How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again.
Just in case you have not heard, we are in the midst of a Culture War. Death by Journalism? is a battle report from the front lines. The Last Confederate Flag and Bedford: A World Vision are fictional near-future projections, in the spirit of Orwell, of how the war is going to end. Coming all at the same time, these books provide a grim view of our prospects. The war is heating up, and culture is losing.
Fortuitously, these authors tend to support my understanding of what the war is all about: a totalitarian-minded drive to impose a uniform public nonculture on the American people. Despite optimistic statements to the contrary, America has never been culturally homogeneous. (By culture, I mean something like widespread folk attitudes and articulated and unarticulated assumptions about private and public things.) There is a Jamestown/Robert E. Lee/country-music America. Let’s call it “Confederate America” for short. Conquered, impoverished, and despised, Confederate America remarkably maintains a continuing vigor, mostly below official radar and fashionable discussion.
Then there is Plymouth Rock/Abraham Lincoln/General Motors America. (I am talking...