THERE WAS A time not too long ago when Americans looked at themselves and the nation they had built with immense pride. Ask people all around the world where they would choose to live and a big majority would say America. No doubt about it.

What happened? Look around and a big segment of the population is demanding that Americans repudiate and tear down most of the nation’s history, tear down the icons of its creation and engage in a cultural expurgation of its sins.

Most of the interesting observations contained in this column came from Gerard Baker’s July 7 column in the Wall Street Journal. Baker came to America from England about 12 years ago and is the paper’s editor at large. He was previously the editor in chief.

The mainstream media is propagating a “doom and gloom” scenario when the public is focused on finding a positive future.

Just a few months ago, the majority of Americans spoke with patriotic fervor about Mount Rushmore and the great Americans immortalized there: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

July 3, President Donald Trump went there as part of this year’s July 4 celebration. Afterward, a CNN reporter and a bevy of liberal pundits had the audacity to belittle Mount Rushmore as a monument of two slave owners that was built on land wrestled away from Native Americans.

Since 2000, Baker writes “much of the country’s political leadership, almost its entire academic establishment, most of the people who control its news and cultural output, and a good deal of its corporate elite view America as an irredeemably malignant force for enslavement and oppression, a uniquely evil power founded on an ideology of racial supremacy.”

The liberal media puts forward a narrative that describes America as a police state that operates using brutality. Black Lives Matter complains about white privilege and that implicates men, women, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, moderates and liberals. All problems are tied to systemic racism.

With all this discourse and animosity, how is it possible our two presumptive presidential candidates this fall are Trump and Joe Biden? Trump is despised by 55% of our citizens and Biden, at age 77, has shown signs of dementia. Are they the best we can offer to unite the country?

These are times that don’t lend themselves to conventional political analysis. The “Never Trumpers” may be overplaying their hand of cancel culture. As a result, Democrats are not enthusiastic Biden voters.

Is our current state of affairs the consequence of the lockdown lunacy? Baker said the insanity is more profound than that. America has reached a combustive moment in our 244-year history. He blames our cultural institutions for the spread of a self-loathing cultural establishment. That has undermined faith in the system that made America great.

Baker cited these causes. Generations of students fed a steady diet of critical race theory and postcolonial gender studies delivered in safe spaces protected by an intolerance of dissent. Then, there’s our capitalism system that has produced so much opportunity for so many that became a vehicle of power for a select few.

It won’t be enough to reassert America’s great historic virtues. It will require weakening the power of the totalitarians on campus, ensuring fair access for all voices on tech platforms, and holding to account the lawless mobs defacing and defaming the nation’s legacy.

Immigrants are drawn to America by the irresistible allure of a nation forged in pursuit of a universal ideal it had actually succeeded in achieving. It still isn’t perfect. There is a legacy of racial prejudice that mocks the ideals of the founding. If immigrants are allowed to institute their failed culture in America, America will no longer be America.

In the past, the nation has demonstrated the ability to advance beyond bad policy, to mend and improve itself, and that fact makes America even more admirable.