Jewish World Review July 4, 2014 / 6 Tammuz, 5774
Resentment behind the waning patriotism of liberal Americans
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You wouldn't think, five years into the Obama presidency, that so many liberal Americans wouldn't like America.
A new Pew survey found that 44 percent of Americans don't often feel pride in being an American, and only 28 percent said that America is the greatest country in the world. Respondents who "often feel proud to be American" were overwhelmingly conservative (from 72 percent to 81 percent depending on the kind of conservative). A majority (60 percent) of "solid liberals" said they don't often feel proud to be an American.
The polling data only proves what has been obvious for a while.
Lewis is right. If it came before the
In fairness, Lewis was primarily condemning congressional gridlock, not
A legitimate hero of the civil rights era, Lewis has adopted the liberal habit of suggesting that his political opponents have a burning desire to return to the era of
Contrary to what you hear daily on MSNBC, Republicans don't want to force
Lewis isn't the only leading Democrat incapable of giving the American people some credit. In the wake of the
She's not alone, of course. To listen to some of the hysterical responses to the court's decision, you'd think the government in
This glib anti-Americanism manifests itself most readily when issues of race and gender are in the headlines, but it hardly ends there. MSNBC host
It's ironic. In 2009, conservatives (myself included) pounced when
By this standard, American exceptionalism isn't exceptional, it's a vague and meaningless form of national self-esteem, rather than a complex concept describing the uniqueness of the American founding and American character.
Liberals quickly and angrily defended Obama, saying none should dare question his patriotism, and of course he believes America is special. In May, Obama took another stab, telling West Point graduates that he believes in American exceptionlism "with every fiber of my being." But he immediately qualified what he meant by insisting that "What makes us exceptional is not flouting international norms and the rule of law; it's our willingness to affirm them through our actions."
Translation: We prove we're exceptional by playing just like everyone else - just like playing soccer!
Why liberals have become so comfortable running down America is no doubt complicated, but I think one part of the answer is obvious. Liberals tend to equate patriotism with the government. Obama was supposed to usher in a glorious new era of European-style big government. He's failed, though alas not entirely. But in the attempt he aroused a populist movement -- the tea parties -- full of people who wore their traditional patriotism on their sleeves and tricorn hats. The forces of American exceptionalism proved formidable, taking advantage of our exceptional constitutional structure to thwart European social democracy.
And liberal resentment over that fact is palpable.
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