Home/Rod Dreher/The Revolution Comes To The Cornfields

The Revolution Comes To The Cornfields

Radicalizing the young (DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Revolution comes to a small Midwestern town. Its vector is the local public school. A reader writes:

Over the weekend, my high school son and daughter participated in a show choir competition. The choirs were given a classroom in the host school to serve as a home base. Our home base classroom featured this huge transgender flag that was draped on the ceiling. In an English (reading and journalism) classroom. There was also a “safe space” sign in the classroom. In fact, the safe space signs were everywhere: in every classroom, the cafeteria, the hallways.

My question: What does transgender ideology have to do with English?

My other question: What happens if a teacher would rather not display this sign in his or her classroom?

Note 1: This was at a small-town Midwestern high school, not an urban or coastal school. This is a Trump state.

Note 2: The classroom with the trans flag did not have an American flag. Apparently, this is the new patriotism. This is the new religion.

I also noticed that the rate of cross-dressing high school students among the choir kids was WAY higher than historical trends for actual transgender people, indicating the prevalence of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD). This trans flag doesn’t communicate “You’re welcome in my classroom.” It communicates, “If you ever feel weird, it means that you need hormones and surgery.”

Here are the photos he sent:

That last one is an example of what the writer James Poulos describes as the “Pink Police State”. It’s what you get when “health and safety” override every other consideration. GLSEN, the gay activist group, figured out twenty years ago that if it presented its radical re-education agenda as a “safety” measure, it would be widely adapted in schools. And so it has been.

The reader’s question about dissenting teachers is a good one: what if you said no, I’m not going to allow my classroom to be used for propaganda purposes? I guarantee you that teacher would be stigmatized, and would face professional hostility. She would be accused of creating an “unsafe space,” and of being a bigot. Remember what the leading Democratic presidential candidate tweeted the other day:

I strongly urge you — I exhort you! — to read this thread from the academic James Lindsay, who has been doing really deep thinking into the social justice mentality. Here’s the opening tweet:

An excerpt of some of what follows:

It is vital for conservatives and old-fashioned liberals to understand the nature of this fight we’re being dragged into. Do you get it? From the Social Justice point of view, to oppose them, or even to question their claims, is to be a heretic bigot. This is not a matter of reason. In fact, reason itself is a tool of oppression to these people. Look:

Read this post of mine from earlier today about the weaponization of civil rights to demolish every liberty that stands in the way of Social Justice Warriors’ goals. The revolution has made its way into classrooms in Midwestern small towns. There is nowhere to hide from this stuff. We have to fight, and fight hard. But the fight is not just political and legal. After I saw the film A Hidden Life, about the Catholic anti-Nazi martyr Franz Jägerstätter, I realized that this film is precisely the explanation of the Benedict Option, one that will help me get through to people who insist, despite the evidence, that I’m urging people to head for the hills. The evil came to Franz’s remote Austrian mountain village. Nowhere was safe. But when it came, Franz, because he had built himself up in the faith, recognized the evil for what it was, and resisted it in the only way possible to him at that point. Most everybody in that village, one imagines, was a Christian, but only Franz and his family had both the ability to see the ideology for what it truly was, and to find within the strength to stand up to it, even as everyone around him was surrendering to it.

It is the same with us. If your kids’ public or private school has embraced this ideology, you should get them out of it, if you can. If you can’t, then you should be educating them as to why it is a lie, and helping them to find the spiritual resources to resist it. This will not be easy. I imagine that even in small towns, the pressure from the herd to conform is serious. Note well that all of us live in a propaganda environment that acculturates us to accept all of this, and to feel shame if we do not. In Hungary last year, when I interviewed for my forthcoming book a couple who grew up under communism, they told me that their childhoods were filled with propaganda designed to encourage everyone to feel intense shame over any belief or tradition that contradicted socialism. The same thing is happening right here. 

We need the Benedict Option, and we need to fight on political and legal fronts, while we still can. There are plenty of conservatives and Christians who are under the mistaken belief that political and legal victories are enough. They’re wrong. As writer Christopher Caldwell points out in his important new book:

In the quarter-century after Reagan, conservatives lost every battle against the substance of political correctness. … Political correctness was not a joke after all. It was the most comprehensive ideological capture of institutional power in the history of the United States.

… This language of “-bashing” and “-phobia” and “bigotry” and “lies” was new. No longer was the irreconcilability of individuals’ and society’s sexual priorities a tragedy or a disagreement. Recast in the categories of civil rights law, it was a crime, a crime that was being committed against a whole class of people. The customs and traditions in the name of which it was being committed were mere alibis.

… Once social issues could be cast as battles over civil rights, Republicans would lose 100 percent of the time. The agenda of “diversity” advanced when its proponents won elections and when they lost them.

Social Justice Warriors have weaponized Midwestern niceness to conquer the minds of kids, their teachers, and their parents in places you would think would have natural immunity to this insanity. What we must wake up and understand is that the old liberal-democratic arguments based in a familiar defense of traditional liberties are ceasing to work, in part because the culture has been changed, and is changing very fast. When teaching your children — even your corn-fed Midwestern children from prairie villages — that it is okay for them to take cross-sex hormones and surgically alter their bodies because it is a civil rights issue, then you know — you must know — that we have gone through the looking glass.

UPDATE: Well, now look:

Here’s the full screengrab of the announcement. Looks like this is nothing new at this particular school:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

leave a comment

Latest Articles