When Greenville, North Carolina rallygoers chanted “Send her back!” last Wednesday night at President Donald Trump’s mention of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, I’ll admit I chuckled. “This is going to bring hell,” I thought, but at the same time, man, what a hilarious way to troll media do-gooders and let out a little pent-up frustration at the same time.
But the media and others predictably took it way more seriously than I did, because they all want you to know what good peeps they are compared to the ‘bad Orange man’ and his ‘crazed’ followers. The Daily Beast wondered if Trump’s “hard-core” supporters could be “deradicalized.” In an op-ed published Thursday, the New York Times editorial board accused Trump of being an “avid race warrior” who engages in “fomenting racial hatred.” Those were some of the milder examples. By the sheer decibel level of media histrionics, one would be forgiven for assuming that Trump himself had been proven to be the one wearing the KKK outfit in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s old yearbook.
“He seeks to demonize those who oppose his policies as dangerous extremists out to destroy America,” the NYT column reads hysterically. “In cases where his critics are not white — whether congresswomen of color or a judge of Mexican heritage — Mr. Trump is eager to spotlight that fact. The president is looking to divide Americans along color lines, to conjure a zero-sum vision of America in which whites must contend against nonwhites for jobs, wealth, safety and citizenship.”
But it’s all a big con, as always. Trump, who has in fact disavowed the chants while backing the crowd as “incredible patriots,” never said one thing about race, and would have and has in the past criticized his pasty white critics and political opponents just as vehemently if not more so, but none of that matters to a media bent on framing him as the second incarnation of Jim Crow.
The right’s “well, I never!” crowd chimed in too, because of course they did. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – Paul Ryan Lite – said the chants have “no place in our party and no place in this country.” Minnesota GOP Rep. Tom Emmer left “no place for that kind of talk” while Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger wants the “ugliness” to “end, or we risk our great union.”
There were plenty more, but Kinzinger’s comments about “our great union” being at “risk” speaks to the heart of the real, much deeper issue. The silly chants notwithstanding, most everyone agrees that we shouldn’t kick people out of our country, particularly citizens, for disagreeing with us politically. Even Ilhan Omar. In fact, if you were somehow able to ask each and every rally attendee who participated in that chant if he or she would really “send” Omar back to Somalia simply for disagreeing about politics, the overwhelming majority would likely say “no,” that the chant was just a way to get a dig in at the “Squad” member, especially following the uproar over Trump’s Sunday tweets.
In truth, ‘sending her back’ was never and never will be on the table, nor should it be. However, the direction for America Omar shares with so many brings up very real questions about our future as a country. Because while nobody with any compassion at all would argue that we should ever revoke anyone’s citizenship once given, who we grant it to going forward will have massive political ramifications and eventually determine what kind of country we become.
What is a “nation?” Its textbook definition is “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.” Given the definition, what even unites us as Americans these days, other than the fact that we live under the same government within a specific geographical border?
To drill down, what does the average American citizen have in common with Ilhan Omar, a frequent critic of Israel, American exceptionalism, and someone who routinely bashes the values and principles that made our country great? If you’re a liberal, sure, you’ve got ideology in common, but that ideology is completely at odds with America’s founding principles, much less the fundamentals of capitalism that are, frankly, the only thing keeping our country from complete economic and social chaos. But if you lean anywhere right of center – let’s be frank – other than the fact that she is a resident of Minnesota, there’s little or nothing there.
Global Policy Forum defines a nation as “a large group of people with strong bonds of identity - an ‘imagined community,’ a tribe on a grand scale.” However, the group adds: “Because of migration, most modern states include within their borders diverse communities that challenge the idea of national homogeneity and give rise to the community of citizenship, rather than membership in the nation.”
What am I getting at? Thankfully, America doesn’t define who gets to be a citizen by race or ethnicity or other immutable characteristics, yet there once was a certain baseline, a patriotism, a belief in American exceptionalism we all, or at least most of us, shared. No matter where we came from, we would stand together to pledge our flag and listen to our anthem with hands over hearts. Democrat or Republican, we never doubted that the other party meant what was best for the country, even if we differed on exactly how to get there. People came here to breathe free, not for the free stuff. And while we welcomed immigrants, we also understood the concept of assimilation, and the thought of flooding our borders with unending millions upon millions of socialist-leaning Third World migrants simply for votes would have been deemed ridiculous and impractical by most if not all.
When we accuse Democrats of being “open borders,” they pooh-pooh the notion, insisting we’re slinging rhetoric at them with no proof. But is there any indication any of them are for anything BUT open borders? Is there a limit to how many Ilhan Omars they would bring to this country in their quest for a permanent Democratic voting majority? Is there any desire to keep the masses of the world, almost ALL of whom would love to come here, at home, even helping them there so they don’t feel like they need to come here? Is there any concern for the lower to middle class American citizens already here and adversely affected by the non-ending influx of unskilled job competition?
Sadly, today’s brand of liberal, led by Representative Omar and her “Squad,” puts to the test not only what it should mean to be an American, but how long America will last in its current form.