[Photo by Jerry Newcombe of the Gallup organization, cited in this column] Those poor people at the southern border. So many of them are risking their lives to try and get what they think is a better life here in America. They don’t realize how bad things are here. They haven’t been exposed to the constant America-bashing message coming from the liberal institutions that dominate our schools, our culture, our entertainment, and even our museums.
I love museums. Recently, I visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. I must admit I was very disappointed. The overall impression one can easily be left with is that America, for the most part, stinks.
For example, in the display on World War II, the big headline-grabbing focus is on the terrible, ugly chapter where Japanese-Americans were interred during the war. That was done by the liberal icon, FDR. Years later, the Supreme Court ruled that those prison camps for Japanese-Americans were unconstitutional and regrettable.
But was that the sum total of America’s experience in World War II? What about all those millions of young Americans who served in both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the war? My dad was one of those (Pacific, to be specific). There were a few hundred thousand Americans that died in places faraway like Normandy, Iowa Jima, Luzon, and Okinawa.
In the display on American democracy and voting, the overall impression one is left with is that, for too long, Americans denied voting rights to certain segments of the population.
Our founding fathers pledged their “lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor,” while relying on God, so that “we the people” shall govern. In America we govern by the consent of the governed. Obviously, the nation was slow in getting that privilege to be extended to African-Americans and women. But we did ultimately get it right.
This is the same museum system that has a separate building dedicated to exhibiting African-American history, and they slighted one of the most prominent blacks in American history—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Why? One can only surmise that it is because they don’t like his politics. He doesn’t march in lock step with the predominant liberal ethos—that America stinks. America always stinks. America has no hope for improvement.
Dinesh D’Souza disagrees with this ethos. He came from India and has managed to thrive in this country, writing books and making powerful and successful documentaries. In one of those movies, he said that he loved America because in this country you can write your own script.
To paraphrase Dr. D. James Kennedy, the freedoms we enjoy in America “did not spring full blown like Athena from the head of Zeus. Rather, it took some time and experimentation and trial and error to work out the flaws and perfect the system that was developing.”
What is the net result of the constant drumbeat of how America has always (and often still does) get it wrong?
Writing for Gallup Polls (7/2/18), Jeffrey M. Jones observes: “For the first time in Gallup’s 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are ‘extremely proud.’ Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down from 51% in 2017 and well below the peak of 70% in 2003.”
I met a lady recently who grew up in Alabama. When she was in high school about 30 years ago, she spent a few months in Soviet Russia as an exchange student. Whatever starry-eyed notions she may have had about the resplendent glory of the Communist state were quickly and completely shattered. She was struck how depressed and hopeless the average citizen was. When she returned to the States, she got down on her knees at the tarmac and kissed the American soil.
America is not perfect. It never has been. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us—America has a good creed, that all men are created equal. Our problem is that we haven’t lived up to the creed.
I once asked Rabbi Daniel Lapin about the impact of the life of Jesus, including Judeo-Christian influence in the creation of America.
He told me: “The easiest way to answer the question of whether life on planet earth is better because Jesus walked Jerusalem or not is very simple, and that is: Just watch the way people vote with their feet. Watch where the net flow of immigration is in the world today. Is it from Christian countries to non-Christian countries or the other way around? It is so obvious.”
But I thought of all those poor suckers on the southern border, in some cases, risking their lives to try and make it into this country. If only they knew how much America stinks (always has and perhaps always will, according to the Left), they wouldn’t do it.