignorance with identity politics. It requires demanding that our police and mayors stop the rioting and punish rioters. It means raising Cain against representatives who prefer to virtue signal about the Constitution rather than take effective steps to ensure it’s not erased by mobs. It means not sending our kids to schools and our families to churches that aren’t consciously equipping minds and souls for the very obvious spiritual and intellectual battle afoot.
The culture war is coming for you. Right now, only one side appears to be really fighting to win. Stop scrolling on Twitter and Facebook and get a group of friends together to decide a course of action to commit to. Stop yelling at the TV and radio, and start making some phone calls and moving your money and time from wasteful ends to fruitful ones. The time is short.