Why the Left hates the president and the nation he heads.
Let’s start by noticing the obvious. The biggest hate group in America - by a wide margin - is the anti-Trump chorus, which has advanced from calling him “unfit to be president” to accusing him (in the words of CNN’s Ana Navarro) of being “unfit to be human.” In between are malignant accusations that he is a “neo-Nazi,” a “white nationalist” and a “white supremacist” – all revelations about Trump’s character that somehow remained hidden during the thirty years he was a public figure and before he ran against Hillary Clinton. Nor is the hate confined to Trump alone but includes his aides and supporters. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and other House Democrats have even attacked Trump’s policy adviser Stephen Miller as a “white supremacist” for defending a merit-based immigration reform. The attacks from the anti-Trump left also include the charge that America itself is a “white supremacist” country.
In a nation which for eight years was headed by a black president, had two chief law enforcement officers who were black, has recently had two black secretaries of state and three black national security advisers, and has elected more than 10,000 black government officials; in a nation that has been governed for fifty years by statutes that outlaw discrimination by race and whose national culture is saturated with non-white heroes and icons – in such a nation, people who refer to America as “white supremacist” would normally be dismissed as an oddball fringe, members of a fraternity that includes people who think Elvis is still alive and on the moon. Unfortunately, we live in times that are not normal.
Recent events have turned out crowds in the tens of thousands denouncing “neo-Nazis” and “white supremacists” both real and imagined, who number in the hundreds, if that. Yet the outpouring of righteous rage in a veritable orgy of virtue signaling has extended across both ends of the political spectrum, as though Nazism hadn’t been defeated more than seventy years ago, or racial discrimination outlawed for sixty. The ranks of actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists are so minuscule that besides the universally despised David Duke and Richard Spencer there are no figures on this “alt-right” that even informed observers could actually name.
In contrast to the trivial representatives of organized Nazism, there are – to take one obvious example - tens of thousands of members of the American Communist Party, also a defeated totalitarian foe. Yet no one seems alarmed. There have been “Million Man” marches led by black racists Farrakhan and Sharpton, while “white nationalists,” and Klan members can’t attract a sufficient number of supporters to even constitute a “march.” Black Lives Matter is an overtly racist and violent group that is led by avowed communists and has allied itself with Hamas terrorists. It is an organization officially endorsed by the Democratic Party and lavishly funded by tens of millions of dollars contributed by Democratic donors like George Soros. But the self-congratulating denouncers of Nazism and white racism find nothing wrong with them.
On any rational assessment, “white supremacy” as a descriptor of American society or American institutions or a significant segment of the American right is loony toons paranoia. Yet on the political left it is now an article of faith, and also a convenient weapon for disposing political opponents. Its power as a weapon is actually a tribute to America’s success in institutionalizing the principles of diversity and tolerance. It is because America is a truly inclusive society that
makes the mere accusation of intolerance is so effective.
Notwithstanding the marginal existence of actual Klansmen and “neo-Nazis” in American culture and institutions, the term “white supremacy” currently turns up 3.7 million references in a Google search – a tribute to its rampant mis-usage. Of these references, 1.2 million are linked specifically – and absurdly - to Donald Trump. The term “white nationalism” turns up 4.2 million references, of which 2.1 million are linked directly to the president. Only a slightly lower number – 1.8 million - link Trump to “Nazi.” The parity of the numbers is easily explained by the fact that in the lexicon of the left they are identical. As a leftwing smear site created by the Southern Poverty Law Center explains, “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies.”
The malicious charge that Trump and his supporters are white racists is the central meme of a concerted effort to overthrow the Trump presidency before it has run its course – or before it had even gotten started. The accusation is made despite the fact that Republicans who elected Trump also voted for Barack Obama, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindahl, and that Democrats – not Republicans - were the principal resistors to the Civil Rights Acts. Reality aside, just 12 days after Trump’s inauguration Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi was already denouncing Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as a “white supremacist,” while Rep. Maxine Waters was revving up the call to impeach him with her colleagues not far behind. Six months later, the lead headline at Salon.com, was proclaiming, “White Supremacy Week at the White House.” Not to be outdone, The Week, whose commentators include the Atlantic’s David Frum, and Kerry adviser, Robert Shrum, ran a piece titled, “It’s White Nationalism Week at the White House.” Really.
Obviously the terms “white supremacy and “white nationalism” can’t actually mean what they say. If they did, one would have to conclude that half the country had simply lost its mind and morals. To make sense of the terms one has to understand them as expressions of an ideology that has emerged out of its university incubators to become a dogma of the Democratic Party and progressives generally. This radical perspective, known as “cultural Marxism,” divides society into a white majority that oppresses, and “people of color” who are oppressed, attributing all racial and ethnic disparities to “racism.”
As Wikipedia explains: “The term white supremacy is used in academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred.” In other words, actual racism – racist hate by individuals - is not the problem. If eighty percent of corporate executives are white, that is prima facie evidence of what the left calls “institutional racism,” even though there are no racists pulling strings to keep non-white people down. Racism is redefined as defending the invisible system – e.g., the system of standards – that allegedly perpetuates these disparities. But note the hypocrisy. If 95% of the multimillionaires in the National Basketball Association or the National Football League are black, no one regards these as anything but disparities based on merit.
The unexamined premise of the argument that regards white Americans as racists is that statistical disparities are all the result of oppression. But who is oppressed in America? There are an estimated 65 million refugees in the world today fleeing oppression, but not one of them is fleeing oppression in the United States. Why do Haitians and Mexicans risk life and limb to come to America? To be oppressed? They come because in America they have more rights, more privileges and more opportunities than they would in Mexico and Haiti, which have been governed by Hispanics and blacks for a hundred years and more.
The reality that the academic theory of faculty leftists tries futilely to deny is that America is the least racist most tolerant multi-ethnic, multi-racial society in the history of the world. America has outlawed racial supremacies of any kind. The only group oppressed in America are illegal immigrants who cannot defend themselves because they have already put themselves on the wrong side of the law. For everyone else, the law – the civil rights laws - are their protector.
In the end, however, all the spurious outrages over white supremacy and homegrown Nazism, and all the canards about “white nationalism” in the Trump White House are not really about Trump. What they are about is America. More particularly, they are about the left’s ongoing indictment of America for the sins of its past (sins by the way that are shared by every other nation both white and non-white).
To see how the leftist attack actually proceeds - how deeply embedded it is in the liberal mind - one has only to recall the notorious exchange between CNN’s anti-Trump correspondent, Jim Acosta, and Stephen Miller, the president’s chief advisor for policy, over immigration reform. The exchange was triggered by Acosta’s appalled response to Miller’s announcement of a proposed new immigration policy that would privilege English-speaking applicants for American citizenship. Requiring familiarity with English might seem a reasonable way to make assimilation of immigrants easier and to put more opportunity within their reach in a country in which it is the official language. But not to liberals like Acosta. Acosta objected: “This whole notion of … they have to learn English before they get to the United States. Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”
Miller’s response was this: “Jim, actually, I have to honestly say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English.” Miller’s shock was not hard to understand. According to Wikipedia: “In 2015, there were 54 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities where English was an official language.” In addition, “many country subdivisions have declared English an official language at the local or regional level.” Among these English speaking countries are Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Liberia, Belize, India, Fiji, Micronesia – a veritable rainbow of ethnicities and racial identities.
Behind Acosta’s clueless question lay the racial animus characteristic of the left’s attacks on Trump, his policies and supporters. This is the official CNN transcript: “ACOSTA (OFF-MIKE) Sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.” In other words a “flow” of whites; in other words the policy is “white supremacist,” racist. Miller’s response: “Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you have ever said…. “The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong.” To even think the policy was racist, Acosta had to overlook the fact that non-white English speakers actually outnumber white English speakers globally. Yet the left immediately began charging Miller with being a “white supremacist.”
This embarrassing but revealing moment is what the anti-Trump movement comes down to: the racist accusation that white supremacists, backed by 63 million American voters, have seized control of the American government and need to be overthrown.
But this hateful movement is not really about Trump. It is about America. Beyond that it is about the left’s attack on the democratic societies of the West in general, and specifically their foundations in individual rights rather than group identities. This was evident in the reactions to the major foreign policy address Trump delivered in Poland on July 6. His speech was a full-throated and often eloquent defense of the West and its values, and of America’s role in defeating the Soviet Union and the global Communist empire. In a climactic passage, Trump delivered a paean to the values that had inspired the West’s resistance to the totalitarians left and right, to the values that created western civilization. These were the values - above all that of individual freedom - that the wars against Nazism and Communism had been fought to defend. What Trump said was this:
“We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves. And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.”
On finishing this tribute, Trump issued a call to the people of the West to rally again to the defense of these values in the face of the new totalitarian threats that confront us: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
Despite, and more likely because of its reaffirmation of American values, Trump’s speech was immediately attacked by the political left. The common theme of these attacks was once again the left’s race war against Trump and the country he leads. Slate.com, an online publication of the Washington Post ran with this headline: “The White Nationalist Roots of Donald Trump’s Warsaw Speech.” The Bernie Sanders’ left at Salon.com repeated the accusation: “Trump’s Alt-right Poland Speech: Time to Call His White Nationalist Rhetoric What It Is.” The respected Atlantic Monthly followed with this: “The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech.” For the left, American patriotism is white nationalism.
The Atlantic article was written by Peter Beinart, and began this way: “In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.”
The West, Beinart explained, is neither a “geographic term,” nor an ideological category. “The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.” Whatever else one might think, this was certainly a perverse way of looking at Trump’s description of the West, or at the way the West has traditionally understood itself. Beinart’s attack displayed the racist animus that informs leftwing politics across the board these days, and that shapes its war against the White House and a Western civilization we have all celebrated until now.
The political left is relentless in its commitment to identity politics, which is a not so subtle form of racism. This animus is rooted in a racial and gender collectivism that is antagonistic to the fundamental American idea of individual rights applied universally and without regard to origins - to race, ethnicity or gender. The war to defend this idea is what created Trump’s candidacy and has shaped his political persona.
An American patriotism – which is precisely not about blood and soil, which is the antithesis of racism and collectivism - is what drives Trump and his presidency. If we are loyal to our country we will be loyal to each other; if we have patriotism in our hearts there will be no room for prejudice; we are black and brown and white but we all bleed patriot red. This is the mantra of Trump’s inaugural address; it was the mantra of his announcement of a new strategy to fight the terrorists in Afghanistan; and it is the mantra behind the call to “make America great again.” Patriotism – a specifically American patriotism – is the loyalty that unites us and makes us equal. It is this patriotism with which the political left is at war, and the reason they hate this president and are determined to destroy him.