The Leftist Establishment Is Older Than You Think
Cultural Marxism was what other people called political correctness, according to Brown, but it was really cultural Marxism and had come to the United States from Germany, after World War II, in the cunning skulls of a clutch of youngish professors from Frankfurt. The Frankfurt School, as they'd called themselves, had wasted no time in plunging their intellectual ovipositors repeatedly into the unsuspecting body of old-school American academia. Milgrim always enjoyed this part; it had an appealing vintage sci-fi campiness to it, staccato and exciting, with grainy Eurocommie star-spawn in tweed jackets and knit ties, breeding like Starbucks.Wait a moment … Collectivism had already become entrenched in the United States by the 1930s. The process had started with the “Progressive” era. (You can think of the “Progressive” era as a time when a self-styled elite tried to turn the United States into a fake European nation.) The standards of the 1930s said “these people are the wave of the future” and that turned them from mere cranks into the shapers of young minds.
The Cultural Marxists may have even been beneficial. They gave leftist ideas that were formerly acceptable to the American public a foreign taint. (The sort of voter who might be prejudiced against “the rich” was even more prejudiced against anything foreign.) It's worth noting that they became loud enough to be heard by voters in the late 1960s, the time when increasing socialism started to slow. The tenured radicals achieved something resembling actual power in time to see Reagan halt their version of progress and Clinton to reverse parts of it.
The more they tightened their grip, the more we slipped through their fingers …
Addendum: For another take on the Progressive Era, see here.