What, precisely, is it about America you love?
That’s the question this July 4 as just 29% of Democrats say they’re extremely proud of the country, accompanied by just 33% of Independents and 60% of Republicans. In fact, Democratic love of country has always fallen far behind that of Republicans, even during the Obama era, when it hit a temporary high of just over 50% (Republicans at the time said they were extremely proud of the country at a rate of approximately 70%).
Why is it that liberals in the United States are so much less proud of America than conservatives? These days, the answer typically given is America’s inherent sinfulness; there is nothing in the American founding worth conserving. On Independence Day, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., tweeted, “The Declaration of Independence was written by enslavers and didn’t recognize Black people as human. Today is a great day to demand Reparations Now.” Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., similarly tweeted, “This July 4th, we must remember that we stand on stolen land toiled by enslaved Africans and recommit ourselves to the fight for freedom, equality, & justice so that these ideals are accessible to everyone, not just a privileged few. We are not free until everyone is truly free.”
America, to these types, is a platform for utopianism rather than a set of ideals worthy of emulation. The Declaration of Independence was a lie; the Constitution was merely a guise for power. And the quest for a perfect world must begin in tearing down such institutions with whatever means are at our disposal. The ends justify the means.
Thus, while Democrats fulminate over supposed threats to democracy, a federal judge this week ruled that the Biden administration violated the First Amendment in pressuring social media companies to restrict free speech regarding COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, among others; the Supreme Court ruled that the Biden White House had violated its constitutional boundaries in waiving student loan debt. Biden’s response: He pledged to utilize the executive branch to work around the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Respect for the founding means respect for founding principles. Biden and his ilk have used a misinterpretation of one founding principle — “equality” — to vitiate the natural rights for which the founders originally fought. When the founders said that “all men are created equal,” they meant specifically that human beings had been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” They did not mean, as Biden suggests, that all human beings ought to be made equal in result, or that indeed, all human beings are equal in all capacities. Biden’s idea is utopian nonsense; the founders’ idea was grounded in millennia of evidence and Judeo-Christian tradition.
Patriots celebrate the founding for what it was: a breakthrough in the nature of human governance, a ringing statement in favor of liberty from the heavy hand of tyranny. Today, too many celebrate the founding only as a platform for future change — change that would annihilate the ideals of the founding along the road to a “higher good.” This, presumably, is why Republicans are far more patriotic than Democrats even while saying that America is in the midst of a moral crisis; meanwhile, Democrats are far less patriotic while suggesting pride in America’s current moral state. Conservatives are disappointed with man’s sinfulness, but proud of the founders’ ideals; many liberals are disappointed with the founders’ ideals, and proud of man’s sinfulness.
Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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