“Patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country,” Trump said. “American parents are not going to accept indoctrination in our schools, cancel culture at work or the repression of traditional faith, culture and values in the public square. Not anymore.”
But for Trump and his allies, it seems skeletons need to remain in their closets. Critics argue that his conspicuous reference to “patriotic” parents is simply another form of dog whistle to a predominantly White pool of voters uncomfortable with the ways the country’s demographics and wider cultural discourse are evolving. Trump’s messaging “wasn’t so much about American history as it was about America’s future,” Arwa Mahdawi wrote in the Guardian. “It was a promise to his base that he will Make America White Again.”
A great irony in Trump’s invocation of “patriotic” education is that it apes the language and decades-long policies of the Communist regime in Beijing, a frequent rhetorical punching bag for the Trump administration. But it also fits into a global battlefield where democratically elected right-wing nationalists have put universities and schools in their crosshairs. In many cases, educators find themselves on the front lines of political struggles they are doomed to lose….
image…President Trump speaks to the White House Conference on American History at the National Archives Museum on Thursday. (Alex Brandon/AP)