Writing in this space five months ago, I argued that an anti-woke counterrevolution was starting on American campuses. While that is certainly even more true today, I am seeing increased signs of a more widespread revolt against relentless attacks on traditional American values such as respect for free speech and private property, as well as a reverence of God, hard work and assessing people on the basis of meritorious accomplishment.

Many revolutions are ultimately followed by a counterrevolution: the Russian Revolution was ultimately reversed, albeit after seven decades; the Protestant Reformation sparked a Counter Reformation; France went through several dramatic regime changes in the two centuries after its Revolution of 1789, including five forms of democratic republics. Similarly, in America a progressive movement contemptuous of traditional American values has captured college campuses, spreading to other sectors of life including churches and private business, but now the collegiate counterrevolution is beginning to take hold. As progressive-provoked excesses multiply on campuses and well beyond, many ordinary citizens are saying “enough is enough.”

Let’s start with the oldest continuous Western institution, the Roman Catholic Church. News stories are appearing how young Catholics are yearning for a return to traditions prevailing before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, wanting fewer guitars at masses and more traditional rituals, including the use of Latin. In the leftist college town in which I live, Athens, Ohio, even the priests are amazed at the growth in young person mass attendance and their push for reviving old traditions dating back centuries. New Protestant denominations that emphasize God and traditional values like the Ten Commandments, and that downplay political activism, are booming, with local students telling me services are very well attended. Old-line large Protestant denominations like the Methodists that have increasingly tolerated values inconsistent with traditional Christian practices are suffering membership losses and undergoing internal civil war, especially over whether to sanction same sex marriages.

I am told that attendance at meetings of college Republicans vastly outnumber that of the college Democrats in my university where leftish control of both the town and gown levers of power has been strong. Nationally, wealthy donors have made it clear that they are withdrawing sizable support from woke-infested universities like Harvard, Penn, and Columbia. A group of federal judges have served Columbia University on notice that they will not be hiring as law clerks Columbia graduates. As Judge Matthew Solomson put it in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, “The reputational costs from our boycott ought to provoke some soul-searching at the school.”

The smarter college campuses are starting to back down from some of the more outrageous manifestations of woke supremacy. MIT said it was no longer requiring faculty applicants to submit diversity statements where applicants are expected to show their allegiance to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) ideologies such as emphasizing race in making important human judgments. The sharp decline in early admission applications at woke-infested Harvard probably was a sobering wake-up call to some elite schools. Similarly, a number of Ivy League institutions are reinstating the SAT test requirement for applicants, a move decried by many on the left because of its perceived likely negative effect on some racial groups, most notably blacks.

Turning to American business, companies trying to demonstrate fealty to woke ideals have paid a high price. Bud Light sales went into a tailspin after it partnered with a transgender influencer to demonstrate its support of non-traditional values. As of this writing, the stock of the Walt Disney Company has fallen more than 20 percent over the past five years, at a period in which the Dow-Jones Industrial Average rose over 50 percent.

Why? At least part of the reason relates to Disney’s vocal opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, leading to a big fight with popular Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. As a consequence, Disney has lost power over policy relating to some governmental services at its important Florida resort and had to fend off a costly battle for control of the company. While the ultra-woke ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s is a very small part of giant Unilever’s business, a Newsweek headline in July 2023 read “Ben & Jerry’s Owner Stock Falls After Boycott Calls,” referring to its anti-Israeli pronouncements.

I am not predicting a dramatic move to the right in this year’s election. This is a gradual, long-run move back to normalcy, where traditional values largely prevail over radical interference by forces on either the left or right.