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Now that we are firmly ensconced in the 2020s, this would be a good time to look back a century to the 1920s — that exuberant, over-the-top decade known as the roaring '20s. While flappers were kicking up their heels to the Charleston here in the United States and bootleggers like Joe Kennedy were making a fortune with illegal booze and speakeasies during Prohibition, on the other side of the Atlantic, communism was firmly implanting itself.
Joseph Stalin came to power in Russia in 1924 following the death of Lenin, but in the lead-up, had been consolidating his power from his position then as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Marxism as a theory was already, at the time, gaining traction in the United States. World War I, for example, was barely over, and already, Marxists established the Communist Party of the United States in 1919.
At the same time, in Mother Russia, communism was asserting itself as the dominant influence, and by the time Stalin seized control, all bets were off. Communism, like Christianity — specifically, Catholicism — has as its goal world dominance. The glaring difference, of course, is that communism employs mass murder. Catholicism employs mass instruction.
From its earliest beginnings in the 1920s, Marxist communists immediately sought to undermine all things Catholic — the natural virtues of religion and patriotism, to name just a couple. That's why the latest findings of that Wall Street Journal poll are so revealing. In just a quarter of a century, a little less than two generations, the percentage of Americans who say patriotism is very important to them has been cut nearly in half from 70% in 1998 to just 38% today.
Same trend with religion — while not quite as precipitous a drop as patriotism, religion being considered an important value also took a walloping, down from 62% to 39%. The same trends exist with both having children and community involvement.
What is perhaps most telling, however, aside from the actual decline, is the common thread that all four of those traditional American values now have less than majority support, whereas 25 years ago, they each enjoyed the support of a majority. That is a major sea change and, frankly, a siren call to the end of a nation — at least, the end of this nation.
But also telling is that the greatest lack of support for these traditional American values is among those younger than 30. To be certain, all age groups saw a drop in support for these values, but those under 30 show the least enthusiasm for them. Any notion of America, as historically understood, no longer exists.
Even a pollster who worked on previous versions of this poll had this to say: "These differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America." We are in a great transition at the moment. What we are transitioning to is yet to be fully seen, but it is coming into focus. And it isn't pretty.
So why would we look back to the roaring '20s to understand all this? Because that is when the seeds were being planted in American institutions. It has taken a century for all this to come to fruition, but only the most blind would refuse to see all this. The aim of the communists 100 years ago was world domination. That hasn't changed. Even if the Soviet Union has fallen, the driving force behind it is actually stronger than it was then.
The founder of the Italian Communist Party, Antonio Gramsci, correctly identified that to accomplish the goal of a world takeover would be a long and arduous task, and the West would have to be completely decoupled from its Catholic roots. While he himself did not coin the phrase "a long march through the institutions," it remains, nevertheless, the correct strategy and has proven wildly successful.
America's law school faculties, for example, became targets for the commies in the '20s and '30s. So did labor unions, higher education, the media, the government and so forth. As time rolled along, by the time anyone really recognized what was going on — around the 1960s — it was probably too late. There was, of course, a religious and patriotic resurgence of sorts under Reagan in the 1980s, but that looks like it will go down as the final rallying of a dying nation.
Reagan won by a landslide in 1980, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter 50% to 41% and registering an obliteration of him in the Electoral College vote: 489 to 49. Reagan won the popular vote by more than 8 million of the 80 million votes cast. The 1984 reelection was even more spectacular — dispatching the idiotic Walter Mondale by 59% to 38% and winning the second highest Electoral College vote in U.S. history, 525 to13, and destroying Mondale in the popular vote by 17 million out of roughly 92 million votes cast.
Telling — exit polls revealed that even those who disagreed with Reagan's policies voted for him, they said, because he evoked a sense of patriotism. Compare Reagan's victory, appealing to American greatness, with Trump's similarly themed Make American Great Again campaigns. Trump never won a majority — never even won the actual popular vote — and had to rely on an all-or-nothing Electoral College strategy to eke out a 2016 win.
You, of course, take the "w" wherever you can get it, but, the point is, this isn't the 1980s anymore. That WSJ poll also had another revelation in it: The idea of American exceptionalism is fading just as fast. More people, 27%, believe other countries are "better than America" than people who say "America is the best," 21%. The remaining half say we are just as good as other countries.
In short, four out of five Americans polled reject the idea that America is the best country in the world, and, yes, the bulk of those who do believe it are older. This is the triumph of world communism. America, because of its traditional values, which have been Christian generally and Catholic specifically, had to be defeated.
The commies, back in the day, detected a weakness in the American ideal — a weakness, really, of human nature in general that could be exploited — and that was selfishness. The roaring '20s were a decade of decadence, sexual license — the slow beginning of a decline in morals in general, all of which were being replaced, just a little at first, with a materialism that would become the center of American life.
A love of money and wealth so intoxicating that even so-called conservatives would pay no heed to the wipeout of their own civilization because they were and are so fixated on money. Therefore, it cannot be surprising at all that the journal's poll found that only money saw an increase on the scale of "most important," approaching a majority at 43%. Saint Paul was right: The love of money is the root of all evil.
While no WSJ poll exists on all this for the Catholic Church in America, it does't take a genius to see the parallels. What was once viewed as traditional Catholic values are gone. And a sense of Catholic exceptionalism — because the Son of God established the Catholic Church — no longer exists. Instead of the bishops seeking to convert America, especially in the face of communism, they simply tied themselves to the political Left and helped bring about an end to America.
It's only fitting, therefore, that the Church in the United States will suffer the same fate as the United States. Unlike nations that come and go, the Church will always remain, protected by the divine promise. But that promise does not extend to the existence of the Church in a given nation. The early Church converted the Roman Empire out of love for Christ. The U.S. Church hopped in bed with the communist takeover of America out of a love for self.