Question: What do liberalism and leftism have in common?

According to a 2017 National Review essay by conservative commentator Dennis Prager, “Almost nothing … liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism.”

In that powerful insight lies the path to American healing and renewal. Prager analyzes the liberal/leftist divide against seven guideposts of American civilization.

• Traditional liberals believed race was irrelevant. Today’s leftists believe race is everything.

• Traditional liberals supported regulated wealth creating capitalism. Leftists support the shared misery of socialism.

• Traditional liberals have always believed in the nation state. Leftists see nationalism as fascism.


• Traditional liberals venerated America. Leftists see America as a racist, sexist, homophobic hellhole.

• Traditional liberals vowed to defend free speech to the death. Today’s leftists have birthed cancel culture.

• Traditional liberals celebrated Western civilization’s unique achievements. Leftists see Western civilization as a “euphemism for white supremacy.”

• Traditional liberals celebrated the Judeo-Christian roots of American and Western civilization. Leftists hold religion in contempt.

Concludes Prager: “If the left is not defeated, America and Western civilization will not survive.”

The left has devoured the Democratic Party.


Doug Schoen, former adviser to Bill Clinton, writing for The Hill, said it was clear “the left had taken over the Democrats.” Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she could no longer stay in a party “that denies objective reality such as the difference between a man and a woman.” And in an interview earlier this year, comedian Bill Maher said: “To me, woke … is not an extension of liberalism. It’s very often the opposite of what an old school liberal like me believes.”

How did the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy become “woke”?

Newsweek’s Josh Hammer puts it this way: “The dog that is the Democratic Party is manipulated by a multifaceted tail that is a grotesque fusion of criminal adulation, Gaia worship, Malthusian radicalism, eugenicist lust, and a gender ideology that is downstream of the worst excesses of academia.”

Consider the “wokist” academia of the Rutgers English Department, whose chair said in 2020 that its graduate writing program would emphasize “social justice” and “critical grammar.” Consider the anti-America academia in which 18 of the top 25 national universities do not require history majors to complete an American history course. Consider the destructive academia that birthed critical race theory, an ideology of division, nihilism and hate.

What does the left hate? Everything, according to Rod Dreher of The American Conservative, in a January column about the diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives of a student-run ballet club at Princeton University: “They hate art. They hate beauty … They hate freedom of thought. They hate white people … They hate America, and they hate the West. Above all, they hate.”

Traditional liberals, this is not you. We conservatives implore you – we beg you – to join us in the fight to save America. Only the rejection of the progressive-left by traditional liberal Democrats can decisively tip the scales toward American healing and renewal. Hate Trump if you must, but love America more. Open your hearts once again to unapologetic patriotism. Joining with conservatives does not require abandonment of principles, just a rediscovery – a freshening – of the familiar old neural pathways of unconditional love of country that was the default position of traditional America not that long ago.

We are history’s greatest jewel, our sparkle temporarily dulled by self-inflicted wounds. But the American diamond can glisten anew if traditional liberals and traditional conservatives say, “Enough is enough,” and restore sanity to our politics and belief in country to our hearts, making sooner the day when all Americans can embrace, not recoil from, that lump-in-the-throat feeling at the sound of the anthem and the sight of the flag. Fellow citizens, goosebumps aren’t evil. They’re American.

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