I Want a President Who Understands the Value of the American Nation
President Obama’s Oval Office address on Sunday night was par for the course: steady as she goes, and don’t let’s be beastly to the Muslims.
I understand his hesitation. The last thing he and the ruling class he represents would want to do after the San Bernardino terror attack would be to appeal to Americans’ patriotism and vow to defend the homeland against evildoers. That would light the fires of nationalism, and you know where that leads.
But the president is wrong. At some point, America’s president, this one or the next one, is going to have to unite Americans as a nation in order to win the war against Islamic extremism.
As an internationalist, President Obama wants to subordinate Americans to a global elite, just as European leaders like Angela Merkel and François Hollande want to subordinate their European nations to the supranational European Union.
But internationalism is folly because, as Enoch Powell might have said, there is no global demos. You can get people to fight and die for their tribe, or their race, or their nation. But you cannot get people to fight and die for the planet, whatever the COP21 climate activists in Paris might think.
Given their faith in internationalism, liberals like Obama instinctively work to undermine support for the nation. This creates a problem for them. If there is no global demos, and a national demos is ruled out, then liberals need some other way of rallying people. That’s what liberal identity politics, a reactionary appeal to the primal identities of blood and race and the manufactured identity of “gender,” is all about.
An identity politician cannot bring himself to rally Americans, as a nation, to come together in a common endeavor. In fact his only skill is to profoundly divide America, the nation. He passes a stimulus bill that only has money in it for Democratic supporters. He passes Obamacare without a single Republican vote. Then what? After a jihadi terrorist attack on the US homeland the New York Times runs a front page editorial on gun control. The president gives an uninspired speech about “our values” and not “giving in to fear.” All this on a weekend when men all over America are asking the veteran next door about weapons training.
Liberals are internationalists because they believe it’s the only way to fight extreme nationalism, i.e, fascism. What the fashionables can’t admit is that fascism only thrives when the national ruling class has completely screwed up. It has nothing to do with an “authoritarian personality,” as Theodor Adorno engagingly suggested after World War II. It is just that, when everything seems to be flushing down the toilet, humans naturally turn to a strong leader that will “do something” to reverse the decline.
And if you are not going to unite people around the idea of a nation, what are you going to unite them around?
The fact is that the nation state is a unifying principle that works. It unifies people around the idea of a common language, a common origin, a common homeland, and a common destiny. Of course, it is a complete fantasy, but it is a necessary fiction if you want to get people to forget their atavistic tribal and racial identity and come together in something larger and more universal than a blood tie.
Now you can see why liberals would rather talk about gun control right now, and why President Obama is so reluctant to attach “Islamic terrorism” to the San Bernardino slaughter.
If the president were to get serious about ISIS he would have to unite the US as a nation. He would have to take the hobbles off the US economy and turn it into the Arsenal of Democracy again. He would have to stop all the divisiveness of Black Lives Matter and the war on women and the special snowflakes on campus and unite the nation like it was in World War II. Why, he might even accidentally turn the US back into the same global hegemon that humbled communism a while back. Talk about a liberal nightmare.
And that is exactly what is going to happen. After San Bernardino American nation will want the next president of the United States to be someone that understands the value of the nation state. They will want their president to unite the nation and take the fight to the barbarians of the House of Peace. And Muslim Americans, like German Americans a century ago, will have to join the American nation, or suffer the consequences.
I want a president that believes in the nation state and American exceptionalism, and by golly, I think we are going to get him.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.