Culture War Victories for America

By José Niño

In America it’s assumed that the country’s culture inevitably drifts leftward year-after-year no matter who is in charge in Washington, D.C. Try as they might, conservatives always get the feeling they are engaged in a Sisyphean struggle against the forces of leftism, even whenever they are in power.

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However, the emergence of right-wing populism over the last decade has added a new twist to American politics. The unexpected election of Donald Trump in 2016 gave disgruntled right-wingers nationwide a glimmer of hope now that they had a perceived champion residing in the Oval Office. Trump campaigned on a politically incorrect platform that aimed to contain the excesses of the left-leaning globalist order that captured American politics since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He also had no problem calling out the absurdities of the left’s zany cultural policies whenever he had the chance. Populists, nationalists and conservatives appreciated that, especially when he challenged “untouchable” politicians like Hillary Clinton, a person many see as clearly above the law, or when he criticized rogue U.S. intelligence services.

His nominal stances on issues ranging from immigration to law and order seemed like a genuine pushback against the liberal order. This bold agenda was largely scuttled by the installation of Joe Biden as president at the end of January 2021.

Though this populist energy pushing against cultural leftist is still expressing itself at lower levels of government, where grassroots conservatives have fought protracted battles with local bodies such as school boards to stave off leftist encroachments.

For example, the trustees at Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Cy-Fair ISD) in the Houston metropolitan area voted on May 6, 2024 to scrap obviously left-leaning textbook chapters concerning subjects such as climate change, cultural diversity, depopulation, and vaccinations.

Cy-Fair ISD board members have previously expressed their concerns about the inclusion of such topics in textbooks. Increased grassroots activity eventually compelled the board to act against the inclusion of such divisive, non-germane subjects.

Since the Black Lives Matter mania of the summer of 2020, many municipalities and public institutions have sought to remove monuments and facility names that commemorated leaders of the Confederate States of America, founding fathers and former presidents if they happened to have owned slaves centuries ago. On May 10, a Virginia school board did the unthinkable by voting to reinstate the original Confederate names of two public schools in its district.

The Shenandoah County School Board voted 5-1 to bring back Mountain View High School’s and Honey Run Elementary School’s connections to Confederate leaders such as Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby. These schools will, once again be called Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby-Lee Elementary School, respectively.

The Coalition for Better Schools, a conservative activist group, spearheaded the campaign for these name changes. In a letter addressed to the school board, the group proclaimed “that revisiting this decision is essential to honor our community’s heri­tage and respect the wishes of the majority” of constituents.

Another budding victory can be attributed to the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The board took a unique course of action on May 13 when it voted unanimously to re-allocate the $2.3 million that funded divisive and silly diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs toward enhanced public safety measures.

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This vote came at a time when the UNC Board of Governors is heading toward limiting DEI programs and even flirting with the idea of firing DEI staff. Clearly there is a growing movement to curtail “wokeism” in public institutions in red states.

Whether these small victories will translate into a larger series of victories against the left remains to be seen, but it is encouraging that we are seeing pushback against the latest anti-American leftist fads.

Despite the obstacles it faces, there is still significant fight left in the historic American nation. Given the high degree of political polarization engulfing the United States, gridlock has become the norm in D.C. politics. Consequently, there’s scant prospects of solid right-wing reforms being passed at the federal level.

One thing that’s undeniable about the American people is their creativity in the face of adversity. Even when the feds overstep their authority, one can expect red-blooded Americans to resist these anti-liberty machinations at the state and local level. It’s simply too soon to count out the power of traditional middle America in this fight.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. You can contact him via Facebook and  Twitter. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control at josealberto­ Subscribe to his “Substack” newsletter by visiting “Jose Nino Unfiltered” on

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