When my wife and I were raising and homeschooling our four children, we faced certain cultural dilemmas just like other parents we knew. Should we let our kids read the Harry Potter books? (Affirmative on that one.) What movies or television shows should we allow them to watch? What sort of friends were they making? And what about college? What was on the docket in that department?
Those worries now seem as distant as bobbed hair, flappers, and the Ford Model-T. In the decade since our youngest headed off to college, our culture has become a madhouse in which self-appointed experts seek to strip children of their innocence and the rest of us of our sanity. One small case in point: In 2019, the author of the once controversial Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling, was viciously criticized for her social media comments pointing out that transgender activism’s stance on sex denigrated women.
In Hide Your Children: Exposing the Marxists Behind the Attack on America’s Kids, podcast host Liz Wheeler pulls back the curtain on many of the people and organizations behind these assaults on our young people, the nuclear family, and American culture in general. In the book’s introduction, she outlines the topics she will cover, including critical race theory and queer theory, the thought reform tactics behind DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and the radical ideas that have infected our schools, libraries, corporations, and government. She then proceeds in a methodical and lively manner to dig down and reveal the Marxist roots of these pernicious weeds.
Unlike some other books of this sort, which explore the darkness but offer little redeeming light, Wheeler is convinced that parents, and America itself, can not only beat back these radicals but can emerge victorious from this war on children. She suggests numerous philosophical, political, and practical ways for fighting back, some of them only possible through government action and some of them by a boots-on-the-ground approach from parents, grandparents, and anyone else willing and able to join the fight.
Wheeler’s well-ordered examination of the Marxist roots of this assault is an important addition to our understanding of today’s twisted values. All too often we hear of libraries sponsoring drag queen readings or of children being taught that whites are inherently evil or that sex is not determined by biology but by our preferences, and we wonder who came up with such outlandish ideas. Hide Your Children is replete with examples and data exposing the Marxism at work behind these activities.
For instance, Wheeler introduces us to the ideas of Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, who, as a prisoner in Mussolini’s regime, developed the theory that to vanquish capitalism and national sovereignty Marxists must first capture and transform a nation’s cultural institutions: the schools, the universities, the churches, and the media.
As Wheeler then tells us, between 1992 and 2007 an American Marxist and Gramsci devotee, Joseph Buttigieg, translated Gramsci’s prison notebooks into American English. Joseph Buttigieg is the father of Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and our current secretary of transportation. Wheeler then asks, “Why has nobody seriously questioned Pete Buttigieg about this? Mayor Pete ran for president of the United States, and not a single enterprising journalist asked him whether he avowed or disavowed the communist ideology of his father?”
Are these Gramscian tactics, “the long march through the institutions,” bearing fruit? Absolutely. Again, here is a single case in point, one among many, pointed out by Wheeler: “A recent Gallup survey found that 20.8 percent of Generation Z self-identify as LGBTQ, compared to just 10.5 percent of Millennials, 4.2 percent of Generation X, 2.6 percent of Baby Boomers, and less than 1 percent of those who are older.” These enormous shifts didn’t come about by some profound change in human nature but by indoctrination and grooming through our schools and media.
With over 40 pages of notes and references and a lengthy set of appendices titled “Resources for the Fight” that includes several papal encyclicals pertinent to the troubles Wheeler describes, Hide Your Children serves as both a beacon of warning and a beacon of hope in our troubled times. “We’re experiencing a great awakening in our country,” writes Wheeler. “Tens of millions of Americans are now clear-eyed about the threats we face and courageous enough to fight back and win.”
With enough courage and persistence, this is a war we can win.
And it’s one we can’t afford to lose.
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