Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Senior Editor at The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson to talk about his recent article in which he calls conservatives to action to retake their woke local community institutions back.
Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker line right now, Senior Editor at The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson, who has a recent article. What Can Regular People Do to Take Back Their Country From Woke Radicals? Good morning John Davidson.
Davidson: Hey. Good morning.
Leahy: So what is your solution?
Davidson: (Laughs) The short version is that you have to get involved at the very local level where you live. It doesn’t matter if you live in a red state. It doesn’t even matter if you live in a red town. You have to get involved because the left and as I said, the woke radicals have infiltrated the institutions even in your red town.
A place like Taylor, Texas, was an example that I used about 30 or 40 miles north of Austin. It’s a very red town and a very red state. But the left has taken over the city hall just like they’ve taken over a lot of libraries and public school systems all over the country.
If you don’t take back those institutions at the local level, then your kids and your communities are going to be exposed to this woke left-wing indoctrination wherever you live.
Leahy: John, Crom Carmichael has a question for you.
Carmichael: John, what gives the left the means to do all these things that you are describing, which they are doing even in the smallest areas? Where do they get the means to do that?
Davidson: Part of it is that people on the left, left-wing ideologues are more likely to become librarians and to become staffers at a municipal bureaucracy or to be functionaries in a local administrative bureaucracy, partly because they are ideologues. Conservatives, by temperament, tend to want to be left alone.
They want to be left alone to raise their families and run their businesses and invest in their churches and their local communities. And they don’t want to transform society.
And the problem is, for decades, conservatives thought that they could do that and that society would not be transformed because they didn’t want it to be. Meanwhile, the left has been working very hard to transform society, and they succeeded.
They marched through the institutions of higher education in academia, and they kept on marching. And they marched all the way to your local library and they’re transforming that institution now the way they transformed the Ivy League 25 years ago. That’s what gives them the means to do that.
Carmichael: Yes. They’re paid to do it.
Carmichael: The question is, where does the money come from that pays them to do all these things? Because the people who are let’s just call them on the right, who are the reddest of the red, as you say, they’re busy working hard, raising their families.
They don’t have a full-time job where everything that they need in life is paid for them to resist. The other side, however, has people who are highly paid. Where does that money come from?
Davidson: Yes, you’re exactly right. The people on the right have been passively complicit in this. And one example, I’ll go back to Texas. That’s where I live. And that’s when I was talking about the town of Taylor, whose municipal bureaucracy has been taken over by woke radicals.
The Texas legislature year after year after year funds the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas system. The College of Liberal Arts, the University of Texas system, is just a bunch of woke left-wing propaganda and garbage. It serves no valuable purpose.
It doesn’t serve the interests of the people of Texas, and yet the completely Republican-dominated Texas state legislature funds it with taxpayer dollars year after year, no questions asked. Now, that has to come to an end.
In places where people on the right control institutions, the few places where they do, like in the Texas legislature, you have to demand that those institutions be used to stop this nonsense.
Until we get serious about that, it’s going to continue. And as you say, you’re exactly right. People on the right are going to continue to pay for it.
Carmichael: What role do you think government employee unions at the local and state level play in this wokeness?
Davidson: I think it depends from place to place. But government employee unions itself, that statement, the fact that such entities exist, is an example of what I mean when I say how completely the left has taken over the institutions of public life in America. There should be no such thing as a public employee union.
If private people want to unionize, I think that’s great, and in fact, I think that’s necessary. They should. But the idea of a public employees union, again, is so accepted even by people on the right, it’s not even questioned any more than a Republican-dominated legislature question giving millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to the UT system politically.
Leahy: What would be the practical possibility of eliminating public unions from the federal government or from state governments?
Davidson: That would be a long haul and a long slog. And look, none of the solutions are easy. It took the progressive left a century to take over the institutions to the degree that they have. They started doing this at the beginning of the 20th century, and it took them a century to get this far.
It’s going to take conservatives a long time to claw it back. And it’s going to take at the local level, it’s going to take, as I say in my piece, “conservatives have to recruit people or volunteer themselves to run for city council, to sit on the school board, to go work at the library, to take over those things at the grassroots level and do that work.”
And then it’ll take larger and more sophisticated versions of that all the way up the chain to the state and federal levels. But it starts in your town.
Leahy: I’m a big fan of localism, but let me push back on one of your arguments, and that is, let’s take the local school board, right? The big push is let’s get conservatives on the school board and let’s not do all of this wokeness in the curriculum.
What happens is even in those places where the school board members who are conservative ultimately win, turns out they have had, for the most part, very little impact on curriculum because the institution is geared to be leftist. Your thoughts on the efficacy of running for the school board and winning in this environment?
Davidson: Yes, absolutely. You’re right. I agree with you. Running for school board isn’t on its own enough. You have to run for school board, take over the school board, and then hire a conservative superintendent that will gut the bureaucracy of that school district and the people who are in charge of pushing propaganda.
And then that superintendent has to hire conservative principals at these schools who in turn have to hire conservative teachers. It has to be a complete takeover of that institution. It’s not enough to just say, oh, we got the school board. Great, now we can tell all these woke teachers what to do.
They are not going to listen to you. You have to get rid of them. And this goes to the heart of what I am talking about. You have to take these things over. You can’t take over the institutions completely, you have to abandon them and try to them starve them of Republican money and redirect that money to private institutions.
For example school choice and the charter school movement. And let parents and churches start their own schools. And abandon the public school system. That’s what you have to do in these places where you can’t take over these institutions.
But in some places, I think conservatives would find if they really put their minds to it and got organized that they could completely take over these institutions and that would be a scorched earth campaign.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “John Daniel Davidson” by John Daniel Davidson. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Paula Nardini.