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John Daniel Davidson Op-ed: Ordinary Americans Are Going to Have to Save the Country Themselves, One Town at a Time


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | DECEMBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/20/ordinary-americans-are-going-to-have-to-save-the-country-themselves-one-town-at-a-time/

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What can regular people do to take back their country from woke radicals? Take over local institutions, one at a time.

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One of the things I get asked from time to time by readers is, what can ordinary people on the right, Christians and conservatives, do to help save the country — besides voting on Election Day?

It’s a good question, and it comes from the very understandable feeling of helplessness many people feel about the direction of the country and, let’s be honest, the collapse of Western civilization that’s now well underway. It’s especially easy to get frustrated after an election cycle like the one we just had, in which Republican leaders thoroughly botched it and left things more or less where they were before the voting. Put another way, if voting doesn’t really change anything in our so-called democracy, what will?

There’s an answer to this question, but you’re not going to like it. The plain truth is this: You’re going to have to save the country yourselves. Donald Trump isn’t going to save it. Ron DeSantis isn’t going to save it. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that a GOP majority in Congress is going to save it.

By all means, keep voting in national elections. Keep making your voices heard at the ballot box. But salvation won’t come from Washington, D.C. If America is going to be saved, or even just parts of it are to be saved, then ordinary men and women, God-fearing patriots all across the country, are going to have to do it themselves, one town at a time. And they will have to do it the old-fashioned and unglamorous way, by taking over the local institutions of civic life, organizing and winning elections for city council and school board, finding reliable and competent people willing to be candidates and staff and volunteers. 

It’s going to be a long, thankless slog, but there’s no other way. Neither is there any guarantee of success. I speak here only of towns and suburbs, not of cities, many of which have become unlivable after decades of failed Democrat governance and leftist policies. Conservatives who can manage it should move to places where they can join with other like-minded Americans to take back their communities and instill a civic culture that reflects their beliefs.

We got into this situation through passivity, and only a sustained effort at the local level will get us out. For decades, conservatives did nothing while the left marched through academia — and then kept right on marching, down from their ivory tower and into the public square, into the schools, the libraries, corporate boardrooms, local police and fire departments, even the churches. These people have radical views far outside the American mainstream but nevertheless control all our institutions. If you want them back, you’ll have to take them back, post by post.

This is not the kind of thing the right likes to hear. By temperament and principle, conservatives would rather be left alone to run their businesses, raise their families, worship in their churches, and build up their charities and local communities. Unlike liberals and leftists, they tend not to be ideologues. They are not trying to fundamentally change the country. They mostly want to be left alone.

But of course, they will never be left alone. The woke radicals will never stop — until someone stops them. A kind of conservative radicalism, or at least activism, is going to be required to accomplish that.

A good example of what I’m talking about is playing out in the small central Texas town of Taylor, population about 17,000. Taylor, some 35 miles north of Austin, is a rather conservative place of the sort you can find all over the country. It recently made national headlines over its traditional Christmas parade; a longstanding town tradition organized by a coalition of local churches. Last year, organizers accidentally approved a parade float for a group calling itself Taylor Pride, which the parade committee naively mistook for the name of a group that was just proud of their town. What they got instead was a float featuring two men dressed in drag, dancing suggestively in what paradegoers assumed was going to be a family-friendly event.

Parents and attendees were understandably perturbed. To ensure it didn’t happen again, the consortium of local churches that runs the parade sensibly decided that this year, parade floats must be consistent with traditional biblical and family values. The point wasn’t to exclude any individuals or groups from attending or even participating, but to ensure the floats were family-friendly and not — like the Taylor Pride drag queen float — contrary to Christian teachings.

The City of Taylor responded by announcing it would stage its own separate LGBT-friendly “holiday” parade, on the same night as the traditional Christmas parade, on the same route, following right behind it. The decision was made not by the elected members of the city council, who are accountable to voters, but by the municipal staff who actually run things. There was no public notice or deliberation and no consultation beforehand with members of the city council. The municipal bureaucracy acted on its own authority to use (or rather misuse) public funds and resources to sponsor a parade that was wildly out of step with the community at large.

Kevin Stuart, a Taylor resident and assistant professor of political science at the University of St. Thomas, wrote about all this recently in The Wall Street Journal, noting that the problem in Taylor has deep historical roots. The outsourcing of decision-making to so-called experts has been happening in American towns and cities for more than a century, such that professional bureaucrats now run small towns across America like “ideological colonizers.”

“There is now a yawning ideological gap between the people who live in American towns and the professionalized cadre of city staff who pass through those towns on their way up the career ladder,” writes Stuart. He goes on to argue that residents of towns like Taylor are partly to blame for ceding too much political power to an expert class whose interests and values don’t align with the people they’re supposed to serve.

He’s right about that — and also about how “communities can’t remain strong if they are unwilling to defend common sense and get involved in the political process.” The lesson of Taylor’s dueling Christmas parades is that even in small, conservative towns in deep-red states like Texas, conservatives can’t be complacent. As I wrote last month about the Taylor fracas, there’s nowhere Christians can run and hide from the left. They have to stand and fight.

In Taylor, that means residents who until now might have never been involved in local politics will have to roll up their sleeves, give up some weekday evenings, and get involved. They will have to put up their own conservative candidates and vote out of office the city councilors who empowered a woke municipal bureaucracy. They will have to fire the cadre of leftist bureaucrats who run things and replace them with their own people. They might even have to change the city charter so that elected members of the city council actually do the work of the public in City Hall, not an unelected city manager who sees the job as merely a steppingstone to a bigger city.

The same goes for the library, the school board, and every other local institution in every American town like Taylor. Conservatives have to take them over if they can. To answer the question we began with, that is what ordinary people can do. And they have to start now. No one is coming to help, and time is running out. 


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

The Left Has Effectively Banned Christian Kids from Public Pools, Libraries, And Summer Camps


POSTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | MAY 23, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/05/23/the-left-has-effectively-banned-christian-kids-from-public-pools-libraries-and-summer-camps/

girl scouts at camp

Forcing children to sleep and undress next to kids of the opposite sex effectively puts up a ‘Christian kids need not apply’ sign on public recreation activities.

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This spring I got an email from 4-H, a club I participated in as a child, effectively communicating that my Christian family need not apply to summer camps and other activities sponsored by the quasi-public organization. (County governments often sponsor 4-H activities.) This email was signed by a 4-H staffer who put pronouns in his signature and told me, “Youth are assigned cabins based on gender indicated on the 4-H camp application and registration,” suggesting children were roomed by gender identity rather than sex.

Naturally, I was concerned that my tween daughter and son might be roomed overnight with an emotionally disturbed camper or counselor if I enrolled them in this camp. Based on numerous reported stories, I know that if this did happen, the camp likely would not even tell me, so I’d only hear about it after the fact from my kids. When I emailed again to confirm I was understanding this correctly, the staffer refused to answer definitively whether campers could be placed in private facilities such as bedrooms and bathrooms with transgender individuals. That’s an unacceptable risk to children’s well-being, as well as a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Given how socially contagious LGBT identification is, it’s not just about transgender issue but also exposing children to sexual information and pressures far earlier than they are ready. Hand in hand with grouping children by gender identity is forcing conversations about what that means, which pushes children earlier and earlier to declare and investigate sexual behaviors. This is destabilizing to their identity, not “affirming” it.

Given 4-H national’s commitment to the toxic “diversity, equity, inclusion” ideology, the fact that my Christian kids now cannot equally access lots of their programming due to 4-H’s choice to sexualize their activities was no surprise. But I still wanted to see in writing that my red county in my red state was indeed giving tax breaks and other government privileges to an organization that might room children overnight with troubled people of the opposite sex against their parents’ will. The answer is yes. (Thanks, Republicans!)

Everywhere We Go, Someone Wants to Talk Dirty to My Kids on the Public Dime

It’s not just places kids get naked. It’s everywhere. I cannot take my children to the public library anymore, either, because the shelves are so full of pornographic and hostile books that it’s not a safe place for them. There, too, self-righteous LGBT activism has resulted in effectively banning my children from yet another public place and weaponizing my own tax dollars against my children’s safety. The shelves and displays in our library are full of books telling my children lies such as that “men can become women” and “some boys have girl brains” and “gender is a social construct.” I’m happy to have these conversations with my children when they are ready, but I know my six-year-old, and he is not ready. My eight-year-old is not ready, and neither are my 10- and 11-year-old, frankly. It’s grotesque and evil to put books at their eye level that deliberately aim to confuse them about something so deep and important. To do this is to usurp not only my parental wisdom and authority over my own children but to usurp my children’s right to an innocent, emotionally secure childhood.

It Won’t Happen, And When It Does, You Bigots Will Deserve It

These all prove that rapidly rewriting American laws to ignore sexual differences has effectively banned Christian families from equal participation in public facilities and activities. It’s not just Christian families, it’s any family that thinks it imprudent to lodge their sometimes-undressed daughters with an emotionally traumatized male at summer camp or to obtain swimming lessons at a public pool. This all descends from the massive bait and switch inherent to the LGBT policy agenda. We were told it was only about extending government sanction to what consenting adults do behind closed doors. We were told it was about allowing people to visit loved ones in hospice and inherit without legal difficulties. It wasn’t going to affect our families, remember?

Anyone who raised concerns about how calling sexual activities that cannot create a family “marriage” would affect children, faith, and families was smeared as a know-nothing bigot. Anyone who wanted to logically think through how legally equating men to women in the social keystone of marriage would have a domino effect on many other laws and social arrangements was also smeared as a hateful bigot, all the way up to highly intelligent and reasoned Supreme Court dissents. It’s the same toxic play we’ve seen work ever since: Anyone with a contrary opinion or even unanswered questions is not engaged, but simply smeared.

Men and Women Are Different, And That Matters

The fact is that equating homosexual relationships to marriage very often requires explaining adult sexual behaviors to tiny children. Erasing the differences between the sexes in marriage also leads irrevocably to erasing the differences between the sexes everywhere else, from bathrooms to pools to summer camps. Breaking down all sexual differences also results in discrimination against religious expressions that acknowledge men and women are different, and these differences are divinely ordered.

Thus upending the natural sexual order has resulted, not in the falsely promised “equality,” but in simply flipping which social system will rule. For what we were prevented from discussing or even seeing was the fact that these two regimes — treating the sexes as different and complementary versus seeing them as neutered and interchangeable — are mutually exclusive.

You cannot have both transgender swimmers and single-sex sports competition. You cannot have both the sexual profligacy pushed by the dominant LGBT activist class and protect children from sexualized childhoods and predatory social situations. You must have one or the other.

In the absence of clarity about this reality combined with effective use of power on reality’s behalf, abrasive, antisocial activists have fully taken over every public space. Any further sorties are merely tinkering around the edges of their all-encompassing kingdom.

Children Are No Longer a Protected Class, They’re Targets for Groomers

So instead of achieving equality, what we have really achieved is the subversion of children’s developmental needs to adult desires. Instead of equality, we have replaced legal preferences for the only sexual arrangement that produces the most stable future citizens — lifelong married biological parents — with legal preferences for sexual arrangements that harm children and send religious folk to the back of the public bus.

Therefore, all who believe in protecting children from marinating in sexual imagery and ideas everywhere they go are the new underclass in our political regime, and in many cases no Republican officials will even recognize our legitimate concerns, let alone fight for our daughters. That’s certainly the case here in Indiana, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb won’t sign bare-minimum legislation protecting girls’ sports and nobody is even talking about making our libraries, camps, and pools safe for families (even though that’s one of the few value-added policies a state like Indiana can offer its citizens).

Many of our major public and private institutions are making the public square completely hostile to a happy childhood and faith. Their “solution” to alleged bigotry was institutionalizing actual bigotry. “Our kind” aren’t wanted in “their” territory, you see. Maybe we would be allowed to have separate pools and summer camps funded by our own money, as long as the ACLU doesn’t sue them out of existence like they do Christian hospitals and foster care agencies.

What we weren’t told was that letting homosexuals out of the closet would require stuffing all the children and Christians inside.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

Meet The Sex Shop Founder Who Is Grooming Children Through Books In School Libraries


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM | FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/16/meet-the-sex-shop-founder-who-is-grooming-children-through-books-in-school-libraries/

This article features obscene quoted material.

As parents across the nation wake up to the threat that the American educational system poses to children, many have taken note of the sexually explicit, politically motivated literature that has made its way into public and school libraries. 

In Wyoming, community members notified the police department about explicit books in the local library’s youth section. “Sex is a Funny Word,” written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth, is one such book. It was placed on the American Library Association Reading List for 2016. Intended for those as young as 7-year-old second graders, the book has been featured in middle school libraries and discusses the “subjects of transgender identity, intersex conditions, and masturbation.” It also erroneously claims that “having a penis isn’t what makes you a boy. Having a vulva isn’t what makes you a girl. The truth is much more interesting than that!” 

This type of propagandizing has become standard for the left-wing extremists embedded in our education system. But what makes it all the more astonishing is both the thoroughly unnerving — and previously unreported — history of this book’s author and the institutional support that’s propelled him to notoriety. 

From Sex Shops To School Libraries

Cory Silverberg’s website links to the four books he’s written. Each one focuses on the same thing: sex. With the exception of “The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability,” which he coauthored with Miriam Kaufman and Fran Odette, the author’s work is aimed at children. His latest book, “You Know, Sex,” another collaboration with Smyth, is available for pre-order and discusses “pornography,” “stigma,” and “gender.” He calls the book “essential for kids.” His website bio states, “Cory’s life is full of kids. All of them know where babies come from. Some know more.”

Who is this man so intent on informing your children not only about sex, but about pornography, transsexuality, and masturbation? On his website, which advertises children’s books, the author cites himself as a “founding member of Come As You Are Co-operative,” an anti-capitalist sex shop in Toronto, which he also links to. 

As the Toronto Star noted years ago, this isn’t just any sex shop. This is a “beginner’s sex store.” The outlet noted that the store hoped “to hold an off-site sex-education workshop for parents of children aged 7 to 12, one that will focus on more than reproduction.” The Star went on to quote Silverberg as saying, “Our overall focus is pleasure-based rather than fear-based.”

The shop’s website includes a section that catalogs the owners’ media appearances. One edition of Fab magazine, published on February 7, 2007, includes an article titled “Come As You Are Celebrates 10 Years.” It spares no details, highlighting a “Japanese rope bondage” workshop, while also graphically describing a real life, in-person “workshop” that featured sexual demonstrations from two naked men.

The disturbing focus on children that is so clear on Silverberg’s personal website is just as apparent on the sex shop’s website. Right next to ads for the exact type of products you’d expect a sex shop to sell, is a “Kids, Parents, and Teens Books” section. The section boasts “sex positive guides for younger folk.”

The kid’s section carries books like “Gender Creative Child,” a guide to masturbation, and “Woke Parenting,” which seeks to help readers “raise your kids to be feminist, anti-racist,” and “gender-inclusive.” Silverberg’s own books are also featured on the site.

Involvement In Curriculum Development

The author’s involvement in Ante Up reveals a conscious desire to embed his distorted worldview into schools. The organization advertises “socio-emotional learning” curriculum that “focuses on supporting educators of color and working-class educators in unlearning the white supremacist ableist heteropatriarchal ways of writing and educating others.” 

The sex shop co-founder is joined by such esteemeed co-collaborators as Clarissa Francis, who cut squarely into the Babyon Bee’s marketshare when her bio explained that she “developed the Let Freedom C.U.M. Sexuality Workshop Series to equip Black sexuality professionals, and the aspiring sexually liberated, to recognize and utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to discussing Pleasure Activism as a tool for Black Sexual Liberation.” 

The organization seems to have courted favor with various political bodies in New York. Ante Up’s founder Bianca Laureano “wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,” according to her bio. Silverberg spoke on “Sex Is a Funny Word” for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning.

Institutional Support of Extremism

It isn’t a fluke that a leftwing sex shop founder has been propped up as an authority on sexuality, with direct access to children. Media and education institutions, alongside several leftwing activists, have helped mainstream such fringe beliefs. The author is praised because of, not in spite of, the extremism of his sexual worldview. 

That “Sex is a Funny Word” was lauded by Kristin Russo on behalf of BuzzFeed as “revolutionary” tells you everything you need to know, but the outlet was one of many institutions to lend its support.

The book won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award and was celebrated by the School Library Journal, which called the book “exceptional” specifically because of “its introduction of the subjects of transgender identity, intersex conditions, and masturbation.” The organization publishes roughly 6,000 book reviews every year and bills itself as “the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens.” 

Lambda Literary, which “nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers,” heaped praise on the book, noting that it took “his radical approach to sex education” featured in his first book even further. It goes on to discuss the role that the book can have in cementing cultural shifts. During an interview with the organization, the author pointed out that some of his critics believe that he is “warping people’s ideas of gender.” He flatly responded, “Maybe I am.”

Various activists, each of whom is committed to overthrowing healthy conceptions of sex, lauded the book alongside these institutions in reviews posted on Amazon

Andee Hochman is an accomplished leftwing activist who wrote a book all about upending traditional notions of family. It was named “one of the 100 most important feminist books of the 20th century by Sojourner magazine.” Hochman celebrated “Sex Is a Funny Word’s” “radical and urgent message – sexuality with a side of social justice,” also expressing glee that one of the children in the book was portrayed as non-binary. Her lone critique? The text was too small. 

Transgender activist and author of “My New Gender Workbook” Kate Bornstein was similarly impressed, writing a review that proposed the book as a viable alternative to college, graduate school, and even “years of therapy.” This is high praise, especially from an activist who wrote the “Step by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.”

Aidan Key, who leads trainings in schools, remarked that the book enables readers to “step out of today’s binary gender paradigm,” while Slate’s Rachelle Hampton lauded the book because it “humorously tackles topics from gender to masturbation” and was “leaps and bounds ahead” of other books “in terms of how progressive it is.”

But Huffington Post outdid both Slate and BuzzFeed years ago when they offered the author a platform and even hosted a symposium on reshaping America’s sexual norms with him and more established leftwing activists. The author’s extreme views were given the patina of normalcy through the presence of more mainstream activists like notable author Esther Perel and the widely published Ian Kerner, who talk less of childhood masturbation and more of feminism and relationships. They were also joined by academic Leonore Tiefer, who was involved in the leadership of an organization intent on keeping perversity like “Sex is a Funny Word” in school libraries. Tiefer won an award named after Alfred Kinsey, a hero of the pro-pedophile group NAMBLA.

What’s so telling isn’t the book itself, but that the beliefs behind it, undoubtedly considered reprehensible by massive swaths of the world, have been intentionally mainstreamed by both an activist base and an institutionally backed political movement that’s hostile to traditional notions of decency. No wonder parents are getting active.

Cory Silverberg did not respond to a request for comment.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

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