Cultivating Cultural Healing

It is a good time to pay attention in United States politics. It’s important to decide: Are we each going to be “culture warriors” or “culture healers?”

Cultural Healers Unite” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

Globally, authoritarian and fascist rulers are on the rise, and social media can serve as a powerful amplifier of extremist voices. Those loud voices can impede political compromise and inflame the passions of voters to act in ways which benefit narcissist politicians bent on preserving and expanding their personal power, and silencing their opposition.

This is the playbook for those supporting and defending “one party rule,” versus the “traditional values” of the United States as outlined in our Constitution, which both members of our military as well as elected officials, swear to support and defend.

I highly recommend this article from “The New Republic,” which outlines The Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” plans for a Trump presidency and the unconstitutional consolidation of far-right political power. 

This is not a fantasy, this is not classified information. These are the plans of those who seek to subvert liberal democracy, human rights, and particularly the rights and voices of our LGBTQ+ community, as well as the autonomy of women to have control over their bodies and personal health. 

“The Permanent Counterrevolution: On politics and government in a fascist America” (Ruth Ben-Ghiat, The New Republic, 16 May 2024)

If you are interested these kinds of topics and issues, please consider joining the private Facebook group for the “Conspiracies and Culture Wars” media literacy inquiry project which I facilitate.

Learn more about the project on my public #ConCW website:

The ConCW Roundtable” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

I will be teaching a two week online course in July 2024 titled, “Empowering Critical Citizenship: Understanding the Roots of Conspiracy Theories.” I do not think “media literacy education” is the SINGLE solution to political polarization and the political crises we face in the United States and internationally to the values of representative democracy and traditional “liberal democracy,” like universal human rights.

I do believe, however, that critical thinking and media literacy are and always have been essential skills for an informed electorate. These are values and skills to which we should both commit ourselves and work to tangibly advance in each of our respective spheres of influence. 

This line of thinking and this commitment also animates my work in the “Heal Our Culture project.” I have been having a little technical difficulty with some of my websites this spring, so it is possible the first of these two links (which runs on WordPress) may be temporarily inaccessible. But the second link is a Google site (which has better up-time and resiliency to hacks) – and I will continue to build both these resources in the weeks and months ahead.

Individually, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of such extreme political polarization, in our current political climate. Collectively, however, we can and must maintain our HOPE, and our commitment to the values which undergird “the good society:” The humane and just culture which has made and should continue to make the United States a “shining beacon on a hill.” 

Yes, the United States and some of its leaders in the past have (at times) acted as the agents of an ostensibly evil empire. Some have participated in and promulgated harmful conspiracies and at times, regrettable acts which violated human rights, the causes of self-determination and representative democracy, and subverted the rule of law. 

Yet the values of our nation and of human rights writ large, embodied in the Universal Seclaration of Human Rights, as well as in our US Constitution, are real, important, and worth fighting for. The mistakes of the past do not and should not invalidate the validity of our shared Constitutional values.

There are many ways to fight, struggle, and advocate. The “Heal Our Culture Project is NOT a call to political violence. The power of our words as well as our prayers should not be underestimated, nor the power of collective political action. “Heal Our culture” is an effort to focus our minds and our hands on both the news and the actions which can heal us individually and collectively, enabling us to serve as constructive “cultural healers” rather than destructive “cultural warriors.”

Learning to thrive and peacefully cooperate in our diverse, multi-racial and multi-ethnic representative democracy is important work. I hope you will join me in it.

I will continue to share updates about this and my other projects in my periodic Substack newsletter,  “Media Literacy with Wes.” We’ve also started a specific Substack newsletter for “Heal Our Culture,” to which you can also subscribe.

My prayer today is that God will strengthen and inspire each one of us, to think and act as we can to both heal our culture and advance our shared Constitutional values, which advance and preserve the best aspects of our society and culture.


Heal Our Culture (Logo)” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *