Americans don’t tend to follow news of other nations nearly as much
as citizens of other nations follow ours, and international news in
general. We would do well to pay attention to cultures further down the
path we’re on now and learn how best to avoid mistakes that have cost
their national identity dearly.

Europe provides some examples. Here’s the British breakdown, from Melanie Phillips.

Like Obama, [former Prime Minister Tony] Blair was
charismatic, eloquent, hip, and relaxed, in cruel contrast to the bunch
of sleazy, incompetent throwbacks to the paleolithic era in the
departing Conservative administration. Like Obama, Blair was seen as a
messiah figure, who would lay his hands upon a broken nation and bring
healing where there was discord. And like Obama, Blair had an agenda of
change.

Blair, she recalls, first established himself as a centrist.

What few realized at the time was that in fact he was a
radical of a different stripe. He wanted to remake Britain and even
change human nature itself, wiping out prejudice and ushering in a new
world order of progressivism.

Sounds familiar.

Then there’s this part about government changing the identity of the country.

Promoting the doctrine of multiculturalism, it opened
Britain’s doors to mass immigration. In the state-controlled schools,
teachers no longer saw their role as the transmission of Britain’s
historic culture, which was “racist”; accordingly, children were not
taught the history of their country, but instead a concept of
‘citizenship’ which was all about changing the values of the country.
It undermined marriage, promoting instead “lifestyle choice” by
incentivising lone parenthood (official forms no longer refer to
husband and wives, merely “partners”). It discouraged prison sentences
because criminals were said to be victims of life and jail would make
them worse.

These same cultural forces are hard at work here, and have been for
decades. Their activism is directed at ‘rights’ legislation, as defined
by them, reflecting relative instead of traditional values.

As a result, freedom has shrunk to what ideology
permits. Equality legislation has cemented a “victim culture” under
which the interests of all groups deemed to be powerless (black people,
women, gays ) trump those deemed to be powerful (white people, men,
Christians). Since this doctrine holds that the “powerless” can do no
wrong while the “powerful” can do no right, injustice is thus
institutionalized, and anyone who queries the preferential treatment
afforded such groups is vilified as a racist or bigot.

But that couldn’t happen here, right?

The challenge for conservatives on both sides of the
pond is to find a way of conserving the essential values of Western
Civilization and defend them against the onslaught being mounted
against them both from within and from without — but to do so in a way
that is generous and big-hearted rather than narrow and sectarian, and
embraces rather than repels.

There are markers here, for a nation mapping a new course, of how to navigate the challenges. And where not to go.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....