A Pew Research Center poll last week found that among those who described themselves as solid liberals only forty percent reported often feeling “proud to be an American.” The Washington Post greeted the survey with the headline: “Proud to be an American? You’re probably not a true liberal.”
I have my doubts about Pew’s results. Dare I say that the figure is in fact too high? People lie to pollsters, especially when social convention obliges them to.
What is it about this country that brings liberals so much shame? It’s the people—our values, our habits, our traditions. We’re an incorrigible lot. Too many Americans look, act, and talk like Larry the Cable Guy. We’re obese and we only speak English, perhaps not that well. I say, so what? While I can’t deny that plenty of Americans fit that stereotype, those are both overlookable faults. America is full of Cable Guys and that’s okay.
What Americans need, liberals argue, is to change; and if we can’t or won’t, we need to be changed. We can start by embracing hate speech laws, then outlawing guns, and finally getting excited about soccer. Except we musn’t call it soccer, we must call it football, as the rest of the world does. Above all, we must change our values and the way we vote so that they always win.
If that doesn’t work, liberals will just bring in a slew of (mostly illegal) immigrants, transform them into wards of the state and register them to vote, thus diluting the power of the Cable Guy voting bloc.
Behold the tsunami of children at our southern border and the giddy liberal politicians salivating at the prospect of all those undocumented Democrats. Texas will be blue in a generation if they have their way. By bringing in enough ringers to vote for them, liberals hope to “fundamentally transform” this country. America needs a transformation because it sucks, that’s why.
What do they want to transform it to? Based on their immigration policy it appears that Mexico is their model, but I don’t think so. Their true vision of what America should be is something like the Netherlands, complete with sidewalk cafes, baby euthanasia, and lots of dope. How we’re going to get there by importing primarily impoverished Latin Americans is anyone’s guess. In any case, it’s pretty clear that they don’t like America the way it is now.
People of the Left generally struggle with love of country and not just in the United States either. Most places I’ve traveled I’ve found that people on the Right identify freely with their nations, while people on the Left tend to squirm at the mention of patriotism and then become very defensive. I’ve seen it in Japan, Great Britain and elsewhere, but never as pronounced as here in the United States.
American liberals’ conflicted sentiments inevitably lead to nearly schizophrenic behaviors. On the one hand they pin small Canadian flags to their rucksacks while abroad in order to spare themselves the humiliation of being recognized as an American, yet on the other hand they form organizations that conspicuously include the word “American” in their names, which has the effect of stymying any critical observations regarding their own patriotism. Examples include the American Civil Liberties Union, which was founded by a communist, and People for the American Way, which really ought to be called People for the Hollywood Elite Way.
Both of these organizations style themselves as defenders of constitutional liberties. But are they? They seem indefatigable when it comes to defending freedoms they wish were in the Constitution—the right to abort children, the right to pornography—while remaining quite unfazed when real constitutional rights—the right to bear arms, religious liberties—fall under attack.
Liberals have the curious habit of expressing disgust for their homeland and then reacting with indignation that they were so grossly “misinterpreted.” Michelle Obama once famously remarked that “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” She was shocked—shocked!—to discover that some people attributed her apparent disdain for her country to a lack of patriotism.
Some pundits defended her comment by saying that black Americans’ collective experience justifies such an attitude. Translation: black people aren’t patriotic. I wouldn’t advise saying that if you are a white conservative.
But is it even true? I don’t think that Michelle Obama, who has fared pretty well in this “downright mean country,” said what she said because she’s black. Ken Hamblin or Walter Williams, both black, would never say such a thing. She said it because she’s a liberal.
Before liberals burst a blood vessel, let me first say that I’m not passing judgment on their lack of patriotism. I’d prefer if they owned it, really. Honesty is the best policy. It’s so painful watching them go through their usual charade of beating their chests and boldly declaring their patriotic credentials—a childhood subscription to Captain America comic books, for example, or having once met a veteran in an elevator.
I must admit that sometimes I don’t feel so patriotic either, depending upon on which side of the bed I wake up on. Nor am I alone among conservatives; the same poll found that only 72% of steadfast conservatives often feel proud to be American. I once believed that this nation was something special because it guaranteed a republican form of government and certain inviolable rights. Unfortunately, I can’t say that anymore. Our rights can be “reinterpreted,” even completely reversed, at the whim of an activist judge.
So let’s have a real conversation about our country and whether it deserves our devotion. Do we suck so much that all of our flag-waiving is starting to look silly? Let’s talk about it. Yet liberals can’t do that because then they’d have to drop their silly pretenses and just admit that there is a deficit of patriotism on the Left, which they will never do under any circumstances.