The Left's 'un-American' Smear
Only a "progressive" worldview is deemed patriotic by the Left.
When leftists take a torch to Old Glory, take a knee for the National Anthem or take an apology tour around the world, they’re lauded as heroes of free speech. But when a Republican president does something leftists don’t like, he’s “un-American.”
This is the latest slur the Left is hurling at President Trump as a result of his recent executive order implementing a temporary travel ban. Incidentally, this order is worth a moment of consideration both for what it does and does not do. As we previously noted, despite leftist hysteria, the ban is not what the Left claims. In fact, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also enacted temporary bans.
But what a difference an election makes. What under Obama was a noble endeavor to protect Americans under Trump is suddenly “un-American.” Hence, liberals from academia to Hollywood to government are donning robes of patriotism to denounce the president. Morehouse College professor David Dennis Jr., for example, called New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s support of Trump “far more threatening to America than taking a knee during the National Anthem” because Trump is — per Dennis — the consummate “un-American.”
Then, there’s Hollywood. At the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus took to the podium and announced Trump is “un-American” because of the “immigrant ban.” And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said Trump’s actions “are so un-American it pains us all.”
Four states — Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia — are even suing the Trump administration over the order, with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman calling it “unconstitutional, unlawful and fundamentally un-American.” This is the same guy, by the way, who unlawfully went after Exxon Mobil and other “aggressive climate deniers.”
Of course, the “un-American” attribution is hardly limited to immigration issues. The Left likes to slap this label on anyone who disagrees with their views. Are you pro-life? No, you’re “anti-American,” said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue. (That whole “right to life” thing in the Declaration of Independence must be pretty un-American to Hogue, too.) Do you believe boys should actually pee in boys’ restrooms? You’re not rational. You’re “un-American.” Do you oppose the government-takeover of the health care industry? You’re not pro-freedom, you’re “un-American.”
For those who seem so ready, willing and able to identify what makes someone “un-American,” it’s amazing how little they understand about what makes someone “American.”
Contrary to the Sandra Flukes of the world, being American doesn’t mean free condoms for all. Nor does it mean free health care. It doesn’t mean safe spaces or safety pins, government-mandated school lunch menus or free cell phones. It doesn’t mean free college tuition or a guaranteed job upon graduation. It doesn’t mean gender identity affirmation or global citizenship. It doesn’t mean the right to kill a child or the right to make some one else pay for you to do it.
And, despite what the Left is crying, being American doesn’t mean demanding indiscriminately open borders.
As Michelle Malkin explains, “America’s Founding Fathers … asserted their concerns publicly and routinely about the effects of indiscriminate mass immigration.” James Madison, for example, stated, “It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours. But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.”
Indeed, being American actually means embracing the ideals that men and women, far braver than some Hollywood talking heads, have given their lives for, by the tens of thousands over the last 250 years. The ideals of personal responsibility and industry; the belief in the equality of all men based not on government dicta but on the reality of a Creator; the freedom to do not whatever you want but whatever is right.
Leftists can toss around accusations of “un-Americanism” as long as they’d like. But until they demonstrate that they understand what it means to be American, their attempts at contrast will continue to fall flat.