Claremont Institute Chairman Thomas Klingenstein says Republicans are devoid of leadership at a crucial point in history.
Klingenstein told the Washington Examiner that America is the battleground in a regime contest between those who favor American justice and "woke communists."
"They have social justice. We have American justice," he said. "It's the job of leaders, perhaps the most important job, to explain what's going on in the world, to explain in this case that we're in a war, and what it means to be in the war."
This war is to decide the morals of the nation and how people view the country, Klingenstein said.
"We have a choice ... between two regimes, or, to put it more simply, between those who think America is good and want therefore to preserve it, and those who think it's bad and therefore want to throw it out," he said.
For Klingenstein, preserving the American way of life is the starting point of a mission for where America can go.
"To defend the American way of life, you have to defend the values that support the American way of life," he said. "I mean, what is the American life, but a belief in hard work and patriotism and self-reliance and colorblindness?"
These values are taught in the family, religion, civic life, and education, he said, so it is crucial that these institutions be defended against "woke communist" culture.
"Pushing back against critical race theory is certainly important, but also, the family is being attacked," he said.
The degradation of American values has been accelerating over the past five years due to leftist universities and a "woke communist" agenda pervading all areas of life, he added.
For conservatives to win this regime contest, Klingenstein noted, they cannot just fight in the political arena.
Instead, they will have to engage in areas of culturalism, which he said is not a Republican strong suit.
"It contradicts their ruling philosophy," he said. "They're heavily influenced by the libertarians who say, 'Look, how you live is not my business. Whether you go to church or what you learn, you just live your way, but let me live my way.'"
Of the current leaders in the GOP, Klingenstein pointed out a few who might lead conservatives in the cultural theatre of war.
Speaking on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Klingenstein said he "seems to have some idea that culture is very important, and, if we lose the culture, we lose America."
If the Republican primary were next month, he would go for former President Donald Trump, he said.
"I think Trump understands that it's culture," he said. "He was very brave in getting rid of critical race theory and the administrative agency. He started this 1776 Commission to counteract the 1619 Project."
Still, Klingenstein said Trump's difficulty in explaining the culture war might be a weakness.
"With Trump, you know, it's not always the most organized," he said. "I don't know that the strategy, to the extent there was one, was very well thought out, but he was on the right course."
This ability to communicate effectively is essential for any leader, Klingenstein said, and one that cannot be undervalued for Republicans in the struggle for American culture.
He said the "enemy" is trying to convince people that racism is seeping into every nook and cranny of the American way of life, so they can throw it out.
"We need leaders to stand up and say, 'No, America is not racist, and here's why,'" he said. "This is something that leaders have to do and something that Trump, I think, did to some extent."
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Luke Gentile