Pride in America: Trump’s New Winning Strategy

When Donald Trump chose his 2016 campaign theme, to “Make America Great Again,” he identified an issue which has become surprising point of contention: whether most voters still take pride in being Americans. That question has deepened since Trump took office, as his opponents claim that he has corrupted the country’s moral fiber and undermined its democratic values. But Trump and his largely traditionalist supporters have just the opposite point of view. They believe that he has been working to restore the guiding principles and principles of individual freedom which had originally made this country great, and from which it has strayed in recent years due to the twin influences of liberal secularism and globalism.

This clash in fundamental perceptions of the nature and goals of the country came into even sharper focus last week with the celebration of the Fourth of July, with Trump seeking to glorify the country’s patriotic values and American exceptionalism, while his critics decried the military trappings of the celebration Trump had ordered as another indication of his dictatorial and anti-democratic tendencies. But the dispute over the celebration of the Fourth of July also reveals a deeper divide in today’s American body politic.

The founding fathers set forth the principles of the country as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights fashioned American society’s uniquely sophisticated social/government contract, balancing democracy and individual freedoms with a respect for law and government authority.

The founding fathers envisioned a country composed of many independent factions, each with different beliefs and priorities, constantly seeking to find new ways to live in harmony, working for the common good — even while agreeing to respectfully disagree with one another — to allow all to pursue their own goals and way of life. The intensity of the clash between Trump and his critics is a test of the strength of the fabric of the American nation. That fabric has been stretched to near the breaking point by 30 years of increasingly bitter partisan polarization in Washington, and has made it nearly impossible for the two sides to continue working effectively together to solve the nation’s most divisive problems.

BIG GOVERNMENT VS. INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

There has also always been a clash in American political thinking between the advocates for a strong central government and those who cherished the freedom and independence granted to individuals and the states. That clash broke out into open warfare during the Civil War, but it still survives today in the clash between those who believe that the intrusion of the central government into our private lives should be minimized and those who believe that empowering the central government best serves the interests of society as a whole.

On the international level, the founding fathers warned the country’s leaders to steer clear of foreign entanglements, while at the same time presenting the United States as a living example of the humanitarian ideals of freedom, tolerance and liberty upon which the country was founded.

Since World War II, both Republican and Democrat presidents have tended to increase the size and power of the central government, while seeking to expand America’s international influence as the world’s greatest superpower. Trump’s presidency has disturbed and angered the Washington establishment which has supported these trends over the past 75 years, because he has fought both these inclinations. He has put America’s domestic economic and security interests first, pulling out of international agreements that were not to its benefit, over the objections of many of our foreign allies. He has also been attempting to reduce the intrusion and restrictions of the federal government on the lives of individuals, the states and private enterprise, which Trump has always argued would be the key to restoring America to its former prosperity, strength, self-pride and glory.

TRUMP VS. THE SWAMP: A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

This is the fundamental dispute between Trump and the defenders of the Washington establishment, which Trump famously referred to during the 2016 campaign as “The Swamp.” It is a political fight to the death, even though the seriousness of the clash has often been obscured by the establishment’s distaste for Trump’s brash personality and unconventional presidential style.

Trump’s critics have convinced themselves that he is a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest leader, unworthy of the office he holds. They are also quick to criticize the concept of American exceptionalism Trump promotes by highlighting the darker episodes in American history. But Trump’s supporters insist that he is the first national leader in a generation who has consistently put the needs of the country and the wishes of the voters first. This difference of opinion leaves very little common ground between the two sides to carry out their duties to run the federal government effectively. Even the simplest task, such as getting humanitarian aid to thousands of suffering Central American migrants and their children at the border, is almost impossible to achieve.

Despite the tensions surrounding the normally festive national holiday, President Trump was largely successful at conveying the sense of revived patriotic pride in America that he had hoped to achieve. The event, held in the rain on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, was one of his most significant recent successes.

Trump’s critics had predicted that he would try to turn the occasion into another re-election campaign event, touting his partisan accomplishments and taking potshots at his political enemies. But the president surprised them by playing it straight, using his “Salute to America” speech solely to recite the highlights of American history since 1776 and its lofty ideals.

A SALUTE TO THE US MILITARY

“Today, we come together as One Nation with this very special Salute to America,” said Trump. “We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States Military!”

He went to great lengths to honor the bravery and heroism of members of each of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army, who have defended America’s freedom on land, sea and in the air over the past 243 years.

The military display that Trump had ordered, including a parade of tanks and flyovers by America’s most advanced warplanes, was perfectly executed and suitably impressive. Contrary to complaints by Democrats that the presence of the weapons lent an overtly military air to the occasion, such displays have long been routine as part of the celebration of national holidays, and their relatively minor cost to the Pentagon has long been considered to be effective advertising in the recruiting of young people to fill the ranks of the all-volunteer US military.

What the Democrats really objected to was that the show of modernized weaponry reminded the country of Trump’s success in rebuilding the depleted US military that he inherited from Obama and his successful but limited use of that force to defeat ISIS.

Trump understood that by acting on that public occasion as the president instead of a politician running for re-election, he earned himself more respect and goodwill from those watching on nationwide television, while frustrating his political enemies. He listed the many accomplishments by Americans of all colors and creeds as a testament to the country’s greatness.

RETELLING THE STORY OF AMERICAN GREATNESS

“Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told — the story of America,” Trump said. “It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right and what they know is true.”

“What a great country!” declared the president. “[F]or Americans, nothing is impossible.”

To chants from the audience of “USA! USA!” Trump responded, “That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of you here today. It is the spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and it’s at its strongest now.”

In a rebuke to Democrats and progressives who prefer to divide the country rather than unite it, Trump said. “We are one people, chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home and the same heart and we are all made by the same Almighty G-d.”

HOW DIVISIVE IDENTITY POLITICS WEAKENS THE COUNTRY

The divisive message of progressives is particularly damaging to a country like the United States, which is based on broad agreement on a set of shared core principles, including individual liberty, free-enterprise economics, universal tolerance, the inalienable rights set down in the Constitution, and a deeply embedded reverence for the American flag as a symbol of freedom and national pride.

Sadly, the liberal elites now look askance at the flag as an unwelcome reminder of a national pride that they long ago abandoned in favor of a society marked by tribal factionalism.

Since the 2018 midterm election, progressives have been led Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC is so popular with progressives that she has publicly challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership policies, and she would undoubtedly be the leading Democrat 2020 candidate for president if she were old enough to meet the constitutional minimum age requirement of 35.

Last week, AOC staged a highly publicized visit to the most crowded holding facility on the US-Mexican border, which she had previously compared to a Nazi concentration camp. She falsely suggested that women at the holding facility were prisoners and had been denied access to clean running water. AOC had even implied that she had been threatened by a Border Patrol officer on duty at the facility.

BEHIND AOC’S SHOCKING DISHONESTY

Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that AOC’s shockingly dishonest comments helped him to “understand how profoundly vicious, cruel, and dishonest she is.

“When you look at the larger picture, it is clear that Ocasio-Cortez is eager and determined to undermine and destroy America as we have known it. When your goals are that radical, lying is simply part of the game. When you despise American values and find the American people ‘deplorable’ and contemptible, lying is perfectly natural.”

Gingrich added, “The tragedy of Ocasio-Cortez’s type of vicious, deliberately dishonest politics is it sets the stage for innocent people to die. The poignant, heart-wrenching picture of the [Central American] father and his daughter who died trying to get into the United States illegally should serve as a moral condemnation of every Democrat trying to use the border as a political weapon against Trump.”

While the problem at the Mexican border with illegal immigrants has been allowed to fester for decades, Gingrich notes that, “The people who are coming to our borders determined to begin their lives in America by breaking the law are being encouraged by Ocasio-Cortez and her hard-left allies.”

DEMOCRATS MAKE A BAD BORDER SITUATION WORSE

Gingrich holds the Democrats primarily responsible. “The Democrats have refused to control the border. They have refused to amend the amnesty provision in our immigration law. They have also refused to provide legislative solutions for various left-wing judicial decisions that have crippled our enforcement capabilities. So, the word is out that it is a good time to sneak into the United States.

“Now the Democrats are going a step further and talking about providing free health care for people who come here illegally. When word spreads that sick people can sneak into America and get free medical treatment from American doctors and nurses, the flood of sick immigrants will double and triple from the current numbers,” Gingrich predicted.

The former GOP Speaker also believes that Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow left-wing activists should be held responsible for continuing “to send signals to desperate and ambitious people around the world that they can (and should) enter the United States illegally. These signals are simply increasing the pressure on the border and overwhelming the Americans who are working to protect and control our national boundaries.”

PLAYING GAMES WITH MIGRANT LIVES

Gingrich accuses AOC and her allies of playing a cynical political game with the lives of immigrants. They are hindering government efforts to bring the border under control by “blocking the help, undermining the existing work force, maximizing the number of new people coming into the United States illegally, and then blaming the hard-working immigration and border agents for trying to do their jobs”

A former American history professor, Gingrich also has a response to advocates for open borders who seek to use as a precedent the millions of European immigrants who entered the US legally through Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924, when strict quotas on immigration were introduced. He notes that even though most of those immigrants were admitted, they did not qualify for automatic entry into the United States. Instead, they were “processed in an orderly way. If they had infectious diseases, criminal records, were anarchists – or even showed signs of low morals – they were denied entry and sent back to their home countries.”

PARALLELS TO THE ANTI-VIETNAM WAR MOVEMENT

Veteran conservative commentator Frank Miele also notes the striking similarities in the tactics being used by AOC and her fellow progressives to demonize US border agents to those used by far-left agitators against returning US servicemen who served in the Vietnam War. In the Vietnam era, he recalls, “It was part of a well-planned campaign by the antiwar left to destroy confidence in our government and our institutions for the purpose of overthrowing our ‘imperialistic’ overlords. Sadly, that campaign continues, only today it is not an underground movement but one led by members of Congress [such as] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling out the Border Patrol as dangerous jack-booted thugs.”

Miele believes that AOC is doubly dangerous, because she talks like a true believer in her radical leftist ideology. “The absolute moral certainty of the revolutionary left is what allows them to spit in the face of soldiers returning from Vietnam or to call ICE agents Nazis or to vote against funding for border camps so that they can complain about lack of funding for border camps.

AN INSIDER ATTACK ON THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

“But make no mistake,” Miele warns. “The socialist-communist attack on the Border Patrol or on Immigration and Customs Enforcement as fascist is no accident or mere theater. It is part of a long-range plan to delegitimize the government of the United States as a whole.”

He explains that AOC’s attacks, as she pursues the Democrats’ globalist, open-borders, anti-American agenda, have been particularly effective, because “she was able to leverage her power as a member of Congress into a cudgel to attack the Border Patrol, claiming not just that the illegal immigrants in the detention center were being mistreated, but that somehow even the mighty AOC herself had been in danger just by entering the facility. . .

“AOC knows exactly what she is doing, and anyone who isn’t afraid of her and her fellow revolutionaries in Congress doesn’t know which way the wind is blowing.”

DEMOCRAT PATRIOTISM IN DECLINE

Just a generation ago, Trump’s message boosting the pride of Americans in their country might have been dismissed as unnecessary. But the erosion of national pride in recent years, particularly among Democrats, has become much more widespread in recent years. According to a recent Gallup poll, while 76 percent of Republicans say they are “extremely proud” to be an American, only 22 percent of Democrats share the same sentiment. As recently as 2013, the beginning of Obama’s second term, 56 percent of Democrats said they were “extremely proud” to be Americans.

The negative message about American heritage is not limited to progressive firebrands such as AOC and her anti-Semitic Muslim congressional colleague, Ilhan Omar. Last week, The New York Times ran a video arguing against the idea that America is the greatest nation on Earth, and suggesting that “the US is really just OK.”

To counter this anti-American propaganda, Trump started his national history lesson from the beginning, with the story of how General George Washington readied his troops to fight the British invasion. “Washington’s message to his troops laid bare the stakes, He wrote, ‘The fate of unborn millions will now depend under G-d on the courage and conduct of this army, we have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.’”

After recalling the great acts by Americans of past generations, Trump brought his story into the present by honoring today’s first responders and the men and women of law enforcement, as well as Gold Star families whose children made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of this country.

Trump also introduced Gene Kranz, a prominent member of the NASA space program, and civil rights icon Clarence Henderson, who helped desegregate a lunch counter in the south when he was 18 in 1960.

In some ways, the immigration issue best represents the sharp contrast between Trump’s bright vision of what America should be and the much darker view of this country by his liberal opponents. In fact, liberal political analysts have long advocated for a policy of open borders in the expectation that every illegal immigrant who enters this country will ultimately gain citizenship and become a Democrat voter, ultimately shifting the country’s political balance.

The political benefits from the Thursday night speech were almost immediate. By Monday morning, Trump’s average job approval rating, as reported on RealClearPolitics, hit an all-time high of 45.1 percent, high enough to greatly improved his prospects for winning re-election.

SNEAKERS, FLAGS AND THE FOURTH OF JULY

Another professional anti-American protester seeking notoriety on the Fourth of July was former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first came to national attention when he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem at the start of professional football games, allegedly to protest bigotry in America.

His liberal defenders rushed to explain that Kaepernick was not disrespecting America, but rather exercising his freedom to protest against widespread American police brutality against blacks. The notoriety that Kaepernick generated imitators among professional black athletes in other sports, turning entertainment events into flashpoints of public controversy and personal litmus tests for patriotism.

When, after the 2016 season, NFL teams refused to hire Kaepernick to continue playing quarterback, he was quick to accuse their owners of racism, ignoring the fact that he compiled a dreadful 1-11 win-loss record during his last season as an active player.

Even though he was no longer playing, Kaepernick’s continued notoriety earned him a $1 million sneaker endorsement contract from Nike. Keeping his name in the headlines, Kaepernick launched a fresh attack on the American heritage by insisting that Nike halt production of a new July 4th sneaker bearing an image of the original 13-star American flag created by Betsy Ross when the country was founded — because there was still slavery in America at that time.

At that point, it was difficult even for Kaepernick’s liberal defenders to deny that he was attacking the country which had made him rich and famous. Because of Kaepernick’s continued status as a famous black civil rights agitator, Nike felt compelled to give in to his demand, and withdrew the Betsy Ross flag sneaker from its product line.

Kaepernick was joined in his criticism of “Old Glory” by the only Hispanic among the Democrat presidential candidates, former Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. He declared that he was “glad to see” that Nike agreed to the demand that to remove the American flag from its sneakers, adding, “There are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful.”

THE RACISM CHARGES THAT NEVER DIE

While the inequities of slavery in the United States were not seriously addressed until the Civil War, in fact, slavery existed everywhere in the world during the era of the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, the Union paid a very high price in terms of lives lost to secure the freedom of the slaves in the South, and even though the racial inequities in the US were not fully erased for another century, the Constitution has honored racial equality as a right for more than 150 years.

Yet many liberal Democrats are seriously considering supporting demands for reparations for American blacks now, more than five generations after the discrimination occurred. In fact, because inter-racial marriages have become so routine in the larger American society, the racial identity of millions of Americans is rapidly becoming very difficult to determine. It is being kept alive as an issue in the media largely because of the current Democrat emphasis on identity politics and their exaggerated narrative of racial oppression.

Democrats have embraced the concept of identity politics, dividing up their voters into small constituencies which party leaders can then play off against one another. Ironically, this emphasis on division rather than unity makes Democrats even more reliant on portraying Trump as their common enemy.

In fact, America is one of the most racially integrated societies in the Western world. After decades of accepting large numbers of legal immigrants from countries around the world, non-whites, including blacks and Hispanics, now make up about 40 percent of American citizens.

AMERICANS OF COLOR ARE NOT DISADVANTAGED

In a personal rebuttal to progressive Democrats, RealClearPolitics commentator Steve Cortes wrote that in America, “people of color (like me) embrace many distinct advantages today, particularly in key areas such as advanced education, government contracting, and corporate vendor programs.”

He describes the progressive obsession with unproven accusations of racism to “a callous determination to electorally divide and conquer. Rather than debate policy and try to persuade voters to adopt the failed ideologies of [socialist] statism, the Democrat Party now seeks to foment racial division, to stir up resentment, and to concoct a grievance ethos that will scare minorities and shame whites into voting for the left.

“This pernicious blueprint explains, for example, the fixation of liberal elites to constantly deride President Trump as a racist, without evidence. Moreover, simply slandering the president as bigoted entails a far easier lift than the actual hard work of expanding opportunity for Americans of color, as Trump continues to do [through the success of his economic policies].”

LEFTIST HOSTILITY TOWARD AMERICA COULD BE DECISIVE

Pride in America: Trump’s New Winning Strategy

When Donald Trump chose his 2016 campaign theme, to “Make America Great Again,” he identified an issue which has become surprising point of contention: whether most voters still take pride in being Americans. That question has deepened since Trump took office, as his opponents claim that he has corrupted the country’s moral fiber and undermined its democratic values. But Trump and his largely traditionalist supporters have just the opposite point of view. They believe that he has been working to restore the guiding principles and principles of individual freedom which had originally made this country great, and from which it has strayed in recent years due to the twin influences of liberal secularism and globalism.

This clash in fundamental perceptions of the nature and goals of the country came into even sharper focus last week with the celebration of the Fourth of July, with Trump seeking to glorify the country’s patriotic values and American exceptionalism, while his critics decried the military trappings of the celebration Trump had ordered as another indication of his dictatorial and anti-democratic tendencies. But the dispute over the celebration of the Fourth of July also reveals a deeper divide in today’s American body politic.

The founding fathers set forth the principles of the country as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights fashioned American society’s uniquely sophisticated social/government contract, balancing democracy and individual freedoms with a respect for law and government authority.

The founding fathers envisioned a country composed of many independent factions, each with different beliefs and priorities, constantly seeking to find new ways to live in harmony, working for the common good — even while agreeing to respectfully disagree with one another — to allow all to pursue their own goals and way of life. The intensity of the clash between Trump and his critics is a test of the strength of the fabric of the American nation. That fabric has been stretched to near the breaking point by 30 years of increasingly bitter partisan polarization in Washington, and has made it nearly impossible for the two sides to continue working effectively together to solve the nation’s most divisive problems.

BIG GOVERNMENT VS. INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

There has also always been a clash in American political thinking between the advocates for a strong central government and those who cherished the freedom and independence granted to individuals and the states. That clash broke out into open warfare during the Civil War, but it still survives today in the clash between those who believe that the intrusion of the central government into our private lives should be minimized and those who believe that empowering the central government best serves the interests of society as a whole.

On the international level, the founding fathers warned the country’s leaders to steer clear of foreign entanglements, while at the same time presenting the United States as a living example of the humanitarian ideals of freedom, tolerance and liberty upon which the country was founded.

Since World War II, both Republican and Democrat presidents have tended to increase the size and power of the central government, while seeking to expand America’s international influence as the world’s greatest superpower. Trump’s presidency has disturbed and angered the Washington establishment which has supported these trends over the past 75 years, because he has fought both these inclinations. He has put America’s domestic economic and security interests first, pulling out of international agreements that were not to its benefit, over the objections of many of our foreign allies. He has also been attempting to reduce the intrusion and restrictions of the federal government on the lives of individuals, the states and private enterprise, which Trump has always argued would be the key to restoring America to its former prosperity, strength, self-pride and glory.

TRUMP VS. THE SWAMP: A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

This is the fundamental dispute between Trump and the defenders of the Washington establishment, which Trump famously referred to during the 2016 campaign as “The Swamp.” It is a political fight to the death, even though the seriousness of the clash has often been obscured by the establishment’s distaste for Trump’s brash personality and unconventional presidential style.

Trump’s critics have convinced themselves that he is a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest leader, unworthy of the office he holds. They are also quick to criticize the concept of American exceptionalism Trump promotes by highlighting the darker episodes in American history. But Trump’s supporters insist that he is the first national leader in a generation who has consistently put the needs of the country and the wishes of the voters first. This difference of opinion leaves very little common ground between the two sides to carry out their duties to run the federal government effectively. Even the simplest task, such as getting humanitarian aid to thousands of suffering Central American migrants and their children at the border, is almost impossible to achieve.

Despite the tensions surrounding the normally festive national holiday, President Trump was largely successful at conveying the sense of revived patriotic pride in America that he had hoped to achieve. The event, held in the rain on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, was one of his most significant recent successes.

Trump’s critics had predicted that he would try to turn the occasion into another re-election campaign event, touting his partisan accomplishments and taking potshots at his political enemies. But the president surprised them by playing it straight, using his “Salute to America” speech solely to recite the highlights of American history since 1776 and its lofty ideals.

A SALUTE TO THE US MILITARY

“Today, we come together as One Nation with this very special Salute to America,” said Trump. “We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States Military!”

He went to great lengths to honor the bravery and heroism of members of each of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army, who have defended America’s freedom on land, sea and in the air over the past 243 years.

The military display that Trump had ordered, including a parade of tanks and flyovers by America’s most advanced warplanes, was perfectly executed and suitably impressive. Contrary to complaints by Democrats that the presence of the weapons lent an overtly military air to the occasion, such displays have long been routine as part of the celebration of national holidays, and their relatively minor cost to the Pentagon has long been considered to be effective advertising in the recruiting of young people to fill the ranks of the all-volunteer US military.

What the Democrats really objected to was that the show of modernized weaponry reminded the country of Trump’s success in rebuilding the depleted US military that he inherited from Obama and his successful but limited use of that force to defeat ISIS.

Trump understood that by acting on that public occasion as the president instead of a politician running for re-election, he earned himself more respect and goodwill from those watching on nationwide television, while frustrating his political enemies. He listed the many accomplishments by Americans of all colors and creeds as a testament to the country’s greatness.

RETELLING THE STORY OF AMERICAN GREATNESS

“Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told — the story of America,” Trump said. “It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right and what they know is true.”

“What a great country!” declared the president. “[F]or Americans, nothing is impossible.”

To chants from the audience of “USA! USA!” Trump responded, “That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of you here today. It is the spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and it’s at its strongest now.”

In a rebuke to Democrats and progressives who prefer to divide the country rather than unite it, Trump said. “We are one people, chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home and the same heart and we are all made by the same Almighty G-d.”

HOW DIVISIVE IDENTITY POLITICS WEAKENS THE COUNTRY

The divisive message of progressives is particularly damaging to a country like the United States, which is based on broad agreement on a set of shared core principles, including individual liberty, free-enterprise economics, universal tolerance, the inalienable rights set down in the Constitution, and a deeply embedded reverence for the American flag as a symbol of freedom and national pride.

Sadly, the liberal elites now look askance at the flag as an unwelcome reminder of a national pride that they long ago abandoned in favor of a society marked by tribal factionalism.

Since the 2018 midterm election, progressives have been led Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC is so popular with progressives that she has publicly challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership policies, and she would undoubtedly be the leading Democrat 2020 candidate for president if she were old enough to meet the constitutional minimum age requirement of 35.

Last week, AOC staged a highly publicized visit to the most crowded holding facility on the US-Mexican border, which she had previously compared to a Nazi concentration camp. She falsely suggested that women at the holding facility were prisoners and had been denied access to clean running water. AOC had even implied that she had been threatened by a Border Patrol officer on duty at the facility.

BEHIND AOC’S SHOCKING DISHONESTY

Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that AOC’s shockingly dishonest comments helped him to “understand how profoundly vicious, cruel, and dishonest she is.

“When you look at the larger picture, it is clear that Ocasio-Cortez is eager and determined to undermine and destroy America as we have known it. When your goals are that radical, lying is simply part of the game. When you despise American values and find the American people ‘deplorable’ and contemptible, lying is perfectly natural.”

Gingrich added, “The tragedy of Ocasio-Cortez’s type of vicious, deliberately dishonest politics is it sets the stage for innocent people to die. The poignant, heart-wrenching picture of the [Central American] father and his daughter who died trying to get into the United States illegally should serve as a moral condemnation of every Democrat trying to use the border as a political weapon against Trump.”

While the problem at the Mexican border with illegal immigrants has been allowed to fester for decades, Gingrich notes that, “The people who are coming to our borders determined to begin their lives in America by breaking the law are being encouraged by Ocasio-Cortez and her hard-left allies.”

DEMOCRATS MAKE A BAD BORDER SITUATION WORSE

Gingrich holds the Democrats primarily responsible. “The Democrats have refused to control the border. They have refused to amend the amnesty provision in our immigration law. They have also refused to provide legislative solutions for various left-wing judicial decisions that have crippled our enforcement capabilities. So, the word is out that it is a good time to sneak into the United States.

“Now the Democrats are going a step further and talking about providing free health care for people who come here illegally. When word spreads that sick people can sneak into America and get free medical treatment from American doctors and nurses, the flood of sick immigrants will double and triple from the current numbers,” Gingrich predicted.

The former GOP Speaker also believes that Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow left-wing activists should be held responsible for continuing “to send signals to desperate and ambitious people around the world that they can (and should) enter the United States illegally. These signals are simply increasing the pressure on the border and overwhelming the Americans who are working to protect and control our national boundaries.”

PLAYING GAMES WITH MIGRANT LIVES

Gingrich accuses AOC and her allies of playing a cynical political game with the lives of immigrants. They are hindering government efforts to bring the border under control by “blocking the help, undermining the existing work force, maximizing the number of new people coming into the United States illegally, and then blaming the hard-working immigration and border agents for trying to do their jobs”

A former American history professor, Gingrich also has a response to advocates for open borders who seek to use as a precedent the millions of European immigrants who entered the US legally through Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924, when strict quotas on immigration were introduced. He notes that even though most of those immigrants were admitted, they did not qualify for automatic entry into the United States. Instead, they were “processed in an orderly way. If they had infectious diseases, criminal records, were anarchists – or even showed signs of low morals – they were denied entry and sent back to their home countries.”

PARALLELS TO THE ANTI-VIETNAM WAR MOVEMENT

Veteran conservative commentator Frank Miele also notes the striking similarities in the tactics being used by AOC and her fellow progressives to demonize US border agents to those used by far-left agitators against returning US servicemen who served in the Vietnam War. In the Vietnam era, he recalls, “It was part of a well-planned campaign by the antiwar left to destroy confidence in our government and our institutions for the purpose of overthrowing our ‘imperialistic’ overlords. Sadly, that campaign continues, only today it is not an underground movement but one led by members of Congress [such as] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling out the Border Patrol as dangerous jack-booted thugs.”

Miele believes that AOC is doubly dangerous, because she talks like a true believer in her radical leftist ideology. “The absolute moral certainty of the revolutionary left is what allows them to spit in the face of soldiers returning from Vietnam or to call ICE agents Nazis or to vote against funding for border camps so that they can complain about lack of funding for border camps.

AN INSIDER ATTACK ON THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

“But make no mistake,” Miele warns. “The socialist-communist attack on the Border Patrol or on Immigration and Customs Enforcement as fascist is no accident or mere theater. It is part of a long-range plan to delegitimize the government of the United States as a whole.”

He explains that AOC’s attacks, as she pursues the Democrats’ globalist, open-borders, anti-American agenda, have been particularly effective, because “she was able to leverage her power as a member of Congress into a cudgel to attack the Border Patrol, claiming not just that the illegal immigrants in the detention center were being mistreated, but that somehow even the mighty AOC herself had been in danger just by entering the facility. . .

“AOC knows exactly what she is doing, and anyone who isn’t afraid of her and her fellow revolutionaries in Congress doesn’t know which way the wind is blowing.”

DEMOCRAT PATRIOTISM IN DECLINE

Just a generation ago, Trump’s message boosting the pride of Americans in their country might have been dismissed as unnecessary. But the erosion of national pride in recent years, particularly among Democrats, has become much more widespread in recent years. According to a recent Gallup poll, while 76 percent of Republicans say they are “extremely proud” to be an American, only 22 percent of Democrats share the same sentiment. As recently as 2013, the beginning of Obama’s second term, 56 percent of Democrats said they were “extremely proud” to be Americans.

The negative message about American heritage is not limited to progressive firebrands such as AOC and her anti-Semitic Muslim congressional colleague, Ilhan Omar. Last week, The New York Times ran a video arguing against the idea that America is the greatest nation on Earth, and suggesting that “the US is really just OK.”

To counter this anti-American propaganda, Trump started his national history lesson from the beginning, with the story of how General George Washington readied his troops to fight the British invasion. “Washington’s message to his troops laid bare the stakes, He wrote, ‘The fate of unborn millions will now depend under G-d on the courage and conduct of this army, we have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.’”

After recalling the great acts by Americans of past generations, Trump brought his story into the present by honoring today’s first responders and the men and women of law enforcement, as well as Gold Star families whose children made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of this country.

Trump also introduced Gene Kranz, a prominent member of the NASA space program, and civil rights icon Clarence Henderson, who helped desegregate a lunch counter in the south when he was 18 in 1960.

In some ways, the immigration issue best represents the sharp contrast between Trump’s bright vision of what America should be and the much darker view of this country by his liberal opponents. In fact, liberal political analysts have long advocated for a policy of open borders in the expectation that every illegal immigrant who enters this country will ultimately gain citizenship and become a Democrat voter, ultimately shifting the country’s political balance.

The political benefits from the Thursday night speech were almost immediate. By Monday morning, Trump’s average job approval rating, as reported on RealClearPolitics, hit an all-time high of 45.1 percent, high enough to greatly improved his prospects for winning re-election.

SNEAKERS, FLAGS AND THE FOURTH OF JULY

Another professional anti-American protester seeking notoriety on the Fourth of July was former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first came to national attention when he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem at the start of professional football games, allegedly to protest bigotry in America.

His liberal defenders rushed to explain that Kaepernick was not disrespecting America, but rather exercising his freedom to protest against widespread American police brutality against blacks. The notoriety that Kaepernick generated imitators among professional black athletes in other sports, turning entertainment events into flashpoints of public controversy and personal litmus tests for patriotism.

When, after the 2016 season, NFL teams refused to hire Kaepernick to continue playing quarterback, he was quick to accuse their owners of racism, ignoring the fact that he compiled a dreadful 1-11 win-loss record during his last season as an active player.

Even though he was no longer playing, Kaepernick’s continued notoriety earned him a $1 million sneaker endorsement contract from Nike. Keeping his name in the headlines, Kaepernick launched a fresh attack on the American heritage by insisting that Nike halt production of a new July 4th sneaker bearing an image of the original 13-star American flag created by Betsy Ross when the country was founded — because there was still slavery in America at that time.

At that point, it was difficult even for Kaepernick’s liberal defenders to deny that he was attacking the country which had made him rich and famous. Because of Kaepernick’s continued status as a famous black civil rights agitator, Nike felt compelled to give in to his demand, and withdrew the Betsy Ross flag sneaker from its product line.

Kaepernick was joined in his criticism of “Old Glory” by the only Hispanic among the Democrat presidential candidates, former Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. He declared that he was “glad to see” that Nike agreed to the demand that to remove the American flag from its sneakers, adding, “There are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful.”

THE RACISM CHARGES THAT NEVER DIE

While the inequities of slavery in the United States were not seriously addressed until the Civil War, in fact, slavery existed everywhere in the world during the era of the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, the Union paid a very high price in terms of lives lost to secure the freedom of the slaves in the South, and even though the racial inequities in the US were not fully erased for another century, the Constitution has honored racial equality as a right for more than 150 years.

Yet many liberal Democrats are seriously considering supporting demands for reparations for American blacks now, more than five generations after the discrimination occurred. In fact, because inter-racial marriages have become so routine in the larger American society, the racial identity of millions of Americans is rapidly becoming very difficult to determine. It is being kept alive as an issue in the media largely because of the current Democrat emphasis on identity politics and their exaggerated narrative of racial oppression.

Democrats have embraced the concept of identity politics, dividing up their voters into small constituencies which party leaders can then play off against one another. Ironically, this emphasis on division rather than unity makes Democrats even more reliant on portraying Trump as their common enemy.

In fact, America is one of the most racially integrated societies in the Western world. After decades of accepting large numbers of legal immigrants from countries around the world, non-whites, including blacks and Hispanics, now make up about 40 percent of American citizens.

AMERICANS OF COLOR ARE NOT DISADVANTAGED

In a personal rebuttal to progressive Democrats, RealClearPolitics commentator Steve Cortes wrote that in America, “people of color (like me) embrace many distinct advantages today, particularly in key areas such as advanced education, government contracting, and corporate vendor programs.”

He describes the progressive obsession with unproven accusations of racism to “a callous determination to electorally divide and conquer. Rather than debate policy and try to persuade voters to adopt the failed ideologies of [socialist] statism, the Democrat Party now seeks to foment racial division, to stir up resentment, and to concoct a grievance ethos that will scare minorities and shame whites into voting for the left.

“This pernicious blueprint explains, for example, the fixation of liberal elites to constantly deride President Trump as a racist, without evidence. Moreover, simply slandering the president as bigoted entails a far easier lift than the actual hard work of expanding opportunity for Americans of color, as Trump continues to do [through the success of his economic policies].”

LEFTIST HOSTILITY TOWARD AMERICA COULD BE DECISIVE

The overt anti-Americanism of the anti-Trump left could become the decisive factor in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. As much as moderate voters may dislike Trump’s aggressive and aggrandizing personal style, most do believe that his dedication to making America great again is sincere, while the revealed hostility of Trump’s critics towards this country has become increasingly alarming.

The overt anti-Americanism of the anti-Trump left could become the decisive factor in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. As much as moderate voters may dislike Trump’s aggressive and aggrandizing personal style, most do believe that his dedication to making America great again is sincere, while the revealed hostility of Trump’s critics towards this country has become increasingly alarming.