The Assault on Americanism
I often amaze my motorcycle-riding friends with my memory for facts, and my ability to put recent events in chronological order, and assign a certain event an approximate date.
“When was that ride when we went down the Blue Ridge Parkway and had to come back the second day because of the threat of hurricanes down in Tennessee?”
That was 2004. How do I remember? I just do. It has nothing to do with being smart – or not so smart; it has to do with the fact that some people remember things, while others don’t.
(Now, ask my wife if I remembered to call the doctor for an appointment or to take out the garbage. The answer is usually NO.) Selective memory, of course…
That’s why I enjoy reminiscing about recent American history. What was going on in 2004, other than deadly hurricanes swirling up and down the eastern USA?
Well, 2004 was a presidential election year. All kinds of interesting events take place on years that are multiples of four. (Gotta bring math into everything I write…)
I distinctly remember the Democratic presidential candidates' debate in New Mexico, when the Democratic Party publicly rejected the motto of our country, "e pluribus unum" – "out of many, one." At the time, the Democratic Party seemingly declared war on the centuries-long revolution of coalescing people of every ethnic, linguistic, racial and religious background into a new, non-ethnic entity known as “American.”
At this time, I must remind readers that I was born and raised in Cuba, of Cuban parents. I arrived in this country at the age of 13. I’m an immigrant; I’m an American. No one in his right mind may accuse me of xenophobia.
For the first time in American history, a major party debate was conducted in two languages. To make the Democrats' counter-revolution official, New Mexico's Democratic governor opened the debate by announcing that it would be held in two languages in order to embrace multiculturalism. This was an attempt to undo the American revolutionary idea that one's ethnicity and bloodline should be of no significance. Far from being progressive, the Democrats' emphasis on ethnicity (blood) and race is utterly reactionary and counter-revolutionary.
Few Americans have a problem with candidates of any party speaking to voters in the voters' native languages. More power to any American politician who can communicate in more than one language. This audience in New Mexico, however, was, for the most part, an English-speaking audience.
The point of making statements in Spanish was to make public the Democratic Party's counter-revolutionary ideology that Americans should not continue to be united by English, and that the United States of America should no longer encourage its citizens to embrace a distinctive American culture, identity and values system. This country should rather be a land of many cultures, united merely by accident of geography.
People who reject the American ideal – either out of ignorance about Americanism or out of the leftist conviction that American values are not superior to any other – now run the Democratic Party. I certainly can’t imagine Harry S Truman, or John F. Kennedy, or Lyndon Johnson, or Hubert Humphrey, or any Democratic leader prior to the 1970s, embracing the idea that America should be multicultural. In large measure, the American ideal has been the attempt to create a society that is multi-ethnic, but not multi-cultural.
Americans have always embraced individual private expressions of different cultures. The Chinese who teaches his children Chinese, the Armenian who sends his child to an Armenian school, the Jew who makes sure his child becomes a bar-mitzvah – all these people are honored by American society. The key for my motorcycle is in a fob that shows the Cuban flag on one side, and the Cuban national shield on the other.
The American ideal has always been that, no matter how attached an individual is to his particular culture of origin, every American citizen will identify as an American, united by one language in the public square.
The same week the Democratic Party declared war on the American ideal, it further damaged America by having the largest state in the union, California, which the Democrats fully control, pass a law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license. The driver's license is the de facto form of identification in our country. Thanks to the Democratic Party, now anyone who sneaks into this country from places such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Syria can go anywhere and board any airplane just as an American citizen can.
The Democratic Party, for a pot of gold – Latino votes – has been debasing American citizenship. Why should anyone wish to become an American citizen, when one can get a free education, free health care, and a driver's license (with which you will be able to then vote) without becoming a citizen?
My decision to become an American citizen in 1972 came as a result of wanting to register to vote in that presidential election, and to secure an American passport for travel to see my wife Marianne’s Swedish relatives in the old country. While in Sweden, I traveled as an American, not as a Cuban exile – I distinctly remember that awesome feeling.
Why identify as an American when this country officially celebrates one’s cultural identity at least as much as it celebrates American cultural identity?
Why learn English, when the USA will do everything possible to make that language unnecessary to many Spanish-speaking immigrants, legal and illegal? I learned English, first to survive, and then to excel. This is an English-speaking country; I embrace it and love it the way it is.
Because some readers confuse ideological attacks with personal ones, the obvious needs to be stated: There are many beautiful Democrats and there are many repugnant Republicans. As a party, the Democrats are damaging this country more than any external enemy or ideology has come close to doing. If an American is a committed leftist (or a trial lawyer), it makes sense to remain a Democrat. If an American is not similarly committed, for love of country, leave that party.
Reminiscing recent American history – a continuing story.