Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Thou Shalt Not Zinn

I had to search the archives, but I knew that about three years back I had included James Burnham’s meditation from Suicide of the West about why liberals hate patriotism. They key passage:

The rise of liberalism to predominance in the controlling sectors of American opinion is in almost exact correlation with the decline in the ceremonial celebration of the Fourth of July, traditionally regarded as the nation’s major holiday. To the liberal mind, the patrioic oratory is not only banal but subversive of rational ideals; and judged by liberalism’s humanitarian morality, the enthusiasm and pleasures that simple souls might have got from the fireworks could not compensate the occasional damage to the eye or finger of an unwary youngster. The purer liberals of the Norman Cousins strain, in the tradition of Eleanor Roosevelt, are more likely to celebrate UN Day than the Fourth of July.

As if on cue, this week Howard Zinn writes in something called the Progressive Media Project (which has been around apparently since 1993--who knew?) that "On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed." But wait! It gets better:

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

Don’t read the whole thing. You get it. Happy Fourth of July everybody.

Discussions - 2 Comments

It's obscene that he can mention nationalism, racism, and religious hatred as the great evils of our time, without mentioning communist ideology.

And of course, tons of intelligent people, let's mention Alain Besancon and his new book A Century of Horrors , this time, could school him about why nationalism isn't National Socialism, and why the latter shares so much with Communist Socialism.

Whatever happened to the attitude reflected in the lyric: "Thy banner makes tyranny tremble, three cheers for the Red, White and Blue...."

Americans in prior times knew instinctively that this great republic, by mere existence, represented an existential threat to aristocracies, tyrannies and later various totalitarianisms. They weren't ashamed of living in a country that was founded on the rights that flowed from Natural Law, they celebrated it. And if their existence made others nervous, .......................................... all the better!

Many of the founders longed to see the day where the entire North American continent was nothing but a vast empire of liberty. And they didn't shy away from that term, "empire." Jefferson for instance wanted to see us take over most of North America.

The American Spectator, back when it wasn't glossy, but paper, had an issue where the lead story was titled: "The Policy Wimp, he tries not to offend." That's what we've got here. Many of these people are flat-out wimps, policy wimps. Too many Americans live their lives in a continual state of anxiety, about global warming, about SUVs, urban sprawl, etc. But some of them are anxious about America's reputation in the world. Before the Second World War, Americans didn't give two damns how Europeans viewed us. And the idea of conducting a poll asking what various third worlders think of us, would have been a subject for utter hilarity. But now we're all supposed to go to pieces because most of the world dislikes us.

Actually, I'd be REAL nervous if the world had a positive view of us. That's when I'd know we were on the wrong path. If people like Kofi Anan approve what you're doing, ..................... then change what you're doing fast!

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