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

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Blame America First

It'll be interesting to compare the vapid audience-free, recorded programming presented during the Democratic National Convention and the programming to be presented during the GOP version. 

Roger Kimball comments on the reason for this vapidity:

Last week’s Democratic National Convention—four nights of taped hectoring and inadvertently hilarious exercises in politically correct sermonizing—showed how difficult it is to make a virtual event seem like an actual celebration. 

The "sermonizing" by most Dem speakers, including the headliners, had a recurring theme—(1) Donald Trump is a "threat to democracy" because (2) he brings out the inherent racism, misogyny, and other bad traits that are common among the 'deplorables' who support him. Besides he's responsible for the pandemic and, and, and ... he's a meany.

Here's MSNBC's Donny Deutsch as related by Paul Bedard:

[Deutsch]:  “How do 1 in 3 Americans still believe this man about corona or anything, and the answer is only one thing: 1 in 3 Americans are racists. One in three Americans are terrified that this country by the year 2040 is not going to be majority white — that the black man or the brown man or the yellow man or woman are going to come and take their jobs and take away their suburbs and scare them. And it’s no coincidence yesterday Trump brought up Kamala Harris and the whole birther thing. That is the only explanation. Because you can’t even bring up the economy anymore. That is it, that 1 in 3 Americans are racists still in this country.”

The overarching take (exemplified by Deutsch's comments) is the Left's smug arrogance—the notion that they, and they alone, define what is moral, and anyone who disagrees or criticizes their often deranged assertions is somehow deplorable.

But it doesn't stop with Deutsch. With the intellectual luminosity that rivals a single, small birthday candle in a cupcake, a modern leftist 'star' makes comparisons between the United States and ... get ready for it ... Nazi Germany. Here's The Atlantic's Jemele Hill just two days ago:

If Hill actually believes that, she's monumentally stupid  and historically illiterate. Her hatred of her country is evident in her tweet. There is no equivalency—NONE—between the United States (even at the time of the civil war) and Nazi Germany.

These examples and hundreds like them, provide the basis for a strong argument that the 2020 Democrats have veered hard-left (spare me the specious argument that a cognitively impaired presidential candidate or his opportunistic running mate are "moderate") and have begun to rely on an old trope that the Left has used for half a century—"blame America first." It oozes out the speeches given by the many leftists who took over the virtual convention stage, and remains unchallenged by the few moderates who remain in the Democratic Party.

The 2020 Dems believe that the country suffers from "systemic racism." They claim the United States was founded as a slave state (the despicable canard promoted by the NYT's "1619 Project"). Its history elevates the rich and suppresses the common man. It's out to get brown people around the world. It is, not to put too fine a point on it—Bernie Sander's or AOC's view of our country. Secretly, I suspect that more than a few will agree with Jemele Hill's tweet.

Mary Eberstadt comments:

Jeane Kirkpatrick delivered one of the most electrifying political convention speeches in American history to Republicans gathered in Dallas on Aug. 20, 1984. Its theme was that the left wing of the Democratic Party had fallen into the habit of “blaming America first” for the nation’s foreign policy challenges. A Georgetown political scientist, a longtime Democrat and then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kirkpatrick hit the point repeatedly and hard. Whether the issue was Soviet aggression, Iranian theocracy or relations with our allies, she argued, the answer from the left was always the same: more unproductive criticism of America.

The self-flagellating impulse that Kirkpatrick identified remains a political force today. But its target is no longer American foreign policy. It is instead the U.S. at large: its history, its institutions and its place in the world ...

Consider the barely controlled schadenfreude embedded in headlines like the Atlantic’s “Trump Is Turning America Into the ‘Sh—hole Country’ He Fears” and “How the Pandemic Defeated America” or Rolling Stone’s “How Covid-19 Signals the End of the American Era.” Or consider the speaker lineup at the Democratic convention. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, surely one of the most blessed women in American history, emphasized on Monday night that she “loves this country with all my heart,” despite having complained in 2008 that she was proud of it “for the first time in my adult life.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes she lives under a “fascist presidency.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and found much to admire there, has also heaped praise on Fidel Castro’s Cuba, both times implicitly criticizing his home country by comparison.

Blame America first’s staying power during the decades since Kirkpatrick’s speech has had its consequences. Relentless and hypercritical harping on the country’s flaws likely helped set the stage for Donald Trump’s ascendancy—especially among the “bitter clingers” and “deplorables” who tend to think that America is still a pretty good place. The tendency to blame America first may now be taking a different kind of toll on the left itself. In the latest Gallup poll, only 24% of Democrats reported themselves “extremely proud” to be Americans, as opposed to 67% of Republicans.

In an age when national introspection abounds, will the left’s ingrained habit of finding the beam in America’s eye—and only America’s—finally summon scrutiny?

I think it will. A Democrat message that implies that the rest of us Normals are "racists" and "privileged" and generally bad people has become as tiresome and it is wrong.

We'll see what the GOP response to all of that is this week.


During the first night of the GOP convention, we didn't hear a lot about how Americans are the perpetrators of "structural racism" or how we're environmental criminals because many don't support the "green new deal," or how we don't care about "safety" because we refuse to do yet another mindless COVID-19 "lockdown" (supported by the Dem candidate). Instead John Podhoretz provide a few highlights:

Most effective was Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, whose speech concluded with these words [talking about his grandfather]:

“Growing up, he had to cross the street if a white person was coming. He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third grader to pick cotton, and never learned to read or write. Yet he lived to see his grandson become the first African American to be elected to both the United States House and Senate. Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.”

Nikki Haley, child of Indian immigrants, elaborated: “America isn’t perfect. But the principles we hold dear are perfect. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America….We seek a nation that rises together, not falls apart in anarchy and anger.”

If Trump can turn this election around, it will be because these ideas resonate with the Americans the media have lost the power to hear and to whom they no longer even attempt to speak.

Resonate ... it's a good word.