“Why do they hate us?” It’s a question I am often asked as a non-American.
This question is renewed with each anniversary of the fateful September morning that saw evil rock the cradle of liberty.
It is a perfectly legitimate question, yet one that yields vastly different answers. An Arab will answer it differently than a Frenchman, and a socialist differently than an atheist. But in all of their answers, divergent as they may appear, there is glue.
Of course, many foreigners admire, appreciate and love America. But there is widespread genuine hostility for America. The underlying cause of all international animosity is simpler than what you might think.
See, America is not just a nation. It’s an idea. And an idea will always engender stronger emotions than a geographic entity. And here’s the rub: it’s a conservative idea in a world of socialism.
Any visitor knows that center of gravity of American opinion is much further to the right than any other place. Any historian knows that from its founding to its current mainstream values, America is the heart of conservatism.
As if this wasn’t enough to raise the ire of the chattering classes, then there’s also the fact that it just happens to be the most powerful, wealthiest, innovative, and successful country the world has ever seen. Uh-oh. Houston, we have a problem. Envy is corrosive and leads to the most ridiculous assertions.
On a recent trip to Europe, I was repeatedly informed that Americans are fat and stupid. Yet last year, in the same week, America topped the Olympics Medal Tally and landed on Mars. Go figure that one, you noodle-armed, surrender monkeys.
But back to culture. Which is inextricably linked to politics. Put simply, America’s cultural conservatism is profoundly at odds with liberal or progressive agendas. Consider each and every major social or economic philosophy of Western nations (even English-speaking ones) and America and contrast.
They believe in a collectivist society; Americans in the individual. They subscribe to radical multiculturalism; the American in E Pluribus Unum and patriotism. They believe in more government and greater regulation; Americans in the least possible. They don’t like the concept of the nation-state; the American is strident in his dislike of a supra-national body such as the UN. They seek intervention in markets; Americans are the purest of capitalists. They support Palestine; Americans Israel. They don’t like Christianity or religion; the American the most religious man of the West. They consider only government employees worthy of being armed; America was founded on the opposite premise. You get the point.
Sure, there is paradox and inconsistency. If there wasn’t, President Obama wouldn’t be President. But the exception, no matter how stark, does not disprove the rule. Conservative values are American values.
And culture is everything. It shapes attitudes, lifestyles, and actions. America, fittingly, behaves as an individual on the world stage, prepared to act without consensus. It is a red-blooded alpha male (another demographic the chattering class despise) in a room of Schwarzenegger-named international girlie-men.
Americans have simplistic and uncompromising convictions that bring enormous discomfort to people of other societies. To them, the world is black and white. There are good guys and there are bad guys. And the bad guys must be eliminated. It’s a bit like in The Expendables. It runs deep: in real America, men still behave like men, and women have retained their femininity. Tradition still exists and people still go to church on Sunday. It is why it’s said that a love of America runs in the DNA of every conservative in the world.
Frankly, it’s a more normal place.
But to the developed world shaped by urban voter opinions, unions, and all-powerful intelligentsia, the cultural conservatism and religiosity of America is incomprehensible and offends deeply. To them, it’s oafish, backward, discriminatory, simple, and awful. It’s politically correct intolerance.
Oddly enough, the real oafish, backward, discriminatory, and awful belief systems of the radical Islamists, response for September 11, escape their wrath.
This September 11th, America has got its hands pretty full.
It’s still the greatest nation on earth but there sure are lots of bad guys to deal with.
A President relentless in seeing America become Europe, working in conjunction with a growing cabal of elites, holding schools, universities, and media captive, by waging an internal culture war, is determined to re-badge America. And the radical Islamists are still plotting. And the terrorist vermin behind Benghazi last year are still yet to pay for what they did. On top of all this, America is drowning in debt and falling behind its own potential.
But it will come back the same way it did after the early defeats by Britain in the War of Independence, Pearl Harbor, the loss of the Philippines, and the days following September 11. It has a boomerang spirit.
In its inevitable comeback, it must never forget the events of twelve years ago. Nor should it forget its cultural superiority. It’s the human experiment of our lifetime, and God is on America’s side. Semper Fi.