The battleground that the radical Left has not conquered is “our children,” commentator and podcast host Liz Wheeler says, but make no mistake—the battle is raging.
“The Left has actually been trying to reengineer our society for nearly a century, and unfortunately, they have been very successful at it,” says Wheeler, host of “The Liz Wheeler Show.”
The far Left has captured all but one of America’s central cultural institutions, she says.
“They’ve captured the media. They’ve captured the education system. They’ve captured a lot of religious institutions, unfortunately. They’ve captured the law,” Wheeler says.
And now, she adds, the Left has “just about destroyed the nuclear family as well.”
But one element of the nuclear family “is left standing,” Wheeler says, and “that’s children, which probably explains why the Left is going after our children.”
In her new book “Hide Your Children: Exposing the Marxists Behind the Attack on America’s Kids,” Wheeler pulls back the curtain on the Marxists who laid the groundwork for the breakdown of America’s families. She joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain the relevant history and what can be done to protect the next generation.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: It is my joy today to be joined by political commentator, host of “The Liz Wheeler Show,” and author of the new book “Hide Your Children,” Liz Wheeler. Liz, thanks for being with us.
Liz Wheeler: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It’s my pleasure.
Allen: Well, congratulations on the new book, “Hide Your Children: Exposing the Marxists Behind the Attack on America’s Kids.” This new book is available for pre-order now. It’s officially out on Sept. 26.
And Liz, it’s no secret, right, that the Left has really so infiltrated our schools, specifically public schools, but honestly, private schools as well. There is such an agenda going after our children, and you have traced so many of the roots of this leftist agenda back specifically to Marxism.
Explain how that rabbit trail goes. How do we get all the way back to Marxism? How has that made its way into our schools and our education?
Wheeler: Yeah, it’s a good question. It’s actually one of the most common questions I’ve been getting about the book, is really, “Marxism, Liz. Are you sure that this isn’t just an empty insult that we hurl at the other side on cable news?”
Because when we think of Marxism, we think of Karl Marx, right? We think of “The Communist Manifesto.” We think of economic Marxism, the idea that the working class is supposed to revolt against the ruling class and it’s supposed to … usher in communism under the name of Marxism.
But what I found—so this book started out actually as just a question in my own mind.
During COVID, I think a lot of people—and this is parents across country, also not parents—we realized that there was a concerted effort to target our children’s minds. I mean, a lot of parents would look over their children’s shoulders on Zoom school and see critical race theory and the transgender ideology and moral relativism—your truth and my truth is more important than the truth poured into their children’s minds.
And I wondered, I was like, “OK, this seems like more of a concerted effort than ever before. Why is this happening now?” So I set out to answer this question or to find the answer to this question, and I quickly realized that the answer to this isn’t so much of a “why now” question as much as it is a “who is behind this?”
So what I found essentially is, no, the attack on our children that we’re seeing is not new. The Left has actually been trying to re-engineer our society for nearly a century, and unfortunately, they have been very successful at it.
They’ve captured 4 out of 5 of our major foundational cultural institutions. They’ve captured the media. They’ve captured the education system. They’ve captured a lot of religious institutions, unfortunately. They’ve captured the law.
And they’ve just about destroyed the nuclear family as well. There’s one element, as I write in the book, of the nuclear family that’s left standing, that’s children, which probably explains why the Left is going after our children.
So what I do in this book is I name the names of the people and the organizations that are behind the capture of these institutions, behind the attack on America’s kids. And then I propose a solution that I will tell you, I will confess is different than what the Republican Party offers for how we can recapture these institutions, how we can protect our children.
But one of the most chilling parts—and I talk about this in the very first chapter of the book—is these institutions, which have been captured, and it seems very obvious to us. It’s not like I’m revealing new information by saying, “Hey, guess what? Our education system has been compromised. Our media is biased propaganda.” Everyone can see this for themselves.
But these five cultural institutions that are under sustained assault in our country are the institutions that Antonio Gramsci named.
So, Antonio Gramsci was a Marxist in Italy in the 1920s and ’30s. And at the time, Karl Marx’s version of economic Marxism had died out. It hadn’t sparked the global Marxist revolution that Marx and [Friedrich] Engels had envisioned, and it was dormant in a sense.
But then, Antonio Gramsci, he was one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party. He recognized that in countries where there had been a successful Marxist revolution, it didn’t start just because the working class was discontented with their position compared to the ruling class.
Where these Marxist revolutions were successful, first, the cultural institutions or the civil institutions on which the working class relied were destroyed. So Gramsci named, among others, he named the family, he named the media, he named the education system, he named religion, and he named the law. And we are seeing that play out in our country right now.
Once you read some of his writings, once you hear what this plan for a cultural Marxist revolution is, once you see, it’s impossible to unsee it.
So what I do is I trace each institutional capture back to where it came from. The ideas where they came from originally, who the propagators are right now. And then I propose solutions so that we’re not all just depressed and despairing, thinking that we’ve been captured by communists.
Allen: Well, thank you for providing those solutions because it does get depressing, honestly. You look at what is going on in our nation and how strategic so much of this feels and seems. And as you detail in the book, how so much of it truly is strategic and it’s intentional. So I’m excited, in a few moments, to get to some of those solutions.
But let’s unpack some of these individuals first because you do, you name names in the book, you call out institutions. And I want to start by talking about someone by the name of Gayle Rubin that you detail in the book. Who is Gayle Rubin?
Wheeler: Gayle Rubin is one of the most disturbing individuals that I have ever encountered.
One of the things that I did when I was unpacking the transgender ideology is I said, “OK, we as American citizens are being inundated right now, and especially our children are being inundated with these ideas that boys can be girls if they want to be. Girls can transition to boys if that’s how they identify. That gender has nothing to do with biological sex. That it is … a psychological thing and not a physical thing. That gender resides on a spectrum. It’s not binary.”
And I thought, “OK, where do these ideas come from? Because they seem all of a sudden to have just taken hold of our culture. They’re being taught in school as if they’re fact. Medical organizations are accepting it. But where did this come from?” And what I found was that this is not just a random assortment of nonsense. It’s not just a random assortment of poison that these things that are being taught to children are the principles of queer theory.
And what I do in the book, as I explained, just like when your child was taught in school that if they’re white, they’re racist, or if they’re black, they’re oppressed, we recognized that concept as evil, but that concept wasn’t the only thing being taught. That’s critical race theory. That’s the principles of critical race theory.
So it wasn’t being taught in school, like, “Here, children. This is what critical race theory is. Let me tell you about it.” They were being taught the principles of critical race theory as if it were truth.
Well, it’s the same thing when it comes to the transgender ideology. These different things that gender is a spectrum, that boys can be girls, these are the principles of a neo-Marxist theory called queer theory.
And the author of the founding document of queer theory is a woman by the name of Gayle Rubin. She’s alive and well, active in academia today. She wrote the founding document that outlines exactly what the objective of queer theory is. It poses a Marxist dialectic, like any neo-Marxist theory, meaning it pits oppressed people, so-called oppressed people against so-called oppressors.
But what she admits in this document is not only does she want children to be indoctrinated in these things that are objectively false and wrong, she defends child pornography. She advocates for the outright sexualization of children.
And most disturbing of all—when I read this for the first time, I had to put it down, walk away, like take a lap, take a deep breath, because it was so viscerally disturbing. She defends outright pedophilia in the name of transgressing the norms of sexual behavior.
And oftentimes, you’ve probably witnessed this or experienced this yourself when you’re engaging in any kind of debate about the transgender ideology, we’ll often say because this is factual, that the next step is the normalization of the sexualization of children, which is just another word for pedophilia.
And the other side will say, “Oh, you’re being really hyperbolic. These are just transgender individuals or just adults who want to identify a certain way,” and they’ll kind of gaslight us for pointing out the logical next step of the transgender ideology.
But it’s inarguable. If you read the founding documents of queer theory, Gayle Rubin is an outright advocate for child pornography, the sexualization of children, and pedophilia in the name of destabilizing the family, destabilizing society, destroying that institution in order to usher in Marxism. It’s horrendous.
Allen: It’s so disturbing, Liz, to hear you unpack some of that and just to pull back the curtains on what is actually happening and that it’s not happenstance, right?
Allen: This stuff is making its way into schools intentionally. You named so many different names in the book. Some of them folks will have heard of, some of them maybe haven’t. Like Gayle Rubin isn’t a broadly talked about name in circles.
One of the names that many of our listeners have heard is Mao Zedong, and you point specifically to Mao’s influence as it relates to DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion—programs within schools. This isn’t necessarily a connection, though, that most people would make between a DEI office out of school and Mao Zedong. What is the connection there?
Wheeler: This is another one of those things that once you see it, you can’t unsee it because DEI, which the Left calls diversity, equity, and inclusion, not how we would define diversity, as diversity of experience, diversity of thought; not equality; not inclusion like tolerance for people’s viewpoints.
But what the Left means when they say diversity, they mean racial tokenism or discrimination. When they say equity, they mean socialism, redistribution of wealth. When they say inclusion, they actually mean exclusion or religious persecution.
But the way that this is enforced, that DEI is enforced, is through what’s called a struggle session. Meaning if I’m a white person in a workplace, especially if I’m a middle-aged white male in a workplace, I’m told that I’m inherently racist, inherently sexist, inherently part of the cis-patriarchal, cis-hetero patriarchal society, and I need to have my brain, essentially my mind reeducated so that I can properly understand the Marxist worldview.
This is exactly what Mao Zedong did as he was ushering in communism into China. He created these different identity groups based usually on immutable characteristics. And he labeled some as inherently bad. He labeled some as inherently good.
And he created a system where these people who were labeled inherently bad had to undergo a reeducation process in order to shed their old identity. And the only way to shed their old identity was to ideologically fall into line with his communist beliefs.
So … they have different names. Mao Zedong had a different name for it than modern DEI does today. But the actual pattern of the strategy, what is happening, is exactly the same as what Mao Zedong did to people in China.
It’s happening here in the United States, where men are told they’re bad, white people are told they’re bad. “Cis people”—I know that’s not a real term, but … it’s a term the Left uses. These people are labeled as inherently bad based on a characteristic that they have no control over. It’s not based on their character. It’s not based on the way they treat people. It’s not based on their thoughts or their beliefs. It’s just based on the color of your skin, your genitals, who you’re attracted to.
I mean, it’s crazy. And the only way for them to redeem themselves from these “inherently bad” identities is to instead dawn the identity of a communist. It’s the same thing.
Allen: Liz, whether it’s Gayle Rubin, Mao Zedong, individuals like John Dewey, who you refer to as the father of progressive education in America in the book, what is the ultimate end goal here of these individuals who you have said in detail as Marxists in the book? What’s the aim?
Wheeler: The aim is very simple. The end goal of cultural Marxists that are alive now in the United States is the same as the end goal of Marxists throughout history, whether that was Paulo Freire, whether that was Antonio Gramsci, or whether that was the original Marxist, Karl Marx. The goal is the destruction of capitalism, the destruction of a free market economy, the destruction of the Western world, and an imposition of Marxism and communism on an entire population.
They just know, as Karl Marx learned way back when, they know that a population, a civilization must be conditioned in order to accept this, especially a Western nation when we are so conditioned to freedom, must be conditioned against freedom and toward communism socially and culturally before it can be done governmentally.
It’s why, by the way, you’ll see organizations like Black Lives Matter, which we know was founded by self-avowed Marxists—Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza admit that they’re trained Marxists.
So this isn’t, again, a pejorative that I’m using to describe them. It’s their own words that they used to describe their ideology. But on their websites, they will admit that they want the destruction of the nuclear family. They’ll admit that they are anti-capitalist because these organizations are serving the purpose of destroying one of the cultural or civil institutions that Gramsci said the working class relied on.
But ultimately, the end goal is the same. Ultimately, their goal is to destroy the civil institutions, to get them out of the way so they can topple the government and economic institutions and instead impose Marxism.
It sometimes can be hard to believe for people, and this is what I tell people when they say, “Wow, this sounds like a war.” And I say, “Well, it is a revolution. It’s a cultural revolution.”
But this is what I say, I guess, as encouragement, but to convince people that this is happening. I said, “Three years ago, you would not have believed if I said to you that your child was being taught in school that your white child was a racist based just on the color of her skin and your black child was oppressed just based on the color of his skin. You wouldn’t have believed it.”
In fact—and this is telling a tale on my own husband, which I hope he won’t mind that I share. When my daughter was born two and a half years ago, he and I had the conversation that a lot of new parents have. What is her life going to be like? How are we going to be raising her? What are we going to do for her schooling? Just imagining her future.
And I’m a big proponent of homeschooling. I was homeschooled myself and working in this media sphere, covering politics and culture the way that I do, I see the evils in school. So I was like, “Over my dead body will she go to a public school.”
My husband had a very nice public school experience and he said, “You know, listen, this transgender ideology, this critical race theory stuff, that happens in California and New York, but that’s not happening in our neighborhood, in our public school. That only happens in the land of fruits and nuts.” And he now realizes that it is literally everywhere.
But that story has stuck with me for two and a half years because it’s a very, very prevalent way to think. It’s a normal thing. But a lot of people in our country just didn’t believe that this had infiltrated schools to the extent that it had in their own neighborhoods, their own children’s classrooms, until they saw it with their own eyes over Zoom.
So what I tell people is, “That was hard to believe, and yet it’s true, probably even worse than we recognized at the beginning. This also is hard to believe, but let me tell you, it is true. And if we don’t put a stop to it, 20 years from now, we’re not even going to be allowed to talk about it.”
Allen: Well, Liz, what does putting a stop to it look like? Because you’ve gotten us all a little bit thoroughly depressed, and I think in so many institutions, you look at, as you so laid out, how the Left has strategically targeted these various fears of society and our world. And it’s a tragedy on every front, but everyone, you start messing with our kids, and there’s just this, “Oh, wait, wait, wait. There’s a line there.” So what does pushing back, what does fighting this actually look like?
Wheeler: Yes. And by the way, I acknowledge this in my book. My book has split into two parts: the first part and the second part. And I say, listen, the first part is a little, I don’t want to say depressing, but it’s a little heavy because it has to be.
If we don’t recognize the reality of the political enemy that we face, if we’d rather hide our heads in the sand because it’s too heavy to carry on our shoulders, then we won’t fight well against them. If we don’t fight well against them, we won’t win. And I want to win. So I want to understand the reality of this enemy, and I think everyone watching and listening to this show does as well.
I have a lot of respect for all the people who have been fighting back against this for the last couple of years now. But one of the things that we have to do as a conservative movement and as a Republican Party—and I say that the second half of my book, I’m actually prouder of the second half of my book than I am the first half of my book because it’s a critique of the Republican Party.
The reason that we are living in this era of chaos right now is because the Republican Party specifically has forgotten or neglected to grapple with the question—and this is true for not just right now. For the last 50, 60 years we’ve neglected to grapple with the question, if we are supposed to be a free nation—and I think we all would like to think that we are—what does that mean? Is freedom the ultimate end or is freedom the means to something greater?
And the Republican Party has chosen the former answer. They have essentially embraced the idea that freedom is the ultimate end.
But if we do embrace that view, then David French is correct when he says that drag queen story hour, when grown men dress up as sexualized versions of women and gyrate in front of children, is a blessing of liberty. That there’s some inherent morality to that just because these men have the freedom to do that. And yet you and I and everyone listening to the shows knows that there’s no inherent morality to that. It’s so immoral. It’s so grotesque. It’s downright evil.
And so, if freedom is not the ultimate end, then freedom must be the means to something greater. And so, in my book, I challenge conservatives to grapple with the question, what is the something greater? If freedom is the tool or the medium and something greater is the goal, what is that?
Because I think it’s very easy for the Republican Party to point to something and say, “That’s wrong, that’s bad.” We can do that with any number of things, from social issues like abortion to transitioning kids to high taxes. We can look at that and say it’s wrong. But what we’ve neglected to do is be able to offer an alternative and say, “Yes, this is wrong, but let me offer you what is right.”
We’ve forgotten to define what is right and it’s left this void where Republicans have fallen for the idea of neutrality. And I don’t believe in neutrality. I don’t think that you can have just this even playing field where everyone can kind of come to the public square with their own values. No, no. We’ve tried that and we’ve learned that either culturally and governmentally, the Left’s values are going to prevail or the Right’s values are going to prevail.
And because the Republican Party has fallen for the idea of neutrality, that they should remove morality from their legislative process or their political platforms, and because they’ve embraced this faulty idea that freedom is the ultimate end, … we’ve essentially just handed all of these cultural institutions to the Left.
So I challenge conservatives to stop trying to play on this idea of neutrality, to recognize that it’s either them in control or it’s us in control. No, this doesn’t violate the separation of church and state because nobody’s going to be forced to practice a religion that they don’t want to or prohibited from practicing a religion that they want to.
But every single law on our book right now has an underpinning of morality, from basic murder laws to assault laws to rape laws. We as a society understand and acknowledge and agree that these things are immoral, that they are wrong, that they are evil, and it’s OK and good to acknowledge the definition of good and bad and morality and immorality and justice and liberty.
And so, the Republican Party needs to reembrace this idea that using government to properly order society along acknowledged objective truths and morals is the only way to fight back against this. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re not going to win. But if we readjust and reclaim our constitutional heritage to ordered liberty, then, yes, we can defeat this enemy.
Allen: The book is “Hide Your Children: Exposing The Marxists Behind the Attack on America’s Kids” by Liz Wheeler. It is out and available on Sept. 26, but available for pre-order right now. Liz Wheeler, thank you so much for your time today.
Wheeler: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
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