Florida State Capitol Building and Museum Tallahassee FL
Florida State Capitol Building and Museum Tallahassee FL

Can Florida Halt the Woke Revolution?

Originally published at The American Thinker

I was twelve years old when the Cuban missile crisis took place, and from that time I became interested in communism and how its mercurial power works. When I learned that Castro, a dedicated communist with a band of less than 200 followers, took power over 7.2 million Cuban people, I knew that communist ideology and its strategies of deception were important to study and understand.

In 1981, in the summer of my freshman year at the University of Chicago, I began a sponsored research project on ‘communism in America.’ That research grew into a book titled Covert Cadre, which was published in 1988. Upon publication, Covert Cadre was acclaimed by National Review as the “most important book of the presidential election year 1988” — a year in which Jesse Jackson, supported by communists, became a U.S. presidential candidate.

Years later, in the Clinton administration, documented research in Covert Cadre resulted in invitations to provide expert witness testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence. In 1994, as a result of irrefutable evidence, the presidential nominee for U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense withdrew his candidacy. In 1996, the presidential nominee for CIA director withdrew his candidacy a day before my scheduled testimony. The nominees in both cases had extensive connections with America-hating radicals and communists.

Communism and communist revolutions are all different in nuances of execution, but they have common characteristics:

1) Without exception communists seek to sever the target society or country from its past, by rewriting history and destroying historic monuments.

2) Communists seek to divide the target society, and pit the people against each other in as many ways as possible: by class, race, gender, and more — all for the purpose of facilitating their power and control over the target people.

3) Communists seek to destroy the family and have the state take over child health, education, and welfare.

4) Communists seek to destroy Christianity, Christian morality, and the church, by infiltration and creating false fronts of secular humanism of all varieties. Today, environmentalism and climate change are number one false fronts being used to destroy America and western civilization.

With the declining state of understanding and appreciating American history because of decades of failing schools, it is increasingly important to maintain historic sites, statues, and art to remind and elevate peoples’ consciousness of the importance of heroic figures and the connection of the present with the past.

Last year I became involved in the citizen initiative to oppose the removal of the Reconciliation Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. That monument embodied the meaning of America better than any other single monument in the country. You know we are in a communist revolution when reconciliation gets cancelled, as it was when that monument was removed from Arlington, following a ruling by a weak federal judge. God sent his Son to bring about reconciliation between God and sinful, fallen man. In prior generations, America was often referred to as the “Redeemer Nation,” because it was understood that America was the only model redeemer for the other corrupt nations of the world.

What strikes me about the advanced state of the communist cultural revolution progressing in America in the wave of monument removals after the unfortunate George Floyd death and then the recent removal of the Reconciliation Memorial is that most Americans are bystanders to this destruction of America. The truth may be a step further: By allowing the destruction of our historic sites, memorials and monuments, Americans are acquiescing in their own suicide.

Our Judeo-Christian orientation requires us to honor our parents, grandparents, and forebears and to cherish, retain and protect the memorials and landmarks that they have left behind. Atheists and Communists who reject this foundational view of  our civilization have infiltrated our governments at all levels, and are using their power against the American people and their general belief that history, good, bad, and ugly, should be preserved, passed onto future generations, and used as a learning tool.

A memorial that one family or group venerates may not be understood by another group, but therein lies its essential importance, which is to provide a catalyst for learning from the past and recognizing the importance of respecting each other’s cultures and differences.

America has been a successful melting pot and catalyst for creativity and innovation — lifting our country up to being recognized as the greatest place in the world. We used to say that diversity was our strength, that we learn from different views and cultures. The communist woke revolution has almost succeeded in destroying this foundational virtuous strength of our country. It must be stopped.

Today, Marxism, its front groups, and apologists, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and its derivatives such as CRT and DEI, have hijacked much of our culture and introduced class warfare and declining standards to so many of our institutions. DEI, imposed on all branches of the military by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (who also mandated the Removal of Reconciliation Monument from Arlington) has so demoralized the military that we have serious recruiting shortfalls in every branch — a development that helps our enemies — notably Communist China.

While adding few if any new virtuous monuments, memorials, or historic markers, we have allowed BLM and Antifa to tear down past virtue under the tacit legal authority of government entities. This is dangerously wrong, and the State of Florida can stop this.

In the case of the Arlington Reconciliation Memorial, the Naming Commission, created by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), required the U.S. Military to discard any and all memorabilia or commemorations of the service of the Southern forces in what was America’s most bloody war, as some morbid offering on the altar of the new American god of “woke.”  This new god is supplanting our Judeo-Christian God and the political foundation that was created from those beliefs, and causing America to waver and become demoralized and prone to collapse from within. In Arlington Cemetery and in many cities, we have seen cranes being used not to build, but to destroy and remove historic monuments.

I hope and pray that Florida can set a precedent and stop this wrecking ball of destruction of both our heritage and the proper functioning of our governing authorities. I call on all people of faith to reach out to their state elected officials and to Governor DeSantis and ask them to support Senate Bill 1122 and House Bill 395 and make it law this session. Everyone should recognize that when the pro-Marxist Southern Poverty Law Center boasts that they have removed more historic sites in Florida than any other state but one — Virginia — that you are over the target. Thus, making law to stop this is our patriotic duty, and for our elected congresspeople, it is an implied obligation of their oath of office.

Florida Republicans under Gov. DeSantis’ leadership, can return to the God of our fathers and reject the god of “woke.” Let’s hope they have the courage to step up.

With the 2024 Florida legislative session being at its mid-point, Tallahassee still has a shot at passing solid historic preservation legislation that stops a key part of the Marxist cultural revolution in its tracks. Doing so will demonstrate real leadership by Florida and provide a role model for other states to follow. Doing nothing facilitates the continuation of the slow suicide of America.

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.