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Wade into the Culture Waters

america-usa-rally-crowdI am convinced that America’s only chance to retain its freedoms and individualist spirit is if the message of their importance is passed on to the next generation via the culture. These days our education system, media and political conversation are dedicated to themes that are largely concerned with what will best benefit the collective. Little time is spent on touting the value of a system that allows each individual to utilize their unique strengths, and showing how that system actually has proven to be the most beneficial way to contribute to the whole society.

Now it seems so much time is dedicated to unfairness. There is a battle over which group is victimized by our system the most. Instead of competition to develop the best products, services and ideas, much competition is focused on a goal of how best to game the system. How can we get something for nothing?

Decades ago, when I was a child, there was a much bigger emphasis on personal responsibility. We learned that in America there was great possibility, but you, as an individual, had to put in the effort. We also were taught that equal opportunity was not a guarantee of success; we were taught to try and try again.

Movies, songs, books and society did celebrate those who achieved as individuals and helped others along the way.  Maybe we can turn things around if we just start encouraging members of the next generation to “reach for the stars” instead of urging them to look for someone to blame for their misfortunes.

Sure, the phrase “reach for the stars” is old-fashioned,  but don’t let the idea behind it become a relic of the past – a freer past, where individuals could “blaze their own path”.

Here are a few books I have recently come across that may help us wade into the culture waters and send a rippling message of freedom and individualism to the next generations.

Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. By Lawrence W. Reed (Regnery Publishing). This book contains more than 50 essays that debunk progressive clichés. It would be a great high school graduation gift.

Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. By Michelle Malkin (Threshold Editions/Mercury Ink). This book highlights innovators who thought outside the box and worked hard to make their ideas reality. It demonstrates how capitalism has raised our standard of living with creations of everyday items we take for granted.

Visit for a variety of books in a reading range from pre-school to high school.  The books cover the US Constitution, economics, and other subjects that instill values and rekindle the patriotic spirit. I have listed a few of the books from the site below. One of them is mine!

Striker Jones: Elementary Economics for Elementary Detectives. By Maggie M. Larche. This book explores basic economic principles via short mysteries in settings kids are familiar with.

Founders’ Fables. By Laurie Cockerell.(Kinderfable Press). Ten simple fables that address the concept of limited government through funny and memorable characters. Each story, written in rhyme, begins with a quote from one of our founders.

Coming to America: A Young Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World. By Diana Erbio. This book demonstrates the power of a never-give-up attitude. It follows a young teen’s journey as she struggles to not only live in America, but to be American.

Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood. By Valerie Pfundstein. (Pfun-omenal Stories) A wonderful book for parents and grandparents to share with youngsters to tell them that freedom is not free, and many heroes that have protected their freedoms may be their neighbors.

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Excellent article as always Diana. Extremely well written and precisely worded. Unfortunately, looking at the rabid following Bernie Sanders seems to enjoy in the 18 to 50 year old age group, it is quite clear the twin messages of “victimhood” and socialism are carrying the day. Until we can break the back of the progressive public education system and mainstream media, which both overtly advocate both these messages, we are only going to continue to lose more ground. Our biggest hurdle is the absolute ignorance of what we would consider basic historical and economic facts. Yes we have more people going to college today than ever, but the shear lack of what I would describe as basic knowledge is incredible. It’s no wonder we’re loosing our competitive edge with the rest of the world. There is simply nothing there, if you know what I mean. Yes they have been indoctrinated… Read more »

Ivan Berry

A time when heros swam against the stream. I remember. Individualists, unlike lemmings, do not go over the cliff together with collectivists. Great suggestions and insights as usual, Diana.
PaulE’s statements about the educational system triggered a thought concerning how it could be turned back to principled rather than collectivists ideology. Make note that there have been some responses to transgender toilet use demanded by the president and courts threatening to give up Fed education grants, etc. in lieu of compliance and refusing to be bribed. Just maybe, locals and parents could stand up and take back their control of local schools as the founders intended–just maybe.


“…retain its freedoms and individualist spirit is if the message of their importance is passed on to the next generation via the culture….” The fact that this is not being done is all by design when the education system was taken over by the progressive movement. The US Dept. of Education is the progressives’ single most influential instrument in use to transform US traditions and family values. The transgender activism by the DOJ to cut the education funding of NC is a recent example.

Diana Erbio

Conservative Children’s Books, that I mention in my article, has a booth at the Texas GOP Convention, (May 12-14). I am proud that my book “Coming to America”, is part of the amazing collection of books that is also available at their website (link is in article above). Maybe some of the books will be purchased at the convention – or from the website :-) and shared with youngsters across America! If we do not pass on the things we believe has made America great, who will?


Good article , show our youth the options available to them and reinforce the ideas that you are special and you do matter . Keep on writing .


I agree with Steve, the Dem Party is the something for nothing party. I’m not sure how it happened, but all of my children are hard, hard workers. My oldest has three businesses and my daughter works to organize estates. My youngest is the chair for a state party. My wife and I don’t see enough of them.
As I look in our neighborhood and begin counting those who have served I am pleased to find at least five veterans on our block alone. They are all good citizens and conservative, save one. I am proud to be an American and I do not fear the future. We may be in for rough sailing, but we fix our mistakes and move forward.


This is the result of cultural rot courtesy of the left! The schools, taken over by lefty years ago and now forcing Common Core, are indoctrinating children who attend public school. Smart parents have removed their children and educate them in private, parochial or home-school environment. I removed my children from public elementary school in the early 80’s and put them in parochial school where they were actually educated in a smart learning environment. My children were being used as social experiments for different kinds of learning techniques that some adult thought was cool but they did not work and were way behind as others. Unfortunately, “public school” children will be indoctrinated and all the wonderful literature, books, actual American history and the magnificent Mark Levin conservatism will never reach the public school kids unless grandparents provide it. I feel very sorry for the children of progressive/communist parents–what kind of… Read more »

Daniel Sopher

It’s not just generational indifference, but also one of imigration. I offered a young Latino man a Spanish copy of one of Mark Levin’s books . He looked at it and said,” It’s a book, no thank you”. Sad.

maria rose

Great article, but I have a question, how do you get today’s generation to read those books? With social media so prevalent everywhere, most don’t want to waste time reading long essays, they want the information in 140 words or less.(i.e instant gratification).I had to learn how to text and use Twitter in order to keep up. While I still enjoy reading and watching the news, I am getting a quicker notice this way. In order to get the messages these books entail, there has to be way to convert it to the new media

Jerry Todd

Straight or Gay – Are we all we can be in spite of our Obsessions? Don’t we know how wonderfully and beautifully we are made – free will, sex drives and all? We must not let our hearts and consciences be ripped out by obsession with the evils found in academia, finance, governance, science and enterprise. There’s far more good to be found there too Any obsession can be overcome by full awareness of our gifts and talents and to pursue them. This helps offset any lusted or unwanted urge. Modern Relativism and job frustration are the fuel of despots. So too is the idea of limiting diversity to race, gender and ethnicity. We are all much more diverse than that – endowed by our Creator with limitless possibilities. An often ignored piece of Biblical wisdom in 1Corinthians 10:13 states: “No test has been sent you that does not come… Read more »


Democrats can’t win elections if they didn’t promise social programs, government dependence, and race bait.


I have provided all of the “Rush Revere” American history books to my 10 yr-old grandson, books he loves. Also in his favor, he has parents who are not lefties and is in a parochial school so is not exposed to the public school claptrap.

Jerry Todd

I wrote this in 2013 Straight or Gay, Am I all I can be in spite of my obsessions?