The erosion of citizenship

Today many condemn the idea of nationalism by connecting it to race hatred (e.g., white nationalism). But historically, the modern nation-state has proven uniquely suitable to preserving individual rights.

The American nation in particular was successful in uniting individuals of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and creeds into one people based on shared principles, a unique physical space, and a common national story.

Our nation is the best example in human history of positive nationalism.

The key to this benign nationalism is American citizenship, based on an understanding of American exceptionalism and formed by the American melting pot. But today, our citizenship is eroding and, along with it, American nationalism in the positive sense is disappearing.

American citizenship is eroding in three ways.

First, we are blurring the line between mere residents and citizens. We have between 45-50 million non-native-born residents in the United States today — the largest absolute number we’ve ever had.

There’s no legal problem with the 30 million of them who have green cards or have acquired citizenship — although even 30 million is a challenge for the American melting pot to assimilate and integrate.

But we also have, according to a recent Yale and MIT study, about 20 million people who are here illegally. In regard to them, the classical ingredients of American citizenship — the right to leave or enter the country as one pleases, for example, or to vote in elections, or to reside here as long as one pleases — are being blurred.

Where I live, in California, if you’re here illegally, you can de facto go back and forth across the border as you wish. In San Francisco, you can vote in some school board elections (the same is under consideration in some places in New England). And as we see with the DACA program, illegal residents can de facto live in the U.S. indefinitely.

We are becoming a country of tribes.

Some policies even discriminate against citizens. An illegal resident in California who is charged with a crime is not subject to federal immigration law to the full extent, whereas a citizen who flies into Los Angeles from overseas without a passport will be detained.

If you are in California as an illegal resident, you can obtain a driver’s license as citizens have in the past; whereas for citizens, starting next year, there will be an extra burden: to travel by commercial air, they will have to provide at least three sources of proof of citizenship to obtain a valid ID — given the apparent devaluation of the driver’s license.

People who come to the U.S. illegally and in great numbers usually do not have the degree of investment citizens do in our constitutional documents and are often unacquainted with our national story. Candidates from south of the border today fly into California’s Central Valley to campaign. Illegal residents vote in their home countries’ elections — and yet are unacquainted with political issues and candidates here in the U.S.

To avoid a fragmentation of society based on racial and ethnic chauvinism takes an extra effort to keep the melting pot working. We’re no longer making that effort. Indeed, we’re doing the opposite, encouraging diversity rather than unity.

Second, we’re becoming a country of tribes. The idea of multi-racialism — the notion that we’re of different races but we share a common culture — is eroding.

To avoid a fragmentation of society takes an extra effort. We are no longer making that effort. We are doing the opposite.

At many colleges and universities today, you can choose in advance the racial background of your roommate. Campuses have “safe spaces” that are reserved for people of particular races. There are dorms where students segregate according to race. Ethnic studies departments thrive by emphasizing racial exceptionalism.

Do we wonder why Elizabeth Warren chose to be a Native American, which, according to her own logic — the power of white privilege and systemic racism — would put her at a disadvantage? The answer is that she sought a careerist advantage. And Harvard was happy to comply. The law school bragged that she was its first “woman of color” faculty member.

I went to a grammar school that was about 90 percent Mexican-American. Some people who I went to first grade with later changed their names from Juan to John and dropped the accent on their last names. Now in their 60s, they’re changing back to Juan and adding back the accents.

Why? Because there is now a disadvantage in identifying as an un-hyphenated American, and an advantage to belonging to a tribe. And the danger is that this logic of tribalism leads to the kind of social breakup and civil discord that we saw in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Iraq.

Third, the middle class, which had been encouraged and celebrated since the time of the American Founding, is now under sustained attack.

Tribalism leads to the kind of social breakup and civil discord that we saw in Rwanda, Yugaslavia and Iraq.

A solid, property-owning middle class anchors the nation. Traditionally, its members show the sobriety and judgment to achieve autonomy. They don’t look to government for help. They stand as a barrier against both property redistribution and crony capitalism.

Today, America’s middle class is threatened. Homeownership is down to about 62 percent from 71 percent just over ten years ago. The percentage of a family budget that goes to housing has risen from 20-30 percent in the 1950s to 30-40 percent today, especially in coastal corridors.

Middle class wages, until an annual increase of three percent under President Trump, had been frozen for ten years. And we have an aggregate $1.6 trillion in student debt.

If the middle class continues to erode, we will become a nation of peasants and oligarchs. In California, more than one out of five people live below the poverty line — despite the fact that California has one of the highest number of zip codes of America’s most affluent people and the highest number of billionaires.

If you drive through Palo Alto, you’ll see people living in RVs because they can’t afford to buy or rent a home — and these are people working for Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, and Apple, with a total market capitalization of nearly $4 trillion.

Additionally, we are seeing a formal assault on the Constitution by our elites.

Almost every single Democratic candidate for president was in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, which is in the Constitution to ensure equal representation to people living outside big cities, and to prevent the splintering of the electorate into several small parties.

Consider the nullification of federal law through the creation of sanctuary cities, in direct defiance of the immigration statutes. (Of course, such nullification seems to go only one way. Otherwise, imagine how our elites would respond if the people of Provo, Utah, decided within their municipal jurisdiction to nullify federal handgun registration or the Endangered Species Act.)

We are seeing a formal assault on the Constitution by our elites.

There is also a growing academic attack on the mode of electing the U.S. Senate — “Why should North Dakota or Wyoming have the same number of U.S. senators as New York?” progressives ask, in their eagerness to make U.S. senators proportionally elected in the manner of House members.

This insidious assault on the Constitution results from the fact that popular elections haven’t been going the Left’s way, and the Left believes that its superior moral agenda justifies using any means necessary.

Ancient authors from Plato and Aristotle to Petronius and Tacitus have suggested that affluence combined with leisure paradoxically creates a laxity that leads to the kind of societal and institutional disintegration we are currently seeing.

Another major ingredient of our current crisis is the failure of our education system to offer disinterested instruction, following from the post-1960s takeover by the Left of our colleges and universities.

The assault on the Constitution results from the fact that elections haven’t been going the Left’s way.

In response, we need to support colleges that continue to teach the principles and practices of liberty. We must support policies that recognize the distinction between citizens and non-citizens and that bolster the middle class. And we need to defend the Constitution, our last great hope to ensure American continuity and security.

***

(The author of the above is Victor Davis Hanson. He is the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College. This piece was taken from Imprimis, which is published by Hillsdale, a superlative institution of higher learning. Subscribing to Imprimis is free. I highly recommend it.)

Limeys get liberated!

THE UNSEEN MOON sends heartfelt congratulations this morning to the Brits who have thrown off — as of 11 p.m. last night — the yoke of the European Union.

acfede1733495afc76812f0988826c8bSince Great Britain was one of the principals of the EU, there is hope of a domino effect and that other nations will come to their senses, embrace their nationalities and culture, and get the devil out of that nefarious, globalist organization.

Like open borders in North America, open borders in Europe has been a disaster, allowing millions of people, especially Mohammedans, from less successful nations to easily invade the countries of Western Europe where they set up their little caliphates, grab taxpayer money and incite violence.

But one wonders if it’s not too late for the British. A malevolent  Mohammedan mayor rules London, and the favorite name for newborn boys in the United Kingdom last year was Mohammed. Not Cecil or Nigel.

This doesn’t bode well for British culture.

On a related note, President Trump has reduced substantially the contributions of U.S. taxpayers to the United Nations, another dreadful, globalist, plus anti-American organization. Perhaps after his re-election this year, he will do the right thing and toss the entire U.N. into the Atlantic Ocean, letting it paddle on its own.

Let us pray so.

In the meantime, let us cheer Great Britain and wish it well.

Now pass the fish and chips.

Or perhaps falafel and hummus would be more fitting.

Western schizophrenia

swim hajib
Nike’s “Swim Hijab” so Mohammedans can take a modest dip.

There is no more Left or Right. There are only Globalists and Nationalists.

— Marine Le Pen

THE FRENCH politician speaks the truth. And we have cracked into two halves, i.e. Western schizophrenia. It is not a global phenomenon because Latin America does not think this way, nor does Africa or Asia. Those places still embrace nationalism, i.e. patriotism.

And common sense.

In the United States, the Democrats are the Globalists, and the Republicans are the Nationalists. There are other distinguishing characteristics of the parties. Democrats get very angry. Republicans far less so, being the generally polite party.

Once the party of the Working Man, Democrats have become the party of the Screaming Woman.

— Robert Stacy McCain

Schizophrenia, of course, is a mental illness and, with some exceptions (most notably in Eastern Europe), the West is mentally ill. How else to explain American companies like Nike hawking hijabs to the people who brought down the Twin Towers in 2011?

greta

How else to explain Time magazine’s naming Greta Thunberg, an hysterical, clueless, parentally abused, mentally ill teenager, its Person of the Year?

As the saying goes, You can’t make this stuff up.

Definition of a nation

DONALD TRUMP is a nationalist. Weepy Barry was not. I am a nationalist too, but now I have two nations in my man bag. Can get a trifle confusing.

Leftists have made much progress, 100 percent among themselves, in making nationalist a bad word. Fact is, though, it’s a great word, a fine concept.

Ditto for patriotism.

What is a nation anyway? It’s a big family, a group of people with commonalities. Historically, a nation is a group of people of the same race, the same religion, the same language, the same beliefs. Due to modern transportation and communication, this has become unraveled to a degree.

This unraveling is mostly in rich, successful nations because that’s where people from poor, unsuccessful nations want to go. The latter are the ones President Trump inelegantly but accurately referred to as “shithole” nations.

In this category are Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Venezuela, Yemen, Nigeria and Syria, to name just a few. There are others, sadly.

Slavery in the United States was a huge error and not just because it was a terrible thing for the Africans, but because it led to the racial strife that now exists in that troubled land. This will not end, by the way, which is just one example of the dire problems that come with diversity.

Moral: Do not encourage multiculturalism/diversity.

As families live in houses, nationalities live in nations. It’s a perfect analogy. When families go to bed at night, they lock their doors so culprits cannot sneak in and do dirty. During the day, the door is closed, perhaps still locked, and if someone wants to visit, they ring the doorbell and get welcomed … or not.

A family can welcome someone into their home if they wish. If they don’t wish, the visitor is told to take a hike. This is how it should be with a family, and with a nation too.

Leftists are now Globalists, people who, for the most part, do not believe in borders. In spite of this, you can bet they lock their homes at night.

They are naive but not stupid.

These Leftists/Globalists will tell you that all people are basically the same, a silly concept that has come down to us from the Kumbaya-swaying Stoned Sixties. It’s almost exclusively the Western World where you find this daffiness. You rarely encounter these ideas in Latin America, Africa or Asia where people tend to be overwhelmingly nationalist and patriotic.

You also will rarely find political correctness outside the white, Western World. PC is basically a White Man’s Concept, a pistol aimed at himself.

The Leftist/Globalist belief that people are all basically alike flies in the face of reality. People are alike physically, and that’s it. We all have two arms, two legs and a head perched atop our shoulders.

Our hearts and minds could not be more varied. Millions of people do not believe in majority rule or freedom of speech and religion or that men and women are equal or that you have a right to your own opinion. And if they move into your neighborhood, they will not change their minds about those things.

Their attitudes (yours too) are set in stone from centuries back.

We are spectacularly suspicious of one another. This is both an individual and a group (i.e. tribal) trait. The suspicion normally leads to dislike or hate. From there, it’s a short voyage to violence. This was true when Man lived in caves, and it’s not one whit less true today.

Believing that people are all basically the same, i.e. like you, is the attitude of a love-struck teenage girl, and it’s an attitude, when spread over a wide area, that often will get you killed. The hairy men and women on the far side of the mountain do not share that belief, and they have spears and axes.

We’re seeing this on a grand scale in much of Europe today where those governments that think like love-struck teenage girls have dissolved their borders in the spirit of multiculturalism and “helping the unfortunate.” Cultural and financial disaster have followed. And blood-letting.

Some Europeans are balking at this, especially in Eastern Europe where not-too-distant connection with the Soviet Union has formed a people who do not think like love-struck teenage girls.

Nationalism is smart. Recognize human nature for what it is, and always will be. Lock your doors at night, especially if you live in a questionable neighborhood. Likewise, control your borders because much of the world is a questionable neighborhood full of folks who do not share your values.

And never will.

President Trump grasps this.