Sunday, July 3, 2016

Down with America

Among the things progressive Americans are not down with is… America. Or so it seems. These citizens of the world, members of the international cosmopolitan elite, believe that nationality is a relic, a vestige of the bad old days before they reached true atheistic enlightenment.

They are certainly not down with celebrating the birth of a nation that they believe to be an imperialist, capitalist, colonialist, racist warmonger… the source of all the world’s evils, a nation full of war criminals, deserving all of the humiliation that it gets.

They cheered when Michelle Obama declared that, until the Democratic Party nominated her husband for the presidency, she had not been proud of her country. It must count as one of the most appalling statements ever made by anyone involved in American politics. And yet, liberal America shrugged and elected a man whose wife, and presumably himself, were suffering a severe patriotism deficit. Whatever Barack was learning in the two decades he spent at the feet of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I wager that it was patriotism.

Having begun his tenure with an apology tour, Barack Obama has never sought to shore up American patriotism. He has realigned America’s diplomatic relationships and undermined American pride by befriending America’s enemies and showing contempt for America’s traditional allies.

Obama’s first instinct, on hearing about a terrorist attack, has been to turn his wrath against his fellow Americans, to exculpate himself and to exonerate the killers by blaming Americans who are exercising their constitutional rights. To his mind murdered Americans are an occasion to engage in a divisive struggle about gun control. And a culture war against white Christian Republicans. The only time gun control is not the issue is when blacks kill blacks, like, in Chicago.

As it is written in Matthew, 12:25:

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

Not only are the terrorists in San Bernardino and Orlando forgiven their depravities, but they become warriors for social justice in one fight that does matter to Obama: the fight against the Second Amendment.

One reason why Obama refuses to blame Islamic terrorists for Islamic terrorism is that he does not want to unite the country in a fight against a common enemy. You see, he has no quarrel with Islam; he has no problem with peoples who count among the oppressed rising up against their white oppressors. He does not want Americans to stand strong and proud, united behind a fearless leader. He does not care to see a united America engage in a battle against the forces of evil, forces that want to destroy Western civilization.

There’s nothing exceptional about America, quoth President Obama. Thus, nothing you should feel proud about, nothing to feel patriotic about, nothing that demands your loyalty.

Recently, the voters of Great Britain decided to reclaim their national identity. As Daniel Hannan noted, more Brits voted for Brexit than have ever voted for anything in the history of British elections. So, naturally, the elites are in the highest dudgeon, trying to undo the vote and to do everything they can to recover their power and influence and their cosmopolitan visions.

Of course, cosmopolitanism, the notion that we all belong to the same species and thus are all the same, is something of a misnomer. The elites who traffic in it are really just selling the latest brand of snake oil. As I and others have pointed out, they have been captured and captivated by the Platonic vision of a class of guardians or philosopher kinds who see most clearly, who know what is best for everyone, and who make the rules by edict. In some contexts they are bureaucrats. In others they are behavioral economists.

Citizen of the world, meet your new masters.

And yet, being a citizen of the world or being a citizen of Europe does not really mean anything to anyone else. In the midst of the Brexit debate one wise soul pointed out that no one considers himself a citizen of Europe. Pride does not attach to global groupings. It attaches to nations. People are proud to be British. They were afraid that Brussels bureaucrats and an invasion of unassimilable peoples would make their national identity meaningless.

One understands that people on the right have been known to turn national pride into jingoism. And yet, when the forces that repudiate their nation and its history, that do not even want that history to be taught in school, succeed, the reaction will very likely be strong and aggressive.

We are living in the Age of Obama. Whether or not Obama embraces all of the swill that counts as serious thinking among the illiterati his policies are too close to it for comfort. While the radical left on college campuses is involved in an orgy of America hatred, a systematic attempt to undermine what it calls white privilege, those who want to fight back, who want to assert their pride and patriotism feel increasingly marginalized and silenced. Lest we forget, America was founded by white males who earned their privilege. It is profoundly ignorant to compare Alexander Hamilton to Tupac Shakur.

Why does it matter? It matters because it forms the basis of your psychological well being. No man is an island, the poet said. And community always precedes the individual, the philosopher said. Your self-esteem, your self-respect, you confidence and morale are not uniquely yours. They are not merely a set of beliefs you acquire by doing some half-assed therapy.

No one cares to mention it, but high self-esteem comes to those who belong to a great and successful nation. When your team wins, you feel pride. When your nation succeeds, you feel pride. When your president feels pride and loyalty to your nation you feel that your daily activities are not just forms of individual self-fulfillment. They have a larger purpose; they belong in a larger context. This will motivate you to worker harder to excel.

You cannot be confident in your own efforts if you believe you are part of an organized criminal conspiracy that oppresses the non-white peoples of the earth. You cannot feel good about yourself if you believe that you are a racist pig whose successes have come about at the expense of other less advantaged people.

One of the more appalling instances of this form of intellectual depravity has been occurring at an elite New York City private school, the Bank Street School. Parents pay tons of money for their children to learn that they are racists pigs who profit from white privilege. And that they ought to feel guilty about having successful parents who can send their children to such a school. Obviously, the children have been traumatized. The school is guilty of child abuse. Parents ought to remove their children immediately, lest they themselves be enablers.

You think I’m kidding? Check out the story in the New York Post:

An elite Manhattan school is teaching white students as young as 6 that they’re born racist and should feel guilty benefiting from “white privilege,” while heaping praise and cupcakes on their black peers.

Administrators at the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side claim it’s a novel approach to fighting discrimination, and that several other private New York schools are doing it, but even liberal parents aren’t buying it.

They complain the K-8 school of 430 kids is separating whites in classes where they’re made to feel awful about their “whiteness,” and all the “kids of color” in other rooms where they’re taught to feel proud about their race and are rewarded with treats and other privileges.

Note what is going on. Children are not taught to be proud of their country. They are being taught to feel proud of their race. Could Jeremiah Wright put it any more clearly?

The Post continues:

“Ever since Ferguson, the school has been increasing anti-white propaganda in its curriculum,” said a parent who requested anonymity because he has children currently enrolled in the school.

Ferguson? You mean the place where a black teenager attacked a white police officer and tried to grab his gun. The place where the police officer defended himself and killed the black teenager. You might recall that the police officer was completely exonerated.

Bank Street has created a “dedicated space” in the school for “kids of color,” where they’re “embraced” by minority instructors and encouraged to “voice their feelings” and “share experiences about being a kid of color,” according to school presentation slides obtained by The Post.

Meanwhile, white kids are herded into separate classrooms and taught to raise their “awareness of the prevalence of Whiteness and privilege,” challenge “notions of colorblindness (and) assumptions of ‘normal,’ ‘good,’ and ‘American’” and “understand and own European ancestry and see the tie to privilege.”

The same slides point out that a number of leading private schools across the country also have segregated students by “race-based affinity groups.” It lists several in New York, including Riverdale Country School, Brooklyn Friends School, The Cathedral School, The Calhoun School, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School.

Under Bank Street’s “Racial Justice and Advocacy” curriculum, parents say, teachers push white kids to grapple with America’s history of racism. Then they indoctrinate them into thinking “systemic racism” still exists, and that they’re part of the problem and must hold themselves accountable even for acts of racism committed by others.

“One hundred percent of the curriculum is what whites have done to other races,” said another Bank Street parent. “They offer nothing that would balance the story.”

Added the parent, who also asked to go unnamed: “Any questions they can’t answer they rationalize under the pretense of ‘institutional racism,’ which is never really defined.”

The program, these parents say, deliberately instills in white children a strong sense of guilt about their race. Some kids come home in tears, saying, “I’m a bad person.”

They say white kids are being brainwashed into thinking any success they achieve is unearned. Indeed, a young white girl is seen confessing on a Bank Street video: “I feel guilty for having a privilege I don’t deserve.”

As I have often remarked, a goodly part of responsibility for this child abuse rests also with parents who keep their children in the schools. They ought to do what parents and alumni of the University of Missouri did: to remove their children from the school and to cease all donations. If they do not, they are enablers and co-conspirators. Better to take effective action than to whine about it all. It’s difficult when your own children have to suffer for your progressive beliefs.


Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: There’s nothing exceptional about America, quoth President Obama.

Did Obama say that? I couldn't find it.

It looks like that's what Donald Trump believes.
Donald J. Trump ‎@realDonaldTrump

But maybe my biggest beef with Obama is his view that there's nothing special or exceptional about America. #TimeToGetTough

12:49 PM - 16 Dec 2011

OTOH, we have this from Trump running for president:
Q: Define exceptionalism and does American Exceptionalism still exist? And what do we do to grow American exceptionalism?

Trump: Well, I don't like the term. I'll be honest with you.

Look, if I'm a Russian, or I'm a German, or I'm a person we do business with, I don't think its a very nice term. ... First of all Germany's eating our lunch. So they say 'Why are you exceptional if we're doing better than you.'

I never liked the term, and perhaps that's because I don't have a very big ego and I don't need terms like that. Honestly, when you're doing business.

You know, I watch Obama every once and a while say "American Exceptionalism" and I say pfffff I don't like the term. First of all I want to take everything back from the world that we've given them. We've given them so much. On top of taking it back, I don't want to say we're exceptional. Essentially that's saying 'we're more exceptional than you.' By the way, you've been eating our lunch for the last 20 years, but we're more exceptional.

I don't like the term. I never liked it. When I hear these politicians get up and say 'The American exceptionalism' but we're dying! We owe 18 trillion in debt!

I'd like to make us exceptional, and I'd like to talk later instead of now. Does that make any sense? Because I think you're insulting the world.

You know Jim, if you're German, or your from Japan, or China, you don't want to have people saying that. I never liked the expression. And I hear a lot of good patriots get up and talk about it, you can talk about it, but I don't think we should say it.

We may have a chance to say it in the not too distant future, but even then I wouldn't say it because when I take back the jobs, and all that money, I don't want to rub it in, let's not rub it in.

But I never liked that term.

My pastor agreed, talked against telling children they're individually special because it promotes an egotism that isn't healthy.

Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins, right?
The negative version of pride (Latin, superbia) is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: the source of the others- thus it is able to father directly and/or indirectly all sin. Also known as hubris (from ancient Greek ὕβρις),or futility, it is identified as dangerously corrupt selfishness, the putting of one's own desires, urges, wants, and whims before the welfare of people.

As pride has been labelled the father of all sins, it has been deemed the devil's most prominent trait. C.S. Lewis writes, in Mere Christianity, that pride is the "anti-God" state, the position in which the ego and the self are directly opposed to God: "Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind." Pride is understood to sever the soul from God, as well as His life-and-grace-giving Presence.

Perhaps there's a balance point to be found. Pride grounded in doing the right things now might be better than pride grounded in an imagined past glory.

Ares Olympus said...

Here's one 2009 transcript with Obama on American Exceptionalism:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the context of all the multilateral activity that's been going on this week -- the G20, here at NATO -- and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, to work through multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don't think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we've got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we're not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can't solve these problems alone.

Here's another from 2014. This is more nuanced, and reminds us of the problems of exceptionalism. What makes us exceptional is when we set higher standards on ourselves AND when we first prove to ourselves that we can meet those standards we also show the world how its done by example.
...American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can’t exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else. We can’t call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if a whole lot of our political leaders deny that it’s taking place. We can’t try to resolve problems in the South China Sea when we have refused to make sure that the Law of the Sea Convention is ratified by our United States Senate, despite the fact that our top military leaders say the treaty advances our national security. That’s not leadership; that’s retreat. That’s not strength; that’s weakness. It would be utterly foreign to leaders like Roosevelt and Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy.

I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.

JK Brown said...

These morons have no clue what they are doing. Sure now, as kids these kids will listen to the "adults". But every trauma teaches the kids that their teachers are morons. And their brains will develop and they will consider the situation. Many are likely to take it as evidence that the minority kids are inferior as they had to be separated and special efforts to interfere with the Whites had to be undertaken. Hopefully, they will just come to see the abuse and see these teachers as legitimate objects of their hate. And maybe 10 years from now, if they pass a teacher on the street they'll spit in their eye. And perhaps also never let their parents forget that they are the ones who handed their child over to his or her abusers.

AesopFan said...

To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The American Left really does not believe that a back-lash will occur.
Their Sponsors are hoping for it to happen.

Good reading for today:

AesopFan said...

Here's another great reflection for this day.

"Every revolution claims to be carried out in the name of the people, but it's never the people who end up running things.

The Declaration of Independence did more than talk about the rights of the people. It placed the people at the center of the nation and its government, not as an undifferentiated mass to be harnessed for whatever propaganda purposes they might be good for, but as individuals with hopes and dreams."

"The Declaration of Independence was not only a national statement, but an individual statement as well. It envisioned a government fit for individuals, rather than massive masses. A government that would free individuals to pursue their own goods, rather than enslaving them to the greater good that is intellectually fashionable at any given moment.

And that is what makes it more relevant than ever. The Redcoats are not about to march into Boston, but the Regulators are. The rising power of government has transformed its laws and systems into a means for the elites to impose their will on the whole country, to stamp out their private pursuits of happiness for collective ends."
"It is not the people that need governments. It is governments that need people.

That is the most important thing we must remember. We do not need governments. Governments need us. Without governments, people are capable of being moral and just, of caring about each other and helping each other. Without people, governments cease to exist. The best government allows people to express their individual strivings by being one forum among many for handling the communal business of their societies.

As we celebrate the Fourth in an America where the pursuit of individual happiness has been commercialized, centralized and repressed, mark the occasion by exercising your right to the pursuit of your happiness."

Avraham said...

Time for a new revolution against the Left

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

AesopFan @July 3, 2016 at 6:04 PM:

"The American Left really does not believe that a back-lash will occur."

Well, when you think you're always right, and you're on the "right side of history," how could there ever be a backlash?

This is the Left's weakness. They are blind to their own biases, while they feel no one else should have biases. It's really quite funny.

Avraham said...

Dr Kelley Ross Ross suggested that it is time for revolution against the government.But he also pointed out that every four years the American people are given a possibility to throw out the government and start anew. That seems to be happening now with people aware that both the Democrats and Republicans are just as corrupt and are trying to stage a new revolution by getting Trump into Office.

Anonymous said...

Suzy Parker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus:

Since you are such a fan of Wikipedia, I thought I'd reference the introductory paragraph of the article on "American Exceptionalism":

"In this view, American exceptionalism stems from its emergence from the American Revolution, thereby becoming what political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset called "the first new nation" and developing a uniquely American ideology, "Americanism", based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism, democracy and laissez-faire for business."

This quote highlights the first of three components of American Exceptionalism, as enumerated in the article. The other two are: (2) the transformation of the world, which is best captured (in the writer's imagination, at least) as Lincoln's exhortation that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth"; and (3) that our superiority are provided for in our history and mission.

I dismiss the latter two definitions. They are simply not accurate. The second is out of context because Lincoln was speaking of America in the context of the Civil Wat, rather than an outward, evangelical focus. Yet this "evangelization" is the main focus of the third definition, which is actually a consequence of Progressivism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and reached its apogee in Woodrow Wilson. Wilson thought the Constitution lacking and lectured the world on how to best lead their lives. Oh, and the Progressives also thought this Exceptionalism applied on the home front, too: Americans needed to be excepted from alcoholic beverages, leading to the lawless nightmare of Prohibition. Progressives believe in nothing if not the perfectability of human beings, which makes their ideas malignantly nutty and incompatible with American Exceptionalism in the first definition. This was the Progressive hijacking of American Exceptionalism, and the one the Brits and Greeks justifiably have a problem with. Yet this is the ideological heredity of Obama's Democrat Party, not the primary understanding of American Exceptionalism as outlined above.

You have provided the full quote from Obama's speech, in which he compares American Exceptionalism to the general feelings of the Brits and Greeks about their own countries. This was a mistake on Obama's part, I believe, because I don't think the Brits and Greeks think of themselves this way. They are proud of their history and contributions to the world but primarily think of this in terms of being British or Greek. It's more ethnic and cultural than it is political or a sense of shared ideas. How you become American is distinct from becoming British or Greek. In America, you assent to American values, as outlined in the first Wikipedia excerpt above. It is difficult for a foreigner to become British or Greek. This is distinct from what it means to be an American. You simply assent, and you're in.

Cont'd below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Continued from above...

So, in reading Obama's full script, I sense he is missing an important piece: a lack of understanding of America and what American Exceptionalism really is or is about. Look at them in order:

Liberty: Obama is decidedly not a libertarian in any sense. He values control above all else. He is interested in containing domestic political opponents in a way he does not try to with our foreign enemies.

Egalitarianism: Obama does not hold to principle of equal justice under law, as the dignity of the individual human person demands. He picks favorites based on what is politically expedient for him and his allies. Instead, he favors equal outcomes. Having equal outcomes is impossible. No one can deliver that, no person, no government. Trying to do so is abusive and coercive.

Individualism: Obama does not demonstrate an understanding of individual liberty. He is fascinated with group identities. He is obsessed with disparities between groups. He sees himself as a savior. In this, he cannot understand the right of the individual to choose his own savior or be his own savior.

Republicanism: Obama hasn't a clue about what a republic is. A republic is one where the individual citizen is sovereign. This is a core ideology. The Wikipedia article on this is clear, and distinct from how Obama governs by executive fiat at the expense of Congressional prerogatives.

Democracy: American democracy is distinct, as determined by three distinct features: (1) representative democracy, (2) the Separation of Powers, and (3) federalism. This is not Obama's mode of operation. He has contempt for Congressional powers and prerogatives, and he openly scolds member of the Supreme Court. He has enjoined states to create healthcare exchanges, and his recent moves to take over municipal police departments is a direct violation of federalism without commensurate threats to individual liberty. He has militarized police forces at every level in terms of posture, jurisdiction and materiel.

Laissez-Faire: Obama is the exact opposite. He is effectively a Peronist, though certainly a champion of "social justice" nonsense and corporatist policies that form the bedrock of his political patronage (crony capitalism). In this, he is a crusading Chicago thug.

In short, Obama had no idea what he is talking about. That's why he needs to be a citizen of the world and why he favors a "living" constitution. The world gets to be whatever he wishes it to be. Just like American Exceptionalism.