Nationalism

The New Right-Wing Program of Cultural Nationalism Is Un-American and Illiberal

It will empower the state and will divide rather than unite Americans.

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Arizona State University's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership held last weekend a two-day conference on citizenship where one major topic was nationalism. I was invited to speak on a panel titled "American Citizenship in a Global Context: Rootedness and Globalism," along with Baylor College's Ann Ward and the Claremont Institute's Christopher Caldwell.

What follows is an expanded and revised version of my remarks:

Does America need a project of nationalism to make Americans feel more American? More specifically, can nationalism offer a way to foster social cohesion in an increasingly polarized country and globalized world?

Not to give away the punch line, but the short answer is "no." In this, I am sharply diverging from the emerging consensus on the center-right represented here yesterday by Rich Lowry and on this panel by Chris Caldwell. But with all due respect to them, a top-down program of nationalist engineering to unite the country will, I fear, backfire badly, pouring gasoline on the fires of polarization. It'll also force Americans, paradoxically, to turn their back on the one true source of their rootedness: their founding principles of equality, individual rights, and human dignity—universal principles that unify them not just with each other but with the rest of humanity. Their country is an instantiation of universal principles, which makes it possible for Americans to be both citizens of their country and citizens of the world without any inner conflict.

But before I get into why a program of nationalism is undesirable and unworkable, let me push back on the premise of this panel and perhaps conference and say why it is also unnecessary. It is unnecessary because if you look past screechy liberal activists, Americans are preternaturally inclined to not just love but more importantly like their country.

I came to the United States from India some 30 years ago, and I was immediately struck by the same thing that struck a much more illustrious foreigner, Alexis de Tocqueville, about 200 years before me: America is a naturally patriotic country. I remember being intrigued by the open and unselfconscious affection of Americans for their country. To effete European eyes, this might seem corny. But to the eyes of this immigrant from a "shithole country" used to government-sponsored and jingoistic public shows of patriotism, it was really charming to see the display of the American flag outside private homes, the heartfelt rendition and warm reception of the American anthem before every sporting event, and hobby clubs where adults reenact the Revolutionary War and the Civil War dressed in period costumes. On the Fourth of July, every neighborhood association, every city, every municipality arranges its own festivities. No national law is required. No federal funding is demanded. Laredo, Texas, a border town with a 90 percent Hispanic population, has a century-old tradition of holding month-long festivities to celebrate George Washington's birthday that culminate in a debutante ball where young men and women dress up as figures from the revolutionary period. Last fall, I went to Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest battle in this country's history, in which Union forces eked out a victory that allowed Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. My tour guide, hands down the best I've ever had anywhere in my travels, was a retired dentist from Illinois who spends several months every year in the town to conduct these tours, barely making minimum wage no doubt. He does it because he loves that chapter in American history in which his country stood up for its principles.

What is strikingly absent in America, at least until the "Salute to America" that President Donald Trump held in the National Mall last year, is state pomp and circumstance—military parades with soldiers in crisp uniforms smartly saluting political authorities. As Tocqueville observed, American patriotism is very different from the old-fashioned Old World kind that regarded the nation as a father that created its citizens. Americans, by contrast, love their country because as free and productive citizens, they see themselves as its creators. The nation is their offspring, not their father. (Or the result of their actions, not their designs, as F.A. Hayek might have put it.)

Not so in India, where Republic Day celebrations involve a massive parade by various military divisions, complete with fighter planes performing war games in the air, followed by schoolchildren conscripted from all over the country to march in lockstep. Four years ago, after a military skirmish with Pakistan, the Indian Supreme Court issued a ruling mandating that every movie theater begin with a rendition of the national anthem and required every viewer to stand up. "The time has come, the citizens of the country realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to the national anthem…[the Constitution] does not allow any different notion, or the perception of individual rights." This ruling has since been reversed, but such a sentence is unimaginable from the pen even of the most ardently patriotic American jurist. Indeed, far from not allowing any "different notion" or posture toward the national anthem, this country has insisted on letting its beloved symbols be used as vehicles for protests.

Precisely because the understanding in America is that the country exists for the sake of individuals and not individuals for the sake of the country, the First Amendment protects activities like bending the knee during an anthem to protest police brutality, or burning a flag to oppose unnecessary wars. (Also, you won't see any American reenacting the Vietnam War, a sign that this was a mistake, not a "just war.") This allows civic activism by oppressed groups and dissidents to alert the country when it is falling short of its professed ideals. Of course, the dissenters and protesters can and do go overboard, but then their cause fails to sway. In short, American nationalism has built-in mechanisms for course correction, which makes the country more worthy of affection.

The other striking thing about American patriotism—and I am using the term interchangeably with nationalism, although there is a valid distinction to be made, as Reason's Stephanie Slade recently pointed out—is that it does not define itself against something else. If Pakistan and Islam were to disappear from the face of the Earth tomorrow, there would be nothing left to sustain Indian nationalism. It would be devoid of content, hollowed out. But America's ideals anchor it. The demise of Communism didn't diminish America's ideals-based nationalism. It vindicated it. Indeed, it resulted in a wave of democratization around the world, at least for a while. The Israeli author Yoram Hazony, whose book The Virtue of Nationalism arguably launched the post-Reagan nationalist right in America, makes the remarkable claim that America's classical liberalism is fundamentally imperialistic because its political principles are deduced from Lockean notions about a universal human nature. That, he says, leads to a crusading moral universalism that denies the validity of alternative principles of national self-determination. But America doesn't have to try to universalize its ideals—the universe vindicates them on its own. In fact, the one thing that most powerfully undermines American patriotism is misguided warfare aimed at spreading democracy at gunpoint, as in Iraq. I'll speak more on Hazony later, but suffice it to say for now that America does not have to be like the dragon-riding Daenerys from Game of Thrones, incinerating countries to free them.

None of this is to suggest that pre-Trump America had completely risen above the us-versus-them impulse. But Trump's campaign to depict Mexicans as "rapists and criminals" and Mexico as a fundamental threat to American sovereignty is perhaps the first attempt in living memory to mount a major presidential campaign around it.

It is terribly unfortunate that instead of rejecting this idea of nationalism, conservatives are straining to put a respectable intellectual foundation beneath it. It is as if they are buying the notion of the conservative German jurist and philosopher Carl Schmitt that the very core of political life requires opposition to "the Other" because polities, even liberal ones, can't maintain their cohesion on the strength of their own principles. They allegedly need a cultural enemy against which to define themselves.

And what is this new enemy? Mass immigration, especially from non-Western countries. This has become de rigueur in conservative nationalist circles. Germany's Angela Merkel is out because of her friendliness to Middle Eastern refugees; Hungary's strongman, Viktor Obran, is in because he is taking draconian steps to wall off his country from even transient refugees in the name of national security and cultural purity. Though I am pro-immigration, I get why others feel that immigration flows have to be carefully managed. But this is something else. This is making opposition to immigration the central pillar of a program of cultural renewal—treating immigrants as the enemies against whom we assert our national sovereignty.

Once you look past the lofty references to Hamilton and Lincoln in Rich Lowry's book, this antipathy to immigration even makes him flirt with a mild version of blood-and-soil nativism. He argues that "an exclusively idealistic account of America is a mistake" and "the criterion for citizenship in the United States is not attachment to a set of ideas but birth within our borders." He calls George W. Bush's statement that "our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity or soil or blood" a sign of "willful ignorance," because it denies "the contribution of geography or land to our identity." Geography, he says, "is our national destiny," and celebrating the "beauty and bounty of our land in the most exalted terms" ought to inform our understanding of who can be a true American and who can't. What also matters, he says, is whether our ancestors shed blood for the country and are buried here.

What is Lowry's project here? He's trying to articulate a non-racial, non-religious criteria to anchor a thick sense of nationalism that bloodless appeals to abstract individual rights allegedly cannot do. (Tocqueville would be rolling in his grave right now.) He wants to be broadly inclusive of those already in America, but not so inclusive that America has an obligation to anoint as a full American anyone who manages to find his or her way here and agrees to live by American principles. He wants a form of cultural nationalism that makes it more difficult for immigrants to become accepted as Americans. So if America's principles are not enough to anchor a robust nationalism—and race and religion are off limits because they would run afoul of the constitution—then geography and ancestry are the only candidates for Lowry's project.

Lowry devotes an entire chapter to immigration in which he offers the standard conservative prescriptions for reform, namely, cut overall immigration levels and let only high-skilled immigrants come in. But that won't advance his version of ancestral and geographic—or  blood-and-soil—nationalism. Another thing that might be required is something else that's popular in conservative circles, namely, getting rid of birthright citizenship, which automatically makes any child of immigrants born on American soil an U.S. citizen. Lowry's America may also need to let fewer immigrants obtain naturalization and make them wait much longer to do so than the current five years after obtaining their green cards. It may have to make them pass some cultural test.

For those of us who see America's "idealized conception" of citizenship as its greatest strength, there is nothing to be gained by doing something like this. Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America's founding principles, because they know what its like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country. When some Muslim refugees were asked if they are angry about the rising anti-Muslim bigotry in America that Trump may be fomenting, they said something like, "Hell, no. We love a country where the president can be sued."

Lowry's deification of land and ancestry will not just make it harder for such immigrants to be embraced as true Americans; it will also make Americans whose ancestors don't go back generations feel less American. Once a criterion to judge "outsiders" is established, it will also inevitably become a way of judging "insiders." Who will these Americans be? Religious minorities who don't have a long history in this country. A blood-and-soil criterion will become a de facto religious criterion, regardless of whether Lowry intends that.

Will we also start viewing Americans who haven't undertaken a national pilgrimage from the Grand Canyon to the Shenandoah as less American? How about the Amish, who eschew travel but love America precisely because it leaves them alone to pursue their own quaint ways? Will they be granted space in Lowry's cultural nationalism? And the Hassids? Would all these groups be turned into second-class citizens or, worse, foreigners in their own land, because they don't subscribe to Lowry's version of blood-and-soil nationalism?

What a project like Lowry's will do is deny individuals and communities their own ways of defining their own relationships with America, of finding their own reasons to love America.

What's more, if this project is serious it will require state action, even aggression, to make it stick. This means that any attempt to attach it to liberal democratic principles, as Lowry seems to want to do, will destroy these principles.

This is precisely what's happening in my native land, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is demonstrating what it takes to convert a liberal democracy into a robust nationalistic one. Hindu extremists were touting a religiously infused blood-and-soil nationalism, or Hindutva, before such a thing became cool in the West. Hindutva believes that the only true citizens of India are those whose holy sites sit on the hallowed Indian soil that gave birth to their religion. This includes Hinduism and its off-shoots—Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism—but not India's 140 million Muslim inhabitants, equal to half of the population of the United States. Or its 30 million Christians, equal to the entire population of Canada.

Hindutva makes no bones that its ultimate goal is to purge India of these "foreign" religions and return to the halcyon days when only true Hindus roamed the motherland spanning the Himalayas in the North and the Indian Ocean in the South. To that end, Modi's home minister announced plans to separate legal from illegal residents by creating a nationwide registry of citizens. Only those among India's 1.3 billion residents who produce papers showing that they have ancestors dating back to some cutoff year will be included on this list.

The government knows that this will be an impossible task for hundreds of millions of Indians, especially poor ones, many of whom don't even know their birth dates, let alone keep their grandparents' birth certificates. So Modi passed a law that non-Muslims who can't produce documents will be granted amnesty and expedited citizenship. But Muslims who can't do so will be out of luck, even if they do have ancestors going back generations.

Modi's nationalistic project provides a clear example of how empowering a government to impose nationalism does not nurture "mutual loyalty" among citizens, as Hazony suggests. Why? Because this state-prescribed nationalism ends up judging citizens not by their loyalty to each other but their loyalty to the state's aims and methods. In Modi's India, it is not just Muslims and Christians who are considered less Indian. Hindus who don't dutifully line up behind Hindutva's idea of national identity are considered un-Indian. As Modi pushes his Hindu nationalistic agenda, Indians are becoming more divided—the exact opposite of what nationalism is supposed to achieve.

Nor can anyone who embraces Hazony's nationalistic project consistently condemn what's happening in India. Why? Because as far as Hazony is concerned, judging nations that are striving to build thick national communities by liberal principles of pluralism is an illicit breach of their right to self-determination. The liberal conception of individual rights and market economics is only one among many legitimate political principles, he believes. Nation-states should be left alone, not just by international organizations threatening sanctions to imperial powers peddling a new world order at gunpoint but even by any diplomacy that smacks of  moral judgments. In the name of localism, Hazony is advocating not non-interventionism but a radical moral relativism where the only standard of right and wrong is what a nation says it is. The obscene spectacle of Trump visiting India and praising Modi as a great defender of religious liberty even as Hindu militants at that very moment were butchering Muslims merely miles away might be in keeping with that spirit.

I came to America in the heyday of the multicultural movement, when the right was up in arms over the postmodern left's relativism that regarded any effort to judge even Muslim societies that practiced genital mutilation as Western chauvinism. It is breathtaking to now watch the same right talk itself into its own version of moral relativism, which would give the worst atrocities a pass in the name of national self-determination.

To add insult to injury for a classical liberal like me, Hazony enlists in his project the great classical liberal hero John Stuart Mill. Hazony refers to Mill's thoughts on nationalism in Considerations on Representative Government, where Mill suggests that too much diversity makes representative government difficult because then one faction can make alliances with the government to increase its power over others. So even liberty and limited government require nationalism, says Hazony. Lord Acton vehemently disagreed. He believed that the more diverse a nation, the better, because that prevents the tyranny of the majority. But setting that aside, Hazony is mischaracterizing Mill. Mill certainly believed that "common sympathies" among a people makes the task of governing easier. But he also said that there can be various reasons behind this "fellow feeling"—religion, language, geography, common history, or "identity of political antecedent," as is the case in America. Indeed, Mill, citing the example of Switzerland, says that it "has a strong sentiment of nationality" even though its cantons are of "different races, different languages, and different religions." Furthermore, he states if a free nation lacks a natural sense of nationality, one cannot expect it to create one by entrusting the authorities. One of the great advantages of a unified populace is that it is able to limit the power of government, Mill says. But it is putting the cart before the horse to expect that the government, once entrusted with great powers to create national unity, will actually follow through and risk having its own powers limited. More likely it will divide and conquer.

Indeed, any overt program of nationalism will backfire badly, because it will inevitably try to replace Americans' organic love for "political antecedents" with an entirely new and inorganic principle of American nationalism. Whether it wants to or not, it will empower the government to slice and dice people into in-group and out-group based on some artificial principle, becoming simultaneously more oppressive and more divisive.

Nation-building at home in the name of fostering a strong local identity won't work any better, and may in fact work worse, than nation-building abroad in the name of a new world order.

NEXT: Will the First Amendment Kill Free Speech in America?

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  1. Happy Super Tuesday to all the conventional neoliberals of Reason!! Sorry your democratic party candidates all stick absolutely suck ass, ROFLMAO.

    1. Super Thursday is today?!? – Biden

    2. My question is who the DNC is trying to get in there now. The 3 candidates exiting more or less at the same time tells me they were pressured so that either Biden or Bloomberg can succeed. Biden is quite possibly senile and dealing with dementia. That’s before considering allegations of corruption and the many videos of creepiness with women and girls. Bloomberg is an authoritarian douchebag who occasionally says something that vaguely makes sense. However, how does the DNC justify to their base that they want to just give the nomination to a guy because he spent half a billion (more by the end of this) in the primary?

      1. “Biden is quite possibly senile and dealing with dementia.”

        Perfect. Get him elected, let the party hacks select a certain VP candidate. Within minutes of taking the oath, he will have a heart attack. End of Ukraine investigations, glory for the anointed one.

        1. Hillary!

          1. Delusional! The Trumpies all want Hillary to be the Democratic candidate. Sorry, won’t happen. Bernie may be, which the Trumpies and Russians will love almost as much because he is a Loser with a big L.

            1. Come on now. Bernie is Russia’s guy. There’s probably video of Putin and Sanders drinking vodka together at a party in Moscow in the 80’s.

              1. Never drink vodka with a Russian. I have. Regretted it for two days after every time I tried. They are immune to the stuff.

      2. “However, how does the DNC justify to their base that they want to just give the nomination to a guy because he spent half a billion”

        Because who better represents the democratic party than a guy well trained in spending billions at a time, and well trained in ignoring the rule of law?

        1. That, and the Asses would be glad to get some of that sweet a Bloomie cash.

      3. Bloomberg it is. He has apologized for his skin color and now promises (to the left of Clinton,Biden) progressive tax, spend, crony and government expansion policies. Most important, the socialist left states will be bailed out by federal taxpayers.

      4. I don’t understand the question. What about the DNC makes you believe they are opposed to an entirely incompetent president and a rampant puppet regime of unaccountability?

        1. @JoeBiden is nothing more than a skin suit for the Democratic Establishment and the #DeepState.

      5. “Bloomberg is an authoritarian douchebag who occasionally says something that vaguely makes sense.”

        And yet, if he wins, I fully expect to see Shikha supporting Bloomberg over Trump. Because he’s her kind of authoritarian.

    3. We are in for some real entertainment today folks. unreason will be glued to TVs awaiting Hillary’s return to politics.

      BERNIE/HILLARY 2020!

    4. Happy Super Tuesday to all the conventional neoliberals of Reason!! Sorry, your democratic party candidates all stick absolutely suck href=”https://pagalstatus.com” Thanks for This

    5. They don’t all suck ass anymore. Buttigieg is out of the running…

    6. Wow. You didn’t even read it, did you? You’re such a doofus redneck.

  2. Somehow, we will survive.

  3. Same drivel and shitty unsupported arguments as every Shikha article. Tl;dr.
    Here’s the thing about nationalism. We live in a world of nations where each nation is independently run to favor its own people. For this to work well, it is helpful to have a decent amount of social cohesion and a shared culture. I’ll agree that the government being the driver for that culture is a bad thing, but certainly we would be better off if we could unite under a shared culture with shared goals. This is the essence of nationalism as I interpret it. Encouraging cultural importation and displacement of the native culture creates conflict and breaks down national cohesion. This is fine for the globalists who desire world governance, but terrible for those who see nation states as part of a system for localizing power closer to the interests of a people and ideally the individual

    1. Blood and soil or proposition nation?
      A question that never takes a vacation.

      1. “Proposition nation” is an oxymoron. The nation existed prior to any proposition.

        1. Depends on the proposition, and who’s making it.

        2. What nation might that have been?

          1. I think you could safely call it the American nation.

            It’s not like a population miraculously appeared after the constitution was written. There was a functioning people and nation at least 150 years before that.

            1. Well, at least a dozen of them.

            2. Define nation?

            3. In all fairness, the proposition nation which became the US was based on the culture of a specific group of people (Anglo Protestants, with all their simplified takes on the English enlightenment). Now that the group is dwindling demographically, the US is changing its entire culture and national ethos, promoting the Bernies of the world and slowly making the Rands irrelevant.

              1. That group is dwindling a little, but more simply being crowded by an imported replacement population.

                Countries are people.
                Import Not Americans, become Not America.

    2. but certainly we would be better off if we could unite under a shared culture with shared goals.

      What are the “shared goals” that Americans ought to have?

      I see that desire as fundamentally collectivist.

      There are Americans who think that America is the best country on the planet, and then there are Americans who think that America is a horrible terrible place to be. They are both right in their own way, and neither group is any less “American” for having expressed such an opinion. When you start having nationalistic “shared goals” it will push dissenting voices underground, and the dissenters will be viewed as “less American” for exercising their liberties to dissent from a mainstream view. That is a big part of Shikha’s argument here.

      I don’t want “shared goals” from a national perspective. I want each individual to have their own goals that they strive to achieve, by mutual agreement with other likeminded individuals.

      1. Jeff, if you hate america so much you can move. I’m sure you can get a go fund me to help you.

        1. Thank you for illustrating my point.

          I don’t want honest policy disagreements to become the basis for accusations of national infidelity.

        2. It’s people proposing national goals that hate America. We’re a land of free peoples who make our own choices. Nationalism is just another form of socialism.

          1. Nationalism is just another form of socialism.

            Civic nationalism has been a feature of powerful societies for millennia. It’s hardly “socialistic” at all.

          2. Socialism involves force.

            Americans volunteer to be Nationalist.

            1. Americans volunteer to be Nationalist.

              Some do, some clearly don’t. Nationalism is not inherently voluntary, and authoritarian nationalism should be denounced as strongly as any other form of authoritarianism.

              1. Totes!
                How else can we get to that libertarian dream of globalist totalitarianism?

                1. (((globalists)))

                2. Which libertarians are in favor of totalitarianism? Do tell!

                  1. Those bitching about “evil nationalism”
                    Revealed preferences

                    1. There is no logical inconsistency between saying that authoritarian nationalism is bad and that totalitarianism is bad. I get the feeling that you don’t actually know what the word ‘totalitarian’ means.

                    2. And the rest of us get the impression that you missed the point, bignose.

              2. Your citation fell off again.

                1. Why would I provide you with a citation when insist on using your own definitions of words? Besides, you’re the one making the positive claim, the burden is on you to prove it.

      2. “I don’t want “shared goals” from a national perspective. I want each individual to have their own goals that they strive to achieve, by mutual agreement with other likeminded individuals.”

        I do wonder if you even understand the irony of that statement

        1. I was thinking the same thing.

          Fortunately, for radical individualists like Jeff, identity politics and wokeness make it easy to identify like minded individuals and separate them from the wrongthink crowd.

          There’s a lot about this guy that’s ironic. Haha

        2. He clearly doesn’t, because he failed to take that thought to its logical conclusion…what happens as that group of “likeminded individuals” expands beyond just the town, county, or state they originated in?

          Once they become a national majority, or at least a national entity what are they? they become shared national goals…

      3. If everyone has their own individual goals and agrees this is a good thing and preserves the systems that enable this, then your nation has shared goals.

        Look, I’m real glad that you’re an individualist, but you have to realize that once you put the dictionary down, collectivism always exists at some level.

        1. Sophistry means never having to realize anything.

        2. If everyone has their own individual goals and agrees this is a good thing and preserves the systems that enable this, then your nation has shared goals.

          Even if we accept that as a “shared goal” for the purposes of argument, that’s not the “shared goal” that Republicans/conservatives are pushing, is it?

          1. I feel that’s what they’re pushing. They have correctly identified that cultural issues are demographic as well and have decided to restrict immigration from areas that typically vote overwhelmingly to restrict our rights (populations that vote ≥ 70% D).

            1. […] and have decided to restrict immigration from areas that typically vote overwhelmingly to restrict our rights

              Republicans are against immigration from Alabama? I see some problems with that, but I’m interested in hearing more.

              1. If that’s the best you could do, you really suck at this.

                You opened the door, and he kicked it in.

                Seaking got you good, fucker

      4. “What are the “shared goals” that Americans ought to have?
        I see that desire as fundamentally collectivist.”

        Countries are people. Statist people make for a statist country. Libertarian people make for a libertarian country.

        And masses of people who just *don’t agree* on the proper and just use of force make for a violent country ruled by a police state.

        I know *you* don’t let reality intrude on your self righteous deontological moral preening, but I thought I’d point out the issues to people who care about freedom in *reality*.

    3. I always just tell Shikha that she is welcome for letting her Commie ass enter the USA.

      1. Another article where she confuses Reason with the Daily Worker.

    4. Europeans always laughed at Americans waiving the flag and singing the national anthem. The public display of patriotism was useless. If you are born French, you know who you are. Same for Germans. No need for any efforts at national cohesion.
      While laughing at us, they started two world wars.
      India is also a nation composed of different ethnic groups and religions. If there is no common story – an inclusive one – then there will be no common response to issues, and the nation will spin apart.
      The French are in their Fifth Republic. We are still puttering along on our first.

    5. How right you are, Masterthief. Now, if we could only bring more folks around to what you’ve stated here.

    6. Self-government is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

      Populist nationalism is the “for the people” part. Representative government is supposed to act in the interests of the people represented – in the case of the US, Americans.

      What globalists will never admit, is *whose* interests they want the government to act in the interests of instead of Americans.

    7. OK, so what do we do with those people in the nation who do not fit your notion of true citizen?

      Strip them of full rights? Deport them, even if their ancestors have been there for generations? Heard them into camps and gas them?

      The author articulated well what creates national cohesion in this nation, shared belief in American principles of Freedom, Justice and Liberty.

  4. “Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America’s founding principles, because they know what its like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country. When some Muslim refugees are asked if they are angry about the rising anti-Muslim bigotry in America that Trump may be fomenting,”

    Does Shikha realize she makes much of her argument on bald assumptions?

    1. Does Shikha realize she makes much of her argument on bald assumptions?

      Yes.
      It’s her signature style and she purposefully cultivates it.

    2. “When some Muslim refugees are asked if they are angry about the rising anti-Muslim bigotry in America that Trump may be fomenting,””

      Is that the kind of unbiased polling question we can expect from Shikha?

      1. She said “may be” – that’s as close to honest as she gets

    3. Reason:
      “Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America’s founding principles, because they know what it’s like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country. ”

      Predictably, Shikha displays the common Globalist conceit that “Foreigners are the best Americans” and the Leftist’s complete incapability to understand that their own values are not universally held by others.

      The desire to escape a tyranny does not automatically instill the liberal democratic values that make a free, prosperous, and secure country possible, nor does the desire for those *products* of liberal democracy automatically instill those values.

      “It’ll also force Americans, paradoxically, to turn their back on the one true source of their rootedness: their founding principles of equality, individual rights, and human dignity—universal principles that unify them not just with each other but with the rest of humanity. Their country is an instantiation of universal principles, which makes it possible for Americans to be both citizens of their country and citizens of the world without any inner conflict.”

      Anglo American conceptions of liberty are not only not universal principles, they are extreme outliers in the world. No other country can match just the 1st and 2nd Amendments, let alone the entire political culture of individual liberty that Americans have.

      Universalism itself is not a universal value.

      Reason is caught up in the same delusions as the NeoCons, who thought Iraq was full of budding Thomas Paines, who only needed to be liberated from tyranny and given a chance to choose their government for themselves to institute a free and just liberal democracy. We tried that experiment, and *reality* passed its verdict on the NeoCon conceit: the NeoCons were wrong, and Pat Buchanan was right to laugh at their Universalist delusions of a world united in its yearning for liberal democracy.

      Shikha asserts that there is no conflict between being a citizen of the World, and a citizen of the US.

      First, just what *world government* does she consider herself a citizen of? The Globalist New World Order? The International Deep State? If not that, what other world government?

      Second, here is the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America which Shikha was required to take as an immigrant petitioning for US citizenship:

      “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; …”

      If she remains a Citizen of the World, she’s violating her naturalization oath to the United States. That’s the conflict between Team World and Team America. She’s not on Team America, by her own will.

    4. I’ve seen immigrants articulate American values far better than most Americans can.

      See Khizr Khan, father of the late CPT Humayun Khan.

  5. So FDR was an evil nationalist for putting all those innocent Japanese in camps.

    1. FDR’s action of putting American citizens of Japanese descent into camps was indeed evil. Does anyone honestly disagree with that?

      I can imagine people arguing that he simply over-reacted or took poorly-considered actions without evil intent, but I cannot believe there are many people who think imprisoning those Americans based on their ancestry was a good act.

      1. I assume that Jerry’s comment is in regards to the way in which self righteous journos and corporate media types (like Shikha) selectively interpret the actions and decisions of politicians based on meaningless differences of style.

        1. Thanks for the context, @phillhamian.

      2. Lefties just ignore that fact when it is brought up. The Democrats utterly controlled most of government during the Great Depression and early WWII.

        1. “Lefties just ignore that fact when it is brought up. The Democrats utterly controlled most of government during the Great Depression and early WWII.”

          Now when confronted with the historic racism of the Democratic party, they just say, all the racist became Republicans. The stats don’t back that up, but so what.

          In a few more years, I expect the standard Leftwing line to be that Roosevelt was basically just a Republican anyway.

      3. But in an interesting twist on nationalism, many of those immigrants from Japan at least displayed if not felt dedication not just to their nation of origin but some sorts of divine “Japanese-ness”.

        I would guess that Shika would lock them up.

        1. Nationalism is only bad when Whitey does it.

          Most of the world, and certainly the Japanese, are ethnonationalists and find any suggestion that they should be anything but simply bizarre.

          1. Racism has no place in a libertarian forum.

            Continue on.

            1. Your argument seems to have fallen off.

      4. However my step dad who was a POW in Japan on one of the guards was from LA. different times different situation just like slavery always existed and was considered normal practice by all people to enslave others

        1. One of the Japanese guards lived in LA and then went to Japan to fight in WWII or a Japanese guard at your step dad’s POW camp moved to LA after WWII?

          1. I’ll rephrase
            one of his prison camp guards In Japan was born and raised in LA but went to Japan to fight for Japan.

            1. Ah. Thanks for the clarity.

              I doubt that Japanese guard ever moved back to LA. If I was a POW under him, I would have killed his ass back in the states. Japanese treated American POWs very harshly and we would call it torture. He would have to pay for his cruelty with blood.

              1. My Stepdad did say that while there he did plan to kill him but when the second atomic bomb dropped all the guards left and after all the time there he said he no longer cared to kill anyone even them.

            2. And there were German Americans who fought for the Nazis. The vast majority of both Japanese and German Americans however remained loyal to the US.

              One of the great stories of WW2 is the 442nd Infantry Regiment composed entirely of Japanese Americans. Ferocious fearless fighters and the most decorated unit in US military history.

        2. Some of the American-born Japanese in the Japanese military were conscripts who really were in the wrong place at the wrong time. About 30 years ago I read a book entitled”The Two Worlds of Jim Yoshida”, about a Washington-state born man who was sent to Japan as a teenager and was still there when war broke out. He was drafted, but fortunately for him was stationed in Manchuria, so he never actually fought against American troops. Due to that stroke of luck, he was able to avoid having to forfeit his citizenship for engaging in war against the U. S.

      5. Spoken like a true American

  6. Cultural nationalism. A national culture. What makes a country a country, what distinguishes French from Germans, Swedes from Spaniards, Brits from Turks, Chinese from Indian, Canadian from Peruvian. You can’t just move to Portugal and call yourself Portuguese, you have to adopt the culture and assimilate. You know what you call immigrants who don’t want to assimilate? Invaders.

    The idea that an attempt to define a national character is a scary right-wing plot to impose some sort of cultural conformity is nonsense, any American who wants to remain an American is going to resist globalism and an homogenization of human culture all across the globe. And so is any Greek who wants to remain a Greek, Tunisian who wants to remain Tunisian, Russian who wants to remain Russian, and so on. Why would you want to move here and make this place a little more like the place you left? Why would you look abroad and wish for this place to be more like that? You like the way Finland is set up? Then move your ass to Finland, Bernie, why you gotta work so hard to turn this place into Finland and force everybody else to live in Finland, too? I’ll tell you why, you evil fucker, because it’s not Finland you love, it’s the idea that you can force people to live in Finland even if they don’t want to.

    1. Define “American” and then I’ll agree with you.

      Go ahead, we’ll wait.

      1. What unites Americans is the US Constitution / Bill Of Rights moron. Grow up ….

        1. Which interpretation of the US Constitution/Bill of Rights is the correctly “American” one?

          Take for example the Fourth Amendment. There are some who interpret the term “unreasonable search” very narrowly, and there are some who interpret it very broadly. Who is right? Which group deserves to be called “more American”?

          1. The correct interpretation is one that still has and respects a Fourth Amendment, respects our systems of governance and doesn’t legislate from the bench or pass unconstitutional legislation at the state or federal level, attempts to use proper procedure and amend the Constitution where necessary, etc.

            1. So we haven’t had “real Americans” in over a century? Kinda moots the whole argument, no?

              1. Progressivism is pathologically europhilic (and totalitarian).
                The majority of the population is still made up of real Americans, but – starting with Wilson and FDR – the ruling caste has been working to alter that character.
                It’s not dead yet – see the pushback against President Citizen-of-the-World, but it is an existential struggle.
                There can be no more compromise with Global Socialism

                1. No no, that’s moving the goalpost.

                  This line is about defining “real Americans” by specific interpretations of the Bill of Rights. You take your “real Americans are anti-commies” and start your own thread.

              2. The Fourth Amendment is still an amendment.

                Many people would like to amend or outright abolish 1A, 2A, and some even want to throw out the entire Constitution and BoR.

                1. … and?

                  Let me walk you through the conversation here:

                  Which interpretation of the US Constitution/Bill of Rights is the correctly “American” one?

                  The correct interpretation is one that still has and respects a Fourth Amendment […]

                  that has’t been a dominant interpretation of the Bill of Rights for a long time. So if that’s the bar, then we just don’t have “real Americans” anymore.

                  1. I only mentioned the 4th to follow the previous example. I understand where you’re coming from because I too feel the 4th isn’t really respected in the mainstream anymore. I also understand the concern people have about nationalism and the concept of the true scotsman. You’re concerned that arbitrary criteria will inevitably develop, codify itself in the law, and be exclusionary. What I don’t understand with this line of reasoning is why people believe a nationalist culture will express itself through the law. Our culture is already exclusionary without nationalism. For most of the people being called nationalists/calling themselves nationalists, they’re talking about passing laws to stop importing people who will vote to undo the Constitution, not to legislate culture.

                    Maybe there haven’t been real Americans in the sense that we don’t currently respect 4A, but there are real Americans right now trying to restore 4A as well as other aspects of the Constitution. I think we can differentiate between people who want to move towards that and people who want to move away from it.

        2. +1000

      2. It is accepting the principles of the U.S. constitution. Republicanism, Individualism, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Popular Sovereignty. Accepting idea like life, liberty, and pursuit of Happiness. Learning English. Look to Tocqueville, he defined what American is in the 1790s. Its not racial or ethinic, but the accepting of the ideas that make this country great and lead people to want to immigrate here.

        1. Also, just to critique a common argument against your claim pre-emptively, just because America was exclusionary on the basis of protected classes does not mean that the culture itself is presupposed on exclusion of said classes.

      3. “apedad
        March.3.2020 at 8:05 am
        Define “American” and then I’ll agree with you.”

        You do you.
        Now fuck off

      4. Define “American”

        From a Canadian point of view: Anglophone, highly individualistic, Protestant, puritan (in approach rather than values), egocentric, attention-seeking, generous, Utopian, gregarious, neurotic, compassionate and neophiliac.

        Sure there are Hispanics and Catholics and such, but the broader culture is not Latin or Catholic even if the individuals are.

    2. The United States, more than any other country, welcomes other cultures. America is not a melting pot, it’s a stew pot. We take in the best parts of other cultures and adapt them as our own – except that some stupid, evil, racist people condemn this as “cultural appropriation”. Fuck off, it’s not like if we start eating tacos that now Mexicans are wandering around eating gefilte fish and borscht and wondering who the hell stole all their tacos. “Cultural appropriation” is what we do, it’s our culture. If you want to come here and maintain parts of your cultural identity, that’s fine, you love that part of your culture, we’ll learn to love it as well. Just don’t start whining and bitching when we turn your Lord Krishna into a cartoon crime-fighting superhero, he’s our Lord Krishna now too.

      1. Gefilte tacos… I need to buy a food truck.

        1. I honestly don’t know how some of them survive. $12 for a panini? $14 gyros? Outrageous.

        2. I don’t know about those but gefilte fish sushi is an actual thing.

          https://www.jta.org/2019/06/12/food/craving-gefilte-fish-and-sushi-a-new-kosher-restaurant-combines-them-in-a-roll

          Sushi btw is one of more popular things in the kosher world.

      2. America is not a melting pot, it’s a stew pot.

        A stew is tended by a cook who selects ingredients that get added and controls the heating (even if only intermittently or in absentia).

        An unattended open pot that accepts whatever flows or is flushed into it is better referred to as a cistern, septic tank, or sludge pit.

        1. “ An unattended open pot that accepts whatever flows or is flushed into it is better referred to as a cistern, septic tank, or sludge pit.”

          You just defined the federal government.

  7. Actually some rare sense from Shikha, then she writes this:

    It is terribly unfortunate that instead of rejecting this idea of nationalism, conservatives are straining to put a respectable intellectual foundation beneath it.

    Which is precisely what Shikha is doing in the entire piece – spin nationalism to her version.

    Self awareness is absent in this one.

    1. Just this one?

    2. I’m surprised you read her garbage. I skip straight to the comments.

      1. I actually didn’t look at the name, and didn’t realize it was Shikha until part way through. Course I quit and skipped to the comments at that point.

        The beginning of this was actually reasonably well thought out. Then it careened out of control, and fell into the same pit that the rest of her writing falls into.

        1. Her articles reek of vitriol and disdain. It usually only takes a couple sentences to figure it out.

        2. Personally I like how she conflates all mexicans with MS-13.

          1. I bet she fainted when Trump called them animals. MS-13, I mean.

          2. Yeah, but MS-13 is not Mexican, they’re Salvadoran.

  8. Keep in mind that Leftists and the pukes who call themselves Left-Libertarians (there is no such thing) are like spoiled children perpetually throwing tantrums for the adults to witness. What makes Americans Americans is the US Constitution / Bill Of Rights. If you candy ass beta-males cannot accept that simple fact then run away to your favorite socialist nightmare … but of course you won’t do that … as you are dependent, spoiled children who will survive and thrive off the work and efforts of your superiors.

    1. The Socialists in America always talk shit about this great country but wont leave. This country and its freedoms are so great that even Socialists dont want to move to a Socialist country.

      1. The Left gets their sense of purpose and personal value from hating their neighbors.

        If they moved somewhere else, they’d hate their new neighbors just as much.

    2. It is not necessarily the Constitution or the BoR that defines American culture, but the underlying ideas/values they were intended to define and defend. That they have failed at that does not make those values disappear or lose relevance. Individual freedom, self determination, limited government designed to operate only in the sphere on protecting the myriad rights of the individual… these are what it means to be “American” when the country was created. It was a universalist idea in its forming in that all people of the globe deserved access to it. That the men failed at implementation (slavery for example), again did not mean that the values were deficient but that we, as people, are. In every other country in the world it is taken as a given that the state serves as the ultimate arbiter for what the individual can do. In the US that quickly became the practice… but the ideals in the BoR (see the 9th and 10th Amendments for example) are what made America “American” and different from any other place on earth.

      The fact that we can not even agree on this anymore… that the individual is the supreme and that in equality, no individual can lay claim to the life and property of another without consent under any circumstances… is the problem that conservative nationalism seeks to solve. The solutions they propose are very likely to be problematic at times and we should always be willing to stand against such actions when necessary… but the conservatives’ understanding of the existence of a real threat to “American” culture, in accord with this understanding, is worth supporting will all we’ve got.

      Once individual liberty as a supreme value (even though it is no longer in practice institutionally, many Americans still value it as a people) is erased from our national “culture” and relegated to the dustbin of US history as a relic of “racist old white guys”, the only way it will ever be regained on the face of the earth is through bloodshed… something we should all want to avoid if possible.

      1. Perhaps nationalism from conservatives would be better received if they weren’t constantly violating the spirit, and often the letter, of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

        I see elections and gaining the consent of the governed as fundamental to any republic. GOP’s actions towards making elections less free, less fair, and less trustworthy is incredibly toxic to American trust and shared values.

        1. It’s like Christianity. Just because Christians can be terrible people doesn’t mean the ideals of “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” are invalidated. And while the GOP is certainly no angels… at the very least they express SOME since of respect for the supreme value of individual rights. Leftism, by definition and its very nature, are antithetical to individual rights. It is impossible to marry leftism and individual rights… they are literally the opposite of each other. Conservatism, at least, has some room in its philosophy where a limitation of government action in the name of the individual is respected.

          This isn’t a “to be sure” or “both sides” issue… there is one side that is right (individualists of all stripes be they anarchist or libertarian), one side that has some overlap with individualism (conservatives), and one side that is wrong (all collectivists which is leftism). Even issues where the liberal outcome is the same as the libertarian outcome (think gay rights for example) the means to get there are fundamentally different. One is predicated on collective, enforced morality that says you MUST accept gay marriage and the other is based on individual liberty that says your liking of gay marriage is irrelevant… it’s just not your business.

          1. I’m just not seeing any of these individualists in the conservative party now. Since Trump came to be, the GOP has prioritized loyalty to the leader over all else, constitution and principles definitely included.

            1. Yup that is all gone. The few in the party who lean libertarian are gone or castigated by the rest of the party.

              I don’t go for left right labels much but it very possible to be libertarian and agree with many positions called “liberal”. Heck Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. He was only right about that by accident but I agree with him there.

              1. I thought your (and my) take on the left/right dichotomy was pretty typical for libertarians. Looking around here, I guess not.

              2. Many rank and file GOP members believe in less govt. spending in many areas (even if not all like SS/MC). They still believe in the 2A. They still believe in a freer economy. They still believe in a much broader view of 1A rights (sure, flag burning laws… but what else do you have that are real, widespread issues among GOP?). The reality is that in many of the ways they do not support individual freedom, they are in line with the left (SS/MC, sex work, nanny-ism even if it’s a different flavor, etc.).

        2. “GOP’s actions towards making elections less free, less fair, and less trustworthy is incredibly toxic to American trust and shared values.”

          Ah, the “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes true” approach, mixed with pure projection.
          Careful, espresso, the Russians are coming!

          1. I see you haven’t heard of the Hofeller files? Maybe you should give them a look-see.

            I guess you also missed the 2 separate times Trump got on TV and asked hostile foreign governments for help getting elected or re elected.

            I guess you also missed Trump’s continual denial that foreign governments hacked his political opponents and released damaging emails in order to help his campaign.

            I guess you also missed Mitch McConnel sitting on several clean election security bills.

            I guess you also missed the NRA acting as a laundering service for Russian money into GOP campaigns a la Marie Butina.

            I can see how you would think that a lie, if you missed all of these recent events.

            1. “Muh Russia hoax!”

              No, I didn’t miss the psy ops you progressives have been incompetently pushing

              1. Are you going to go check out the Hofeller files now?

            2. Quote debunked bs much?

        3. “Less free, less fair and less trustworthy……”

          Pretty vague grievances. In other words, your side lost, so you’re being “oppressed”?

          Everything is so terrible and unfair.

          Haha

          1. Unlike you, I’m a libertarian. My side never wins, and I don’t expect it to.

    3. Is this parody?

      You accuse others of throwing a tantrum while you go on a diatribe of childish insults and unsupported assertions.

      I think trying to fix elections through gerrymandering, closing polling stations in certain neighborhoods, and soliciting foreign help is pretty obviously unamerican. But go ahead and wail about the commies and “betas” (we got us a macho man over here!) again. It never gets old.

      1. I don’t think you could cite a single source which shows those things (mostly figments of your imagination, btw) to be “unamerican”

        1. You think disenfranchising minorities is “American”?

          Well, that explains a lot.

          1. Nardz is a full on “wanting a white ethno-state isn’t racism” type of guy.

          2. Is this where you want us to feel bad cuz getting an ID is sooooo difficult for POC?

            Not our fault that your pandering form of racism leads you to believe that some people just aren’t capable of very routine processes.

            1. Another guy unaware of the Hofeller files.

              We have documentary evidence of a long term coordinated strategy to disenfranchise non white voters by the GOP. It is inarguable. Even USA Today has run articles outlining very, very clear instances of GOP governors removing polling locations from all or mostly minority neighborhoods. These two things are not unrelated. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/10/30/midterm-elections-closed-voting-sites-impact-minority-voter-turnout/1774221002/

              The voter ID thing is a red herring.

              1. I cannot believe you can read that garbage and not see all the contradictions, the cherry-picking, the turning a minuscule episode into a gigantic “racist?” mountain (pure propaganda) and topping all of that off with the very ignorance that the FEC and State (Which coincidentally run blue) are in charge of the whole mess.

                The article purposely states cherry-picking, the reason for closure is they couldn’t meet new disability (minority?) standards set-up by their blue-state leaders. Any minuscule mess is entirely the fault of the DNC and their “for the minority” mob & pitchfork mentality.

                Absolutely nothing of the entire thing has anything to do with the GOP…

            2. Is this where you want us to feel bad […]

              Don’t be absurd. I have zero expectations of empathy from anyone here.

              That said, my response had nothing to do with empathy, and just with Nardz declaring that disencranchisement (however you morally or emotionally feel about it) wasn’t “un-American”.

          3. I used the term “mostly” because the polling station closings do happen, though not as frequently and fraudulently as race-baiters would have us believes.
            I don’t think “black and brown” people are so inherently incapable that they can’t obtain an ID. Those of you who do think it are pretty fucking racist.
            A “white ethno-state” is by definition racist. It’s also a non-sequiter that comes from people pathologically incapable of seeing issues as undetermined by race.
            Gerrymandering is literally an American practice. One may not like it, but it’s not exactly “unamerican”.
            Anyway, the challenge I presented was that a citation showing those things to be explicitly “unamerican” would not be forthcoming.
            And that challenge was not met

            1. A challenge that was impossible. Is there a source for what is unarguably “American” and what is not?

              And again, the voter ID thing is a red herring. I do not think one should be required, since voter fraud is exceedingly rare and …I thought libertarians used to be extremely suspicious of national ID requirements? What changed? Oh, you guys are actually republicans, but not like Eisenhower or even Reagan republicans, but this new extra neckbeard-y form called Trumpists.

  9. the understanding in America is that the country exists for the sake of individuals and not individuals for the sake of the country

    Hard enough to keep it that way with the ungrateful socialists we already have in our midst without inviting more socialist thinking peoples in.

  10. The closest Reason comes to articulating good libertarianism these days occurs when one reads a Shikha article and infers the opposite of everything she says.

  11. Actually a very well-meaning article by Shikha BUT the points made are all wrong.

    “Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America’s founding principles, because they know what its like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country.”

    We sure can dream — BUT the voting statistics seem to work completely contrary to this claim. While I’m sure a few embrace Americanism it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that statistically the majority of mass-immigration areas vote for just yet another TYRANNICAL COUNTRY…

    It seems they ran away from their own creation… Oh yeah; that is exactly what they did and now want to ‘create’ again – then have to run away again all the time pretending their logic isn’t completely flawed.

    1. I am baffled how people can’t get this. “We get the government we deserve” is true in every case, not just representative governments. The people who flee bad states are the cause of these bad states. Their historical indifference to tyranny, allowing it to fester and spread, is the cause of it. Revolution was always an option and a societies choice to run instead, is expressive of their value system (don’t read this as judging of it… there are good reasons to run or to accept oppression instead of risking your life in some cases… values do not exist independent of other values). When they leave a place that has collapsed, why would their behavior change? They dodged the pain of their choices (those choices being inaction and acceptance of a degree of suffering) by simply leaving (imagine a martial partner who just walks out during a fight and never returns… the problems were never dealt with, including the possibility of their own faults) and as such, have no internal discomfort driving them to change their behavior. When they arrive in a new place, what circumstances have changed that will compel them to alter their political behavior? People don’t change their minds very often, even under ideal circumstances. What makes us think that simply moving some number of miles geographically will cause a philosophical and political revision of someone’s ideals?

      1. A third of all Salvadorans (I think it’s them) live in the US.
        That’s enough of the population to fix their own nation if they tried

        1. It happens all throughout history. Part of the reason Lebanon is such a mess is so many, often the best and brightest left during the civil war. Same happening now with Syria and Venezuela. Most do not return to “fix” their native country and find a new life elsewhere.

          1. That is the issue, though. If these were the best and brightest, why did they allow their home to crumble? And why would we think they would be different political animals in their new home when they never had to face the failures of their previous political action/inaction?

            Again… there are reasons why they may leave, I’m not judging that. There are reasons I’m still in the US despite, at times, wanting to live elsewhere. Like I said above, values don’t exist in a vacuum. But that also doesn’t wash away the reality that immigrants literally are the cause of the failed state they flee, save being violently colonized (something that doesn’t really happen anymore). And to imagine that simply by walking some number of miles to some new place they will abandon their value systems, philosophies, or politics is absurd. How man Americans have you met that have abandoned long-held beliefs? The answer can’t be many because if it were, libertarianism wouldn’t be a scarlet letter.

    2. Overheard once in a Wendy’s restaurant
      Girl(with Mexican accent): ” How many states in America?”
      Boy(with American accent*): ” 50, unless you count Mexico.”
      Girl: “Oh no you can’t have Mexico, that is ours.”

      * For you sophists, accent was American Midwest Northern Illinois Suburban Chicagoese.

      1. I think Canada is pretty much ours though.

    3. “Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America’s founding principles, because they know what its like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country.”

      Foreigners are the *true* Americans, dontcha know?

    4. Wanting the *products* of a society produced by American values doesn’t automatically instill those values in you.

      When people immigrate, their values immigrate with them.

      Import Not Americans faster than they assimilate, become Not America.

  12. “”It will empower the state and will divide rather than unite Americans.””

    Come on, you have no problem with empowering the state. Nor do I believe you are concerned with the division of Americans. I believe you are for both when is serves your ends.

    1. “when it serves your ends” — It would be interesting to see if immigrants vote for a tyrannical state JUST because the tyrannical state[D] would do anything to get more gang-members or because of a deeper underlying corrupt principal (gimme, gimme, gimme).

      1. The LP Presidential candidates unite under free immigration without welfare! Great. Only between 1880-1920 mass immigration before welfare of Ashkenaji Jews have changed the country for the worse.
        Rep Omar is correct, they have hypnotized the West and caused great harm to the Nation. Large numbers of “German” professors immigrated in that wave and promoted socialism. They were largely responsible for American involvement in two world wars that primarily enriched themselves and their Zionist cause. As always in their 4 thousand year history, they are the most endogamous and socially cohesive group. They have infiltrated , as always, the state and corruption follows. They have no regard for free speech, and now they are going after BDS. They have dual citizenship and bring Israeli flags to their jobs at State and
        Treasury. They are responsible for 30% of White Collar crimes.
        The Fed Reserve was created by Marxist Ashkenazi Jews, as well as the lie that the income tax is a new un-apportioned direct tax.
        We have to be able to speak freely and confront them openly or we could have nuclear war.
        Forget moderate Muslim immigration-fear of that can be laid at their feet as well as their allies the Dispensationalist Christians.
        The measure of Jewish Power is the fear of speaking about Jewish power-Gilad Atzmon

        1. “The LP Presidential candidates unite under free immigration without welfare!” — Yep, you make a good substantial argument.

          Gary Johnson (Short of a very tiny county in New Mexico) actually got better support from the ‘Trump’ base than he did the Democratic states. It seems all statistics point to Immigrants vote for a Tyrannical Party (i.e. Steal it and give it to me) base NOT just the party that favors mass-immigration.

        2. Someone forgot to “hide their power level”. This isn’t stormfront, weirdo.

  13. Guess we’re just going to keep hammering away at those racist, Trump supporting, white people and ignore the huge elephant in the room of socialism and imminent totalitarianism?

    1. Whitey is The Devil!

  14. “Trumps campaign to depict mexicans as rapists and criminals”
    Really Dalmia, i dont expect better but thats not even remotely close.

    1. Seems like ENB’s articles about the rape trees on the Mexican Border stopped once Trump ran for President.

  15. To cut through all the bull shit, answer this question:

    How long would the US survive (at least in a state in which you want to live) if we allow unrestricted immigration without also promoting the essence of our nationhood: individual liberty and autonomy?

    (Side note: the origin principals as phrased by Shika, “founding principles of equality, individual rights, and human dignity” read like SJW crap.)

    1. The Top-3 Completely Obvious Contradiction’s of the Democratic Platform
      1) Champion Democracy ([WE]majority mob rules) as being for the little-guy/minority.
      2) Champion Equality while lobbying to legislate based on color, sex, religion and wealth-class.
      3) Champion Social Justice while lobbying to STEAL from Peter to pay Paul.

    2. How long would the US survive (at least in a state in which you want to live) if we allow unrestricted immigration without also promoting the essence of our nationhood: individual liberty and autonomy?

      Do we assume passive or active engagement on behalf of our statist enemies/counterparts?

      I’m fairly certain that China has plans, probably even rehearsed/gamed, to move a couple million people to key districts in the US and get their people elected and otherwise displace Americans from their own market and democracy.

      Not that they would advertise it, but it would be dumb to think otherwise.

      1. Not that they would advertise it, but it would be dumb to think otherwise.

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where’s yours?

        1. Try human history.
          Ot have you forgotten colonialism?
          Maybe look to property ownership in cities like San Fran and Vancouver.
          Or you could simply think about it, maybe in an attempt to avoid looking like a vapid moron

          1. The claim is that the Chinese government has plans to export millions of people to America in order to subvert the American government and bring it under Chinese control. I ask again, do you have evidence of such a plot? And no, “try human history” is not evidence.

            1. So you’re going to stick with looking like a vapid moron.
              Fair enough

              1. So you have no evidence. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just admit that?

        2. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where’s yours?

          First, if it’s what any one of us would do if we got ourselves elected dictator for life, it’s not that extraordinary. Second, China routinely does far more extraordinary things by just about any metric.

          Are you trying to tell me that Chinese intelligence operations aren’t smart enough to overcome a nation that’s willing to throw open its borders to immigrants (and foreign nationals)? *That’s* an extraordinary claim.

          1. First, if it’s what any one of us would do if we got ourselves elected dictator for life

            Speak for yourself.

            Second, China routinely does far more extraordinary things by just about any metric.

            No doubt. But as I said to Nardz above, you made the claim that there is a plot by the Chinese government to export its citizens to the US in order to essentially make the US a Chinese puppet state. I ask again, do you have any evidence of this?

            There are plenty of actual reasons to rail against the Chicoms. You don’t need to make up new ones out of thin air.

          2. First, if it’s what any one of us would do if we got ourselves elected dictator for life, it’s not that extraordinary.

            If “elected dictator for life”, you would banish your own citizens to a foreign country in the hope that a decade down the line they’d be able to apply for citizenship and slowly start turning foreign elections in your favor?

            That’s not a “anyone would do that, it’s obvious!” plan. That’s a “conspiracy nutjob” plan.

        3. Chinese Students Say Free Speech in US Chilled by China

          The Wilson Center, a bipartisan think tank in Washington, reported in 2017 that a small community of PRC students and diplomats have engaged in intimidation tactics ranging from intelligence gathering to financial retaliation. “A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education” examines PRC influence in American universities.

          Western college professors say they, too, feel Chinese intelligence gathering in their classrooms.

          “There have been a couple times where I have had these older gentlemen from the PRC show up in my classroom unannounced and claim they were visiting and who wanted to sit in on my class,” said Crystal Chang-Cohen, who teaches political science at University of California-Berkeley. “But they could not produce any ID so I said no.”

          Professors who research Chinese politics and history said they suspect they are monitored by PRC intelligence officials. One instructor said Chinese who attend his class who appear older than a typical student are asked to leave if they decline to produce student identification.

          A University of Maryland history professor said he, too, occasionally sees classroom visitors he does not recognize. He said he suspects they are gathering intelligence.

          “I think it is a concern that we have organizations on campus that have significant ties to the Chinese government, and are used to monitor the behavior of my PRC students,” said a government and politics professor at the University of Maryland. Classroom discussions “are typically dealing with PRC sensitive issues, for example, history or political science,” the professor said.

          Almost all of the college instructors and professors interviewed by VOA asked to remain unnamed out of fear their American universities would not support them if the Chinese government protested their comments, they said.

          Chinese students comprise more than 33% of the 1,095,299 international students in the U.S. They typically pay full tuition and fees, which many U.S. universities rely upon for revenue.

          Foreign Students Focus on Business, Engineering Studies in US Schools
          Fewer Foreign Students Enrolling in US College and Universities
          Annual Open Doors report of international students in US shows increase in total international enrollment from previous year, but a decrease in new international student enrollment
          The PRC has slashed lucrative university programs when the program dissented from the Chinese government’s policies, the Wilson Center reported. It retaliated against the University of Maryland in 2013, which hosted the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, despite warnings from Chinese diplomats. China has occupied Tibet for more than 60 years.

          Admittedly, it’s the VOA, but they’re only crafting the narrative and you asked for evidence, which this is.

          1. No, this is evidence of some Chinese students self-censoring because they fear being ratted out by other Chinese students and having to face retribution once they go back home. It is not evidence of a Chinese government plot to influence American elections by exporting its people here, which was your claim.

        4. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

          Why is it extraordinary?

          Given that none of us are privy to the internal debates and plans of the PRC government, how can one know whether there are such plans? If we cannot, how can you assert that it is an extraordinary claim?

          1. Why is it extraordinary?

            Because, to my knowledge, such a thing has never happened in the course of modern history. We’re not talking about a foreign invasion, we’re talking about a plan to export millions of Chinese citizens so that they can become American citizens and elect pro-Beijing politicians.

            If we cannot, how can you assert that it is an extraordinary claim?

            For the same reason that I can assert that there is not a teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars; there is no evidence of such, and the burden of proof is upon those who suggest that there is.

      2. I don’t think the Chinese attack through democracy as much as institutional power.

        Student/worker immigration is the vector they exploit for scientific/industrial espionage and control.

    3. Equality without the qualifier as “equal in rights” or “equal before the law” is either an ignorant or (more likely the case among educated liberals) malicious obfuscation of the idea of equality.

      Equality of outcomes is only possible in a world where equality of rights or equality before the law is thrown out the window.

      1. ^BEST Comment I’ve read… Shockingly Brilliant.

    4. The most benign spin to put on Reason writers is that they are deontological loons for whom politics is all moral free-riding purity signaling. The *consequences* of their preferred policies are entirely irrelevant to them.

      The less benign spin is that they hate Americans.

      The truth is likely a bit of each.

  16. The LP Presidential candidates unite under free immigration without welfare! Great. Only between 1880-1920 mass immigration before welfare of Ashkenaji Jews have changed the country for the worse.
    Rep Omar is correct, they have hypnotized the West and caused great harm to the Nation. Large numbers of “German” professors immigrated in that wave and promoted socialism. They were largely responsible for American involvement in two world wars that primarily enriched themselves and their Zionist cause. As always in their 4 thousand year history, they are the most endogamous and socially cohesive group. They have infiltrated , as always, the state and corruption follows. They have no regard for free speech, and now they are going after BDS.
    Jewish power is measured by the fear of discussing jewish power.

    1. Eh, too on the nose. Take some lessons from Misek, you’ve gotta be more subtle than that.

  17. What is strikingly absent in America, at least until the “Salute to America” that President Donald Trump held in the National Mall last year, is state pomp and circumstance—military parades with soldiers in crisp uniforms smartly saluting political authorities.

    What’s amusing about this declaration is that these kinds of events were actually quite common across the country for about 100 years between the end of the 1870s and early 1960s, and particularly between the 1910s and 1950s. Parades were a regular feature during this period as a means of building community ties and bolstering civic nationalism, and they regularly featured martial displays of marching servicemen and even military vehicles. The whole point was to reinforce the culture of “muscular Americanism” that had been in ascendant since the end of the Civil War.

    1. They keep pretending they’re against nationalism and collectivism, but mostly, they’re just against America like all the cool kids.

    2. They are not popular these days though.

      Bolstering “civic nationalism” and “muscular Americanism” is an apt description and tells you why you mostly see these things in places like China, Iran, and North Korea these days. I think it was Vietnam that pretty much ended it here. Given how fed up the public is with our more recent wars I doubt there is much enthusiasm now either.

      It is not the troops or military. They don’t seem too happy about these big parades either.

      I think parades are boring anyway.

      The air shows are awesome though. We should keep those. They have one here and I go almost every year.

  18. Though I am pro-immigration, I get why others feel that immigration flows have to be carefully managed. But this is something else.

    This is not something else. But people also recognize that when mass immigration supporters claim they will carefully manage immigration they are lying. Their goal is to convince people to relax their opposition. Then by the time it becomes clear they are not carefully managing immigration as promised they will transition from “anyone who believes this could ever happen is racist” to “anyone who believes this is a problem is racist”.

    1. That’s pretty much been the MO since the passage of Hart -Cellar.

    2. “I get why others feel that immigration flows have to be carefully managed, but my feelings of self worth are too dependent on my contempt and hatred for my neighbors to let facts get in the way of calling them inbred racist troglodytes at every opportunity.”

  19. “Nationalism” is yet another term rendered meaningless by the progressive and their media overlords.

  20. “To add insult to injury for a classical liberal like me”

    ————-

    LOL, that’s a good one.

    1. Shikha is a self proclaimed Progressive Libertarian – seriously. A Progressitarian. I thought I was joking when I made that up. Poe’s Law rules in Clown World.

      https://insomniaclibertarian.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/libertarian-womens-history-month-shikha-sood-dalmia/
      “She considers herself to be a progressive libertarian”

  21. if you look past screechy liberal activists,

    We can’t. Hidden in this [purposefully?] innocuous description is that these screechy liberal [left wing really] activists are doing everything in their power to reverse the very facts Dalmia cites as evidence we don’t need to worry about it. And to show how much those ideals have shrunk consider half of one major party is about to vote for something completely antithetical to those founding principles.

    1. +100000

  22. Last fall, I went to Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest battle in this country’s history, in which Union forces eked out a victory that allowed Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Issued 1.5 years into a war that was apparently only about slavery.

  23. All in your head.

  24. And how did you get enough Americanism to lecture the rest of us? Pills? Injections? A pamphlet? A half hour of NPR?

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs?

  25. As always, the pro-immigration argument is fatally flawed by ignoring the question of scale. In moderate doses, immigration poses no threat and may be highly beneficial. Where immigration swamps a nation, it can have a dramatic impact on culture and public policy. Today, libertarians should be highly conscious of this, because so much of the support for Bernie Sanders’ and his “movement” to change our form of government comes from latinos. Almost every country in Latin America has experimented with communism and socialism. The residents of those countries–even the most prosperous, like Chile–are accustomed to coups and upheavals. Isn’t it clear, at this point, that the massive influx of immigrants from Latin America is threatening our public policy values and our form of government?

    1. Actually what those folks have experienced is massively corrupt and inefficient government under various titles. There is very little actual ideology involved and the people know it.

      Nope not threatening at all but sounds like the way a collectivist would think.

    2. bingo….people from socialist, communist, or crony countries tend to bring it here. Look at Russian Jews…the joke was always they had three beliefs…socialism, secularism, and zionism…and they were the often recruited Soviet spys..and to this day lead the push in much higher % than their population for bigger govt, attacks on the Bill of Rights (2nd amendment), higher taxes and group rights…

      1. Aha.

        It’s Jews again.

        Shit. We really didn’t pick this. Read Exodus or anything about Jewish history. Watch a movie about it.

        You want a Jewish joke? We got those.

        Two Jewish guys sit at the train station every day to go to work.

        They are reading newspapers to pass the time.

        The younger guy says “hey, why do you read that anti Semitic crap paper every day.”

        The older guy says “look, I read the Jewish paper. There is rise in antisemitism, trouble in Israel, problems in Europe.”

        “I read the anti Semitic paper. Jews own the banks, Wall Street, Hollywood, Media, politics… it is much better news”

  26. Does anyone actually edit this drivel?

    When you want to write a polemic against some proposal or movement, the first thing to do is to define that proposal or polemic.

    Shikha Dalmia sends us off to read books by Rich Lowry and watch videos.

    Tell us what you oppose! Be specific.

    1. To be specific is to make actual arguments.

      Note that she only argues against controlled opposition like Lowry, not actual Trump supporters.

      Let’s see her debate Michelle Malkin, Stephen Miller, Ann Coulter, or Mark Steyn on immigration.

      Too tough? How about even Victor Davis Hanson? Or even NeverTrumper Charles Murray?

  27. Not only do we need a return of nationalism, we need a mass deportation of anyone who has immigrated here in the last 50 years and their descendants. Shikha Dalmia you are not an American and will never be an American. You will always be an Indian living in a nation that is not yours. Of course you have no desire to protect the traditional American nation, it is not part of your blood. Return to India where you belong.

  28. That so many commenters here apparently actually read the article is a beautiful display of tolerance and appreciation for diversity. Also masochism.

    1. Govt forced Diversity is the destroyer of liberty….

      Diversity is simply warmed over marxist ideology based on “group rights” and equal results. Diversity is govt force..destroying free association for equality of results the anthesis of liberty.

      I like an America filled with people who don’t hate me because my ancestors were from Europe and who will vote for politicians who blame me for “problems”, marginalize my kids, and celebrate when the “mob” takes my wealth and ensures the “group” I belong to is “hurt” .

  29. More not Libertarian drivel from a Bloomberg magazine writer……….What is wrong with Reason magazine???

  30. There is not much new here. These attitudes have been around forever.

    I am close to open borders. I know that will not convince anyone. On immigration polls I have seen (Gallup) currently about 1/3 want to decrease immigration and the rest either want to keep it the same or increase, more in the former. So there we have it.

    A lot of what drives that is not nationalism, it is economic such as a recession and high unemployment, or a big event like 9/11.

  31. A contradiction right inside the headline….it’s un-American to be American? Cultural nationalism is as American as it gets, just like cultural nationalism in Spain is as Spanish as it gets, cultural nationalism in Greece is as Greek as it gets……etc.

    1. There is no such thing as cultural nationalism. There is hardly such a thing as culture especially in America. It cannot be defined except as an imaginary construct to justify a certain vision, not of what America is, but what one imagines it should be.

      Liberals champion liberal values. Conservatives champion conservative values. We have about equal numbers of both. How can one exclude the other as not authentically culturally national?

      In a broader sense culture encompasses many other things in which the US is highly diverse. Culture is fluid and dynamic. It is not a fixed entity to be preserved. Look at food, art, music, fashion. They are all commingled with a broad variety of influences.

      To me it is just a useless term. We can talk about political values on which the country was founded. All men are created equal…life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. All that jazz. Living up to those lofty goals is where the country should be headed. The rest is commentary.

  32. Thanks Shikha, for understanding and appreciating American values better than most Americans do today.

    1. Please show me a multicultural nation which was successful in ensuring our natural rights and not group entitlements…I can’t find one. Immigrants need to adopt to America and stop this far left bolshevik politics…look at Virginia..taken over by Federal Statists and others who are attacking the 2nd amendment because they have no respect for the Bill of Rights

    2. America was founded upon an idea – written in the U.S. Constitution. Those ARE the “American values” and the “Rule of Naturalization” is written there.

      Pretending that the entertainment of the destruction of those “American Values” is the “American Value” is entirely backwards.

  33. Good writer, especially for an immigrant.
    I’m reading Danish society is top of the list of happy societies. Why? Everybody is assimilated pretty much and there’s less internal friction. It’s not that hard to understand why India, China, Burma, France, the UK, and surely a dozen other countries we don’t read about are doing what they can to shunt the Mohammedans either away to somewhere else, or to abandon their idiotic and toxic “faith”.

    1. To the Danish you are here now so you are one of us. They don’t care about your religion, where you were born, or what food you eat.

      The story of Denmark and the holocaust is illustrative. When the Nazis came the people quickly hid most of the Jewish community and their property. As the Nazis began the Danish resistance organized a plan. They transported the Jews, over 6000 by hiding them in fishing boats to Sweden. After the war when they came back all of their property was returned as they left it.

      When asked about it a resistance leader just shrugged his shoulders and said “to us they were just Danes”.

      Shika shares her immigrant story with us which is wonderful. At the end of the day to me she is just another American.

  34. America is based on a principals based on British and Northern European (circa 18th century) of small govt, suspicion of wars and hard work with a heavy dose of public virtue and honesty. As waves of Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans came over from the old country they quickly adopted “American culture”. Multiculturalism was and is the anthesis of what America is about…a shared view of liberty, limited govt, sound money, and peace. But the massive migration from countries/societies which have no backround in American values and who “celebrate” multiculturalism (and it’s inherent war on liberty, natural rights, and free markets) by voting for politicians who give them “stuff” and stick have little use for our Bill of Rights (look at Virginia) is the problem. WE are still stuck with the New Deal passed by recent immigrants (Italian and Jewish) is a clear example of the risk of allowing folks into America who have no idea of our values. At least Italians got smart and voted for Trump.

    Maybe we just don’t want to be invaded by people who will enable the end of our liberty..

    1. Amazing how we had to fight a bloody war against the British to achieve it, given that they gifted all this European goodness to us, right?

    2. Import Not Americans faster than we assimilate them, become Not America.

      Countries are people.

  35. She fails to distinguish legal vs. illegal immigrants. Again. As usual. To muddy the huge differences between the two populations. More lame Shikha nonsense.

  36. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Better run back to India then right bitch?

  37. A resurgence of local culture and autonomy is the right response to the huge superstates and empires whose day is ending. The only alternative is a rigid totalitarian government dragging the world down to doom.

  38. I really hope Baiden will be the new President!
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  39. Bravo. Well written.

    Instead of rejecting identity politics, the nationalist right-wingers embrace their own version of it. Sad.

    1. That line that gets crossed when one starts pretending a persons deliberately chosen criminal path is all-but an identity politics scheme.

  40. Everybody seems to have an opinion on what “Un-American” is.

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  42. “Recent arrivals often have a deeper and more visceral appreciation of America’s founding principles, because they know what its like to live in an unfree, tyrannical country.”

    I can see how this applies to Dalmia, but with open borders how do we know every immigrant isn’t a murderer, rapist or criminal just fleeing authorities seeking to prosecute them? IMHO she misrepresents Trump’s immigration position which, as I see it, is to get the immigration laws fixed so they are enforced, and we do screen immigrants for their character, lack of contagious disease, and ability to support themselves. While Lowry obviously wants to limit immigration, Trump is willing to work with Congress to reform immigration laws and I’d bet he’d accept a big increase in immigration to do so.

  43. “Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest battle in this country’s history”

    No. It’s held to have the most casualties in a single day, and it happened to be a single-day battle, but many other multi-day battles had more casualties in the Civil War, WWI and WWII.

  44. Sorry, if by including links this can’t be posted. What I said was –

    Shikha I like the substance of your piece, but you need to do some research.

    “Also, you won’t see any American reenacting the Vietnam War, a sign that this was a mistake, not a “just war.””

    Just search for “Vietnam Reenactors” and you’ll get many results. The point is yes, Americans reenact the Vietnam War.

  45. ” Though I am pro-immigration, I get why others feel that immigration flows have to be carefully managed. But this is something else. This is making opposition to immigration the central pillar of a program of cultural renewal—treating immigrants as the enemies against whom we assert our national sovereignty.”

    If you “get” that it’s legitimate that some hold that immigration should be managed, you should “get” then that it is a source of resentment when that management, i.e. Laws, are routinely ignored and undermined. Uphold the Law. Let a million immigrants in a year, fine. but the 1,000,001st must be deported. It’s The Law.

  46. “anyone who manages to find his or her way here and agrees to live by American principles”

    Then why do central and south american immigrants and civilian invaders demand that spanish be used in The U.S.? When my father immigrated from Ukraine in the 1950’s the NY Subway didn’t broadcast announcements in Ukrainian, yet for some reason I’m subjected to spanish in the DC metro. A large portion of these people seek special privliges and/or to carve out a state within the state. That isn’t assimilation.

    Not everyone gets invited to enter Galt’s Gulch.

  47. From the Gospel According to John (Prine):

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    They’re already overcrowded from your dirty little war
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