Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Nayib Bukele: Serious About Saving Civilization

It's going to take an American Bukele to de-wokify the country after the soft totalitarian reign of error
Screen Shot 2023-03-03 at 8.48.07 AM

Have you heard of Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador? I wrote about him the other day, in connection with the massive prison he built to house members of the MS-13 and 18 Street gangs, which are a curse on Salvadoran society. You look at video of the gang members being treated like caged animals -- not beaten or tortured, just treated very strictly -- and you recoil at the inhumanity of that. But then you read accounts of what these men did to ordinary Salvadoran people -- the murders, the rapes, the extortion, the casual cruelty, the Satan worship, the making everybody live in terror of leaving their houses -- and you realize that yeah, they deserve this. And not just they deserve this, but the good people of El Salvador who just want to live deserve to be given that chance. If it requires taking these criminals off the street and treating them like what they have chosen to become, fine. That is a blessing of liberty for law-abiding Salvadorans.

Well, I saw this tweet in my timeline this morning, and watched the video. You should too:


Mark my words: we are going to need a politician like that to de-wokify the US Government and, to the extent that it is legally possible, American society. Read this:

If you click on that and read the thread, you'll see that Dr. Sailer uncovered documents showing that the federal government -- that is to say, the entity supported by taxpayers, and responsible to American citizens -- incentivized scientific faculties to hire people on the basis of their willingness to classify people by race and ethnicity. People who refused to do that were disadvantaged! It's all there in the documents. Read the thread, or


Sailer is correct: if the federal government is backing this stuff, it will continue. And if it continues, we are going to see a rise in civil conflict. White people who have not been demoralized by the constant hate propaganda in the media and in academia will not sit back and watch themselves turned from citizens into dhimmis by the woke totalitarians. We had better hope that the leader who arises to fight that is doing so not in the name of racial identity, but in the name of old-fashioned American values.

It's going to take a leader like Viktor Orban, or Nayib Bukele (and it will probably be more like Bukele: a prominent conservative commentator once joked to me, but he wasn't really joking, that things won't turn around in this country until "President Gonzales" takes over). It's not that everything Orban or Bukele does is justified or suited for the United States. What I mean is that it's going to take a strong, confident leader who knows what he believes, has the focus and follow-through to form and carry out a plan, can communicate effectively, is not intimidated by his enemies.

There is no reason we can't have that within the current constitutional order. Let me be clear: I absolutely do not want a strongman who runs roughshod over the Constitution to achieve his goals. But we don't need one; we just need someone who has the vision, the intelligence, and the courage to de-wokify America. If you're going to read this post and say that Dreher wants to reproduce Bukele exactly in America, you're an idiot. What I'm saying is we need a leader who grasps the true nature of the woke threat to our civil and constitutional order, and who is willing to do what it takes to roll it back, without fear or apology. As I explain in Live Not By Lies, we have been dealing in this country with a fundamentally totalitarian ideology, one that has taken over stealthily by disguising itself as therapeutic help for victims of society's past bigotries. Wokeness is deeply enmeshed in the institutional structures and cultures of the United States. Our leading universities have had two decades now to train young people in this racist, bigoted ideology -- an ideology that, by the way, values loyalty to its own teachings over basic competence, scientific and otherwise. Look at this; the black conservative academic Wilfred Reilly is correct:

How many people whose lives or liberty are on the line in court want to take the risk of hiring a second-rate lawyer because Equity? It's insane. The woke are tearing apart American society's ability to function.

I'm just starting to pay attention to Nayib Bukele, but from what little I've seen -- like in that clip -- it's impressive to see a leader of the Right who can communicate his positions so clearly and so effectively. Viktor Orban does that in Hungarian. Americans don't see or hear it, and have to depend on what the US liberal media say about Orban (e.g., the Washington Post the other day referred to him in a news story as "repressive," even though Hungary is far more liberal than many other countries, whose leaders would never be described that way in a news story in the Post). This is why so many Americans assume that Orban keeps getting re-elected because he has strongarmed the Hungarian media. Nope. There is a robust free media culture here, and the leading media outlets are all anti-Orban. He keeps getting re-elected because people like his policies, and because he advocates for them clearly and articulately. During the election campaign last year, I talked with lots of people, all over this liberal city (Budapest), asking them about their voting intentions. After hearing their particular gripes about Orban, I would almost always hear, "... but I'm going to vote for him, because the opposition is just hopelessly bad."

One thing too you can say about Orban and Bukele: they don't just talk the talk, but they walk the walk. This is my biggest beef with Trump's presidency: he was mostly talk. He had four years to do more than just talk about the excesses of the Left. When I was in college back in the Eighties, we had a guy in student media who was a big fat comic book nerd. Sweet kid, from down the bayou. Once he said, in his thick Cajun accent, "Batman ain't no real super hero. He a costume hero. He don't change nothin'; he just beats up people who rob gas stations." That's how I feel about the difference between Trump and DeSantis.

A fundamental question that GOP primary voters need to be asking of the candidates in next year's primaries: Do you think that wokeness is simply a variation within the American constitutional order, or a threat to it? If they don't understand the threat from wokeness, and aren't prepared to act effectively to de-wokify the country, then they don't deserve your vote. These Republicans like Pence, Pompeo, and Hogan, who fall back on the "I'm a small-government conservative" excuse to justify their lack of vision and courage, disqualify themselves, in my view. We can be sure that they will only serve to certify from the Right the revolution the Left has already accomplished within the institutions.

One more thing. The Croatian reactionary Substacker Niccolo Soldo is a good follow. I subscribe to his newsletter, so I'm not sure if this latest one, about Color Revolutions, is available to non-paying readers, but you should try to check it out. In it, he begins a series about American-led color revolutions, and why they matter. What prompted it was USAID Administrator Samantha Power's recent visit to Budapest, in which she arrived to foment a color revolution against the government of an allied country, Hungary. It was outrageous, and Americans need to know what their government is doing to an elected conservative government of a NATO ally -- all in the service of woke globalism. Soldo quotes a couple of Budapest tweets by Power, then says:

Pay very close attention to the wording in both of these tweets, and make note of the following terms and concepts:

locally-driven initiatives

independent media


civic engagement

civil society

challenges to democracy

securing respect for the rights and dignity of all people

We will decode these concepts in a bit, but first let’s take a look at who Samantha Power really is in order to understand why her visit to Budapest matters to us all.

It's one thing for a high government official to come to another country, even an ally, and criticize its government's policies. That's fair, in principle. The local government might not like it, but I don't see that it's unjust. But Power is up to something else. Soldo goes into her background:

She’s a very, very powerful woman. She’s also a true believer in liberalism and the idea that the mission of the United States of America should be to spread it globally, even if it requires violent intervention. A charitable description of her would be that that she has a strong aversion to perceived injustice and a permanent fear of genocide erupting anywhere around the world. An alternate take is that she is little more than a thug for US Empire.

When the arch-liberal interventionist Power rose to serve in the Obama White House, she became a principal advocate for US action to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. And so we did. What next? Soldo:

We know the rest of this story. Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown, he was tortured and killed, and Libya, once the African state with the highest standard of living, fell into violent anarchy, a condition that still prevails there today. Power’s “moral foreign policy” argument laid the groundwork for the opening of slave markets in Libya, gave a new country for Salafist militants to freely set up shop in, and destroyed the pact made between Gaddafi and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi to stop migrant flows to Europe via the Mediterranean. Furthermore, NATO strikes killed civilians, a matter that has still not been addressed.

Hey, she meant well. Americans always do. Soldo covers how Power had the support of neocon interventionists like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham. She sat out the Trump administration at Harvard, but came back to DC under Biden. One more clip from Soldo:

This woman is jointly responsible for the destruction of Libya and the horrible fallout since then. Her agitation in favour of regime change in Damascus combined with her hand-washing over the catastrophe in Libya make her the Typhoid Mary of international affairs.

The question is: in light of her track record, just exactly what is she up to in Budapest?

Sign up to Soldo's Substack before he publishes the next in the series. Americans need to understand what its leadership class is up to abroad, and why it's going to take a strong countercultural conservative -- one who knows how to act to de-wokify the system -- to turn this around. I have no doubt at all that a President Normie Republican would be fully on board with Samantha Power coming to Hungary with the intention of seeding a Color Revolution against the elected Orban government, which has the audacity to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war, to act to protect Hungarian children from LGBT propaganda, and to do what the United States and the EU won't do: secure the borders. Can't have that. Gotta get rid of him.

Enough. At some point, I hope we the people will have had enough of our leadership class putting their own globalist interests about the national interest, and putting their rancid, bigoted ideological convictions into action within American institutions, such that they are turning our own country into the Balkans, for the sake of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

(Readers, a week from today, this blog will be no more. Please make the move with me over to Rod Dreher's Diary, my subscription-only daily Substack. You'll get the same kind of blogging -- at least five times a week -- with the added bonuses of 1) more serious religious and spirituality writing, and 2) a fantastic comments section open to subscribers. It's terrific the exchanges we are already having there. Subscriptions are five dollars per month, or fifty dollars for a year. Try it out -- and if you don't like it, you can always cancel. I'd love to be able to give it to you for free, as here at TAC, but without institutional backing, I have to make a living somehow, and buy health insurance. Click here for more.)