Did you ever think you’d see the day when a prominent political party would accuse the president of being divisive and exclusionary for saying “America” too many times during his State of the Union speech?
The American Civil Liberties Union made that very complaint. No, the ACLU is not the Democratic Party, but their positions on such matters are virtually indistinguishable. Besides, many prominent Democrats and media liberals made similar objections after the speech.
MSNBC host Joy Reid brazenly trashed traditional American values and institutions with her tweet accusing President Trump of trying to force the normalization of himself by using “terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for” — namely, church, family, police, military and the national anthem.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s unapologetically pro-America speech, which was widely approved by the American people in flash polls immediately afterward, “dangerous.”
Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who recently compared Trump’s presidency to a time “right after the 1932 elections when Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor,” took umbrage at Trump’s statement that Americans, like the immigrants whose parents brought them here illegally as children, “are dreamers, too.”
Fox News analyst Juan Williams was deeply disappointed by the speech, saying that this was an opportunity for Trump to reach across the aisle and bring us together but he didn’t take it. More bizarrely, Williams said in response to Trump’s statement that “Americans are dreamers, too,” “David Duke and the KKK would love that.” Seriously?
Obviously, today’s Democratic Party (at least its leadership) has a problem with raw expressions of patriotism, because Democrats can’t seem to look at America through anything but their distorted prism of Balkanized identity politics.
They assume that when Republicans promote church, family, police, the military, the national anthem and wholesomeness and goodness, they are somehow dog whistling to white supremacists, or some such nonsense. Democrats said Trump delivered a “wedge speech,” one that “inflames the cultural divide.”
Perhaps their habit of divining code language in our every pronouncement is simple projection. For all of Trump’s faults, he pretty much says what he believes. His SOTU speech was no exception. Probably the most consistent message he delivered on the campaign trail was his belief in an America-first philosophy — not certain groups in America at the exclusion of others but all Americans.
What these kvetching liberals can’t grasp is that we conservatives don’t view our heartfelt expressions of patriotism as exclusionary or divisive. Indeed, by definition they are not.
Liberals say we promote white privilege. We don’t. They say our policies disfavor minorities, but they don’t; they are race-neutral and aimed at lifting up all people. They say immigration enforcement advocates are driven by nativism and bigotry. We aren’t; we are animated by a love for America and the American idea, which is enshrined in our founding documents. We don’t believe that America is the greatest nation in history by accident, and certainly not because of ethnic demographics.
Rep. Joseph Kennedy, in the official Democratic response to the SOTU, audaciously quoted a U.S. motto, “e pluribus unum,” meaning “out of many, one” — though every other thing out of his mouth and that of his Democratic colleagues undermines that precept. Conservatives, though, actually believe in a melting pot and equality of opportunity and equal justice for all.
Sadly, Kennedy and his Democratic leaders view America only through race-conscious eyes. They are the ones who deliberately divide us, by constantly agitating over race, gender, sex, religion and any other category that will incite their base into a frenzy.
America was mired in a perpetual malaise under Barack Obama, and the Democrats’ goal, when Obama’s scapegoating of George W. Bush had finally extended even beyond the Democrats’ willing suspension of disbelief, was to delude Americans into accepting economic stagnation as inevitable and the new normal.
Already, in one short year, with Trump’s tax cuts, his deregulation, his business-friendly policies, his recommitment to America’s domestic energy industries, and his overall contagious optimism and bullishness on America, this nation is roaring back, and Democrats are conspicuously vexed about it.
They have no viable alternative agenda; everything they tried under Obama failed. Yet they’re still promoting the same destructive ideas. That is why they have reduced themselves to ad hominem Trump slanders, bogus charges of collusion with Russia and blanket smears of conservatives as bigoted extremists.
Democrats are the ones who have become more extreme every year. Yesteryear’s liberal extremism is far too conservative for today’s Democratic Party. With Democrats’ constant westward shifting of the goal posts, they regard mainstream conservatism as radical. Proof of their extremism and intellectual bankruptcy is their maniacal rhetoric, such as accusing Trump of being a dangerous dictator.
Their emotional breakdown over innocuous and uplifting presidential expressions of patriotism and traditional American values — with their perception that such inherently unifying ideas are divisive and exclusionary — screams volumes.
Such utterances of national pride cannot credibly be depicted as divisive. Likewise, Democrats’ quest to force-fit identity-tinted lenses on all Americans so that we can see one another only as members of certain groups cannot be spun as uniting or constructive.
It would be refreshing if Democrats could at least be truthful about where they stand, but as of now, they are saying one thing and at the same time, well, saying another. Please keep it up through November, guys.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.” Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.