Shortly after Barack Obama was first elected, my colleague Archie Jones and I began writing our book Born to Lie, an analysis of the promises Senator Obama had made while campaigning for the presidency and had already broken up to that point in his first term as president. There would be many others. In fact, had we waited to write it later the book would have been more substantial, at least in page count. In the last chapter of our book, Dr. Jones and I drew some conclusions based on the evidence available at the time. One of our conclusions was: “…even if he (Obama) turns out to be an American by birth he is not an American at heart.”

Based on President Obama’s own words and his subsequent actions we concluded at the time that he was not an American patriot and that he did not love America. Perhaps you remember the controversy early in Obama’s presidency that grew out of his refusal to wear an American flag in his lapel. Conservative media outlets called so much attention to his bare lapels that the president was more or less forced to begin wearing a flag pin, but it never has seemed to suit him. We concluded further that no individual who refuses to profess his love for our country and to demonstrate that love by his actions should be allowed to serve as president. This, by the way, was why our Founders built the citizenship clause into the Constitution. They knew that the fastest way to undermine the form of government they had sacrificed so much to establish and the freedom it affords American citizens would be to allow a closet foreigner who does not love our country to serve as president. This would be like giving a fox the keys to the henhouse.

Owing to the efforts of so-called progressives, by the time Barack Obama was elected president, patriotism had become passé in America. The new watchword was multiculturalism, and progressives who had worked so long to undermine the concept of patriotism now had a friend in high places. President Obama wasted no time in setting a multicultural/anti-patriotism tone for America while simultaneously joining with his fellow progressives to denounce our country by claiming America has much to apologize for and by refusing to acknowledge American exceptionalism. Who can forget seeing an American president bow before Arab leaders who smiled to his face but scorned him and our country behind his back? Who can forget hearing President Obama extolling the virtues of socialist European nations while slamming the United States as if it was some other nation that saved Europe in World War II or rebuilt a bombed-out Europe with the Marshall Plan?

Patriotism is love of country put into action. We show our patriotism by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the National Anthem, honoring our flag, serving in the military, and protecting the sanctity of the Constitution. If we are immigrants who have adopted America, we show our patriotism by doing the things just mentioned and by learning to speak English, adopting long-standing American customs, and inculcating the best of American values. Mutliculturalism, on the other hand, is love of an individual’s cultural heritage over country. There is nothing wrong with Americans of different cultures honoring those cultures, but there is much wrong with people taking advantage of the freedom and opportunities provided by America while becoming citizens in name only; refusing to learn our language, honor our traditions, or respect our values. Multiculturalism is the antithesis of the melting pot theory.

It is important that Americans—those born here and those who legally immigrate—choose patriotism over multiculturalism. American patriotism honors those things that make America exceptional: freedom, opportunity, liberty, self-government, equality before the law, and the right to rise up out of meager circumstances regardless of one’s social position at birth.   A desire to have these things is what Americans of all stripes have in common. They are the ingredients that make the melting-pot concept work. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, honors where we came from over where we are now. It keeps us separate by focusing on the language, customs, traditions, and values of where we came from rather than where we are. Multiculturalism says, “I want to enjoy the benefits of America without really becoming an American.  Patriotism leads to the melting pot and common ground. Multiculturalism leads to balkanization and enmity between different cultural groups.

Patriotism does not mean nor has it ever meant that people from different cultures must cast off those cultures and forget where they came from. Growing up I knew many families who had adopted America as their country while still honoring the memories of the country of their forbearers. I have friends now who speak Spanish in their homes, but perfect English when in public. It is one thing to honor one’s cultural heritage. It is quite another to honor one’s cultural heritage to the exclusion of one’s adopted heritage. Patriotism can bring Americans of all stripes together by giving us something in common that transcends cultural differences. Multiculturalism just separates us into divisive clans with nothing in common.