The left regards any assertion of American national identity -- not merely flag-waving -- as chauvinism bordering on fascism. When the left charges Americans who fear the dilution of American national identity that could follow citizenship for tens of millions of illegal immigrants with "xenophobia," and "racism," it is not only a cynical attempt to cultivate Latino votes for the Democratic Party. It is also a sincere belief that conservative concerns about American national identity are reminiscent of chauvinist bigotry.
The most obvious example of left-wing opposition to American nationalism is its cultivation of "multiculturalism" as a replacement for American national identity. For the left, American citizens are no longer Americans first and foremost; we are African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic- or Latino-Americans, Native-Americans, etc. The left celebrates what precedes the hyphen far more than the "American" that follows it. As a result, America no longer instills traditional American values and an American identity on either those born here or in its immigrants, which is the reason for the right's concern over illegal immigration, not bigotry and xenophobia.
A fourth lesson the left learned from Nazism has been that no judging of cultures is permissible. Because the Nazis deemed Jews and others as inferior, we are no longer allowed to judge other cultures. In the post-World War II world of the left, all cultures are equal. To say that the contemporary Islamic world, or that black inner city culture, has serious moral problems that these cultures need to address is to be labelled dangerously racist -- again reminiscent, for the left, of the Nazis who declared other groups (inherently) defective. For the left, the only cultures one may judge adversely are white American and religious Jewish and Christian.
Fifth and finally, the left has affirmed pacifism as an ideal. One would think that the most obvious moral and rational lesson to be learned from the Nazi experience is the need to fight evil. After all, if decent nations were not as militarily strong as they were, and were not as prepared as they were to use that might, the Nazis would not have been defeated, and many millions more "non-Aryans" would have been enslaved and murdered. But the left, including, sad to say, Germany, did not draw that lesson. Instead of learning to fight evil, the left has learned that fighting is evil -- and it has taught this to two generations of Americans.
To amend Santayana's famous dictum, it is those who learn the wrong lessons from history who are condemned to repeat it.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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