Students of history will wisely pay heed to the lessons attributed to China’s “Cultural Revolution”. There were to be sure merits behind the very public gestures offered by Gov. John Kasich to expand American exceptionalism while campaigning. However the record will demonstrate Chairman Mao Zedong’s decision to engage in concentrated social engineering proved catastrophic. It is counterintuitive for government to mold public opinion through mass psychology by applying its monopoly through Newspeak and subliminal messaging.
“Revolutionary culture is a powerful revolutionary weapon for the broad masses of the people. It prepares the ground ideologically before the revolution comes and is an important, indeed essential, fighting front in the general revolutionary front during the revolution.”
Of course, a strong case exists that this has happened under Barack Obama. But for Gov. Kasich, the problem dips dangerously deep into the socialist Democrats’ hypocrisy rejecting the Establishment Clause under the guise of introducing Sharia law to supplant the Constitution for Muslims. His proposed propaganda agency to promote “core Judeo-Christian, Western values” to combat the threat by the Islamic State (ISIS) would result in the exact opposite.
There is of course precedence; one in fact need only look north at Canada’s francophone province, Quebec. Through its ministry of culture, it has acquired significant political autonomy in the aftermath of the near miss at secession via referendum in 1995. The one political and social reality both the Canadian Federalist and Quebecois Sovereigntist camps can agree upon is, simply, the Quebec independence movement will never end unless the people of Quebec decide via plebiscite. The overwhelming consensus among Quebecois Sovereigntists is the referendum would have passed had the federal government not peddled the “No” campaign, especially the controversial Unity Rally in Montreal just three days prior to the October 30, 1995 vote. The progression was so rapid that a scant six months earlier, 39 percent of Quebecers opposed secession. But as the election approached, that figure increased to 50 percent in opposition. According to former Quebec Premier Bernard Landry, “Today, the polls say sovereignty is at 40 per cent support. The idea of Quebec independence is extremely powerful and logical. If sovereignty comes back in the news and we have a good campaign I think Quebec will have its place at the United Nations.” After 94 percent of the predominantly francophone electorate missed independence by less than one percent, Quebec’s drive towards secession two decades later appears poised for another referendum, with the fate of Canada at its mercy.
Comparable to the lingering discontents between the American North and South over 150 years after the Civil War, the situation in Canada remains culturally partitioned behind the nationalist lines of her French and British descendants. While France’s Samuel de Champlain founded Canada, it later was ceded to Great Britain following its catastrophic defeat during the Seven Years’ War in 1763. Ever since, political actors have risen to stake claim to Quebec’s authority, reaching its zenith with 1967’s Mouvement Souveraineté-Association.
America’s Divisions Based on Cultural, Racial, Geopolitical and Antiestablishmentarianism
While speaking before the National Press Club in Washington, Gov. Kasich pitched his case for why America must “beam messages around the world” to promote her values in totalitarian regimes like China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East. But what he disingenuously proposes would resurrect the unintended consequences behind global McDonaldization beginning with the immediate post Cold War years, saturating nations too affronted by the American cultural ethos clashing with their own traditions. It violates every convention behind which we conservatives stand for and uphold.
Gov. Kasich’s apparent Amerocentric tone too often evokes neoconservatism in sending a “clear mandate to promote core Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share,” while contradicting himself by espousing that “It means freedom, it means opportunity, it means respect for women, it means freedom to gather, it means so many things,” while declaring with a straight face, “There’s nobody who’s spent more time shrinking government than I have.”
Yet if “Civil Wars don’t work out,” why propose nation building through cultural propagandization given his proposed brain child would in fact be broadcast into America’s homes? “U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals,” according to Gov. Kasich, “and effectively countering our opponents’ propaganda and disinformation.” Nothing necessitates for my moral values to reflect those of my trading partners in Asia or Africa in fulfilling the quid pro quo of the free market.
But why “consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share”? Who are America’s friends? Why might they support a malleable Kasich Politburo on grounds of “the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association”? A left-wing Democrat like Barack Obama would rapidly alter the programming to secularize its ideological platitudes or to diffuse Islamic fundamentalism.
As Chairman Mao promulgated in 1942 during the height of the Sino-Japanese War, “There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics… they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.” Given the curious description by Kasich “the U.S. should tout liberal political values but insists on describing them as ‘Judeo-Christian’ or as expressions of ‘our Jewish and Christian tradition,'” he appears prepared to do a little social engineering himself, thus defying the great conservative principle of methodical, organic societal evolution, the biggest losers standing to be First Amendment.
Might Gov. Kasich champion duplicating an idyllic Trotskyist utopia by juxtaposing Jesus’ likeness with the rottenness of Danish socialism? Remember that due to its welfare model, Denmark charges a “… Church tax (kirkeskat) of 0.89 percent, paid only by registered members of the Danish National Church.” Lest we forget though, Denmark remains culturally among the world’s most secular nations. Christianity plays “a minor, often indirect, role in public life,” with just 3 percent of Danes regularly attend service. It capitalizes on this power to tax and destroy detractors through the Church such as those involved with the Muhammad cartoon controversy of 2005‒06. If the Danish government willfully crushes free speech through the church’s so-called Arabian Initiative “to build positive relations with Muslim countries,” a Kasich Cultural Revolution or any other will find marvelous excuses to nationalize the mass media and organized religion through the same rubric mandating PBS and NPR.
Thus common sense should dictate any American president to let Confucius say and Arabian Nights live well beyond its 1,001 days of lore. It is not becoming of any man, let alone an American president, to usher in his brave new world by publicly aspiring to become the emperor wearing new clothes. If the narrative portends the puzzling perspective that “no one believes, but everyone believes that everyone else believes,” if “everyone is ignorant to whether the Emperor has clothes on or not, but believes that everyone else is not ignorant,” the American people can rest assured peddling socialism shielded by the Cross will place her in the same political camp as Denmark.