Wednesday, April 17, 2013



The national culture wars of the 1990s have finally made their way to the shores of Sarasota, Florida.  Twenty Years ago the mantra of the new left was “Celebrate our Differences” through “Multi-Culturalism” – that is, America does not have a culture but rather many cultures.  This ideology had morphed from the 1980s Pluralism to 1993 Multi-Culturalism, to 2004 Diversity.  The common theme behind each new manifestation was an obsession with matters that separate us. 

Rather than Celebrate Our Differences, a healthier motto is “Celebrate Our Similarities and Respect our Differences.”  This latter motto embraces a traditional view of America as the proverbial melting pot – “E Pluribus Unum (Latin for Out of Many, One) has been our national “motto” since 1782 only to be joined in 1956 by “In God We Trust” – another apple-pie motto also under attack by the vanguard of the new left – the ACLU.  E Pluribus Unum was settled doctrine until the Multi-culturalists gained momentum with the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993.

Locally a Trojan Horse has come to Island Park in the City of Sarasota under the guise of the 10th Annual Embracing our Differences Exhibit.  A public service announcement for the exhibit used GC, a 7th grade girl from Sarasota’s Booker Middle School as an announcer proclaiming that “No one deserves to be limited by another’s perspective.”  She goes on to proclaim the themes of the exhibit as diversity, acceptance, and tolerance…“because differences are a gift, not a mistake.”

It is hard not to be swayed by this articulate middle schooler proclaiming tolerance and love.  But we must resist liberalism of this sort even when they use a lovely young voice.  The rhetoric of “No one deserves to be limited by another’s perspective.”…is just plain giddy.  This young girl’s entire life has been and will be limited and shaped by her teachers and her parents.  Her performance on the SATs will determine her future in a big way and this will be done by total strangers working in Princeton, NJ.  GC should learn the irony of her words since the new left is notorious for limiting free speech: just Google George Washington University and Father Greg Shaffer.  You’ll see just one more example of the new left trying to shut down free speech in this case two gay seniors upset that a Catholic Priest is promoting the exclusivity of traditional marriage.  This type of intolerant thought by the two students, mixed with their contempt peaked during the 2008 election cycle when candidate Barak Obama addressed a fund raiser in San Francisco, the citadel of liberalism.  The junior senator from Illinois tried to explain small town Americans to his fellow progressives like this: “they (rural Americans) cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”  Really?  Basically if you disagree with a “liberal” you are marginalized as a gun-toting, bible thumping, xenophobe.     

GC is a potent example of the true nature of this modern day Trojan horse in downtown Sarasota, namely indoctrination over education.  Here are some examples to ponder: In 1993 author Jonathan Rauch, a gay liberal journalist, criticized the new left for embracing cultures that they liked and badgering cultures that they disliked in his ground breaking social critique of American society: Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought.  Twenty years ago he used a new term to our lexicon, Political Correctness.  He cited the abuse of the gun culture in the United States by liberal circles.  Out of the 39 posters none were embracing the 2nd amendment crowd.  Today, the same-sex marriage lobby loves to label traditional Christians who support traditional marriage as haters and homophobes.  Was there one billboard supporting 3,000 years of traditional marriage?  Good luck finding one because the hidden agenda of this annual event is liberal causes not liberal thought.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit this exhibit.  The weather and view of Sarasota Bay were perfect.  What troubled me however, were the dutiful 2nd and 3rd grade students following high school docents from posting to posting like characters out of a George Orwell novel, soaking up the liberal rhetoric as though it was established law rather than a point of view. 

I saw no posters on how the break down of the American family was producing students with no impulse control and no respect for themselves or their fellow classmates.  72% of urban babies are now born illegitimately to single mothers.  It seems that pandering and indoctrination is overshadowing a liberal arts education and serious academic debate. 

Listen to this clip from JFK about the idea behind the motto: “CELBRATE OUR SIMILARITIES, AND RESPECT OUR DIFFERENCES.”

From the commencement address at American University in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 1963: “So, let us not be blind to our differences. But let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”  This was and is still great advice for the countries of the world and the young people of the United States.  Remember we live in the United States and not the United Nations.

Attend the Island Park Exhibition by all means but do so with an open mind and open eyes.  Word Total, 936.

Geoffrey G. Fisher is a federally designated Highly Qualified state-certified history teacher working in southwest Florida as a guest teacher.  He holds a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and a MA in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.  In addition to teaching he is a former elected official and speechwriter.  Mr. Fisher now writes the political blog: THE THINKING CAP at  

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