Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, laments the loss of what he sees as America’s popular identity as a Judeo-Christian nation, an exceptional nation, and an openly patriotic nation (all once popular even in academia according to his book). He claims it has since been replaced with ‘America Lite.’
Throughout the interview, he traces the rise of ‘imperial academia,’ which he argues has dismantled the previous WASP culture and replaced it with something lesser which has trickled down and become American culture, helping to produce the Obamacrats. He traces these changes through the radicalism of the 1960’s and the rise of the New Left, drifting to where we are today, about which he is not happy.
I will say that one can’t be complacent if one’s guiding ideals and principles aren’t in power, and conservatism is not enjoying success in academia at the moment. There’s also a lot of populist anger amongst conservatives, often directed at the mainstreaming and institutionalization of the 60’s generation in academia and government. This includes the rise of feminism and multiculturalism, moral relativism, an often flabby but sometimes militant atheism, and the more radical individualism and continental collectivism that seem to be ascendant now and likely into the foreseeable future. Where are we headed?
Has Gelernter made the case that if we follow the right principles, ideas and beliefs, maybe America can regain the exceptionalism and patriotism of the past, but it can build the present for the future?
If you’ve read the book, please drop a line.
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