The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Independence Day

In recent years (driven by their hatred of a duly elected president who doesn't share their ideology), the American Left has decided to effectively boycott anything that smacks of a celebration of the country we live it. After all, how can you celebrate a country that is "racist" to the core? How can you take joy in a commemorating the birth of a country that exhibits such "misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, Islamophobic, and anti-Immigrant" tendencies? How can you even smile when "income inequality" is rampant throughout the land? How can you salute the flag of a government that puts illegal immigrants in "cages" and demands that they "drink toilet water?" How can you even think about an Independence Day barbeque when "social justice," "economic justice," "climate justice" and every other kind of [adjective] "justice" has yet to be achieved to the satisfaction of the outrage brigades?

These attitudes have always existed, but they were once considered the unhinged rantings of left-wing extremists. Now, they've been adopted by at least half of the Democrat candidates for President, a non-trivial percentage of the Democratic party, and a majority of their base. This constituency tells the rest of us that they just want to make things better, that their harsh criticism is justified based on current events, that they hold the moral high ground while the rest of us (the "deplorables") must be forced to accept their view of what is right and just.

Boiling it all down, they don't like their own country very much—and it shows.*

Kay Coles James provides a counterpoint:
This week, as Americans commemorate Independence Day and the creation of the most free, most prosperous nation on earth, we will inevitably hear from those who say there’s no reason to celebrate a country where not everyone gained their freedom or their equality in 1776. They will say that a nation stained with the evil of slavery, a nation that once refused women and blacks the right to vote or hold property, isn’t a nation worth lauding.

As a woman and as a black person who lived through segregation, I have experienced both the inequality and the opportunity of this nation. As a student of history and as someone who works with governments around the world, I know how women and minorities are treated in other societies compared to the United States. Because of these experiences, I want to tell you exactly why America is worth celebrating ...

I love America not only because we’ve grown to rectify many of our wrongs, but also because we’ve been an incredibly positive force for good. We’ve built a free and prosperous nation where anyone has the opportunity to thrive and live out their dreams. We’ve also shared that gift with the world, helping others to achieve the same.

Despite that success, we continue to hear from the “America is irreparably flawed” crowd that our freedom and free market system only bring opportunity to the wealthy and well connected. They claim that the system just makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The reality is exactly the opposite: Capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than any other economic system in history. Plain and simple, over the last 25 years, it has been free markets that have cut the global poverty rate by two thirds. In the United States, every segment of the population — including women, minorities, and even the lowest income earners — have seen their incomes rise and their opportunities grow.
The outrage brigades keep telling us that socialism is the answer, that "millionaires and billionaires" are the problem, that bigger and more intrusive government will set us free. They want to control how we think and what we do.

Maybe that's why they dislike July 4th. The have a serious problem with "independence."

UPDATE (July 4th):
Peggy Noonan is able to describe the essence of our country that far too many Leftists seem to miss:
We are a people that has experienced something epic together. We were given this brilliant, beautiful thing, this new arrangement, a political invention based on the astounding assumption that we are all equal, that where you start doesn’t dictate where you wind up. We’ve kept it going, father to son, mother to daughter, down the generations, inspired by the excellence and in spite of the heartbreak. Whatever was happening, depression or war, we held high the meaning and forged forward. We’ve respected and protected the Constitution.

And in the forging through and the holding high we’ve created a history, traditions, a way of existing together.

We’ve been doing this for 243 years now, since the first Fourth of July, and in spite of all the changes that have swept the world.

It’s all a miracle. I love America because it’s where the miracle is.
America is change, it's evolution, it's adaptation, but it is NOT a malevolent force. It makes mistakes and it occasionally journeys in the wrong direction, but it corrects and moves on. If offers unparalleled opportunity and unabridged freedom, but will continue to do so only if a growing cadre of authoritarian ideologues are kept from seizing control of our institutions, our government, our laws, and our culture.


* As if to reinforce this notion, the left-wing newspaper of record, The New York Times, has a Twitter feed @nytopinion that describes itself this way: "We amplify voices on the issues that matter to you." Here's what @nytopinion had to say about the country that hosts the NYT on the eve of Independence Day:

I suspect the NYT believes it's being very, very generous in that assessment. Like I said in the body of this post, the Left really, really doesn't like their own country very much. I can only hope that the broader electorate recognizes that it's a very bad idea to elect leaders who dislike the country they're leading.