Donald Trump’s nationalist campaign is exposing President Barack Obama’s radical vision for America — one where Americans’ competitive culture is replaced by dull compliance in a society divided among powerless sub-cultures and ruled by progressives.
Obama’s vision is highlighted by his convention speech in Philadelphia, when is compared side-by-side with Trump’s acceptance speech in Cleveland, where he made clear he viscerally favors America, Americans and Americans’ culture over all other rival nationalist countries.
In Trump’s optimistic and nationalist view, America is home base for 300 million Americans who can cooperate and compete toe-to-toe against the many foreign nations who are trying to grab every advantage they can get. “We are led by politicians who will not put America First, [so] we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017,” Trump declared.
In Obama’s globalist progressive vision, however, America should be a harmonious and dull homeland for compliant strivers, each with their own powerless diverse subcultures, all joined by loyalty to a benevolent big government that works in harmony with foreign governments.
Most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. That’s the America I know.
That passage is typical passive-aggressive Obama. It indirectly advances his radical worldview by burying it in generalities and adds an ending flourish — “That’s the America I know” — to indirectly claim his goal is already established.
Obama provided more details later, saying that a potentially limitless floor of foreign migrants can fit seamlessly into his vision of Americans divided among a politically neutered mish-mash of compliant sub-cultures,
Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reasons our forebears came – to work, and study, and make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please. She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.
So anyone in the world can be an American because they already share the “American Dream,” says Obama. But that attitude means he thinks that Americans’ evolved and specific culture is actually so weak, tepid and meaningless that any foreigner — Brit and Bangladeshi, Russian and Rwandan, Afghan and Argentinian, Japanese and Jamaican — can seamlessly blend in, no matter how hard Americans try to enforce immigration laws.
In another section, he describes Americans’ culture as merely good manners — “honesty and hard work. Kindness and courtesy. Humility; responsibility; helping each other out” — rather than the powerful reality of Americans’ unique blend of competitive individualism amid overlapping cooperation of families, employees, religious and citizens.
And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you twelve years ago tonight, about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up … My grandparents explained that they didn’t like show-offs. They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies. They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, they valued traits like honesty and hard work. Kindness and courtesy. Humility; responsibility; helping each other out… They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke; a baseball cap or a hijab.
… But these values my grandparents taught me – they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, and every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots, is what’s in here. …. That’s America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed.
For Obama, Americans’ competitive and cooperative culture is reduced to mere good manners, devoid of any unique characteristics, and utterly unable to resist Obama’s big government.
In Obama’s ideal world, there’s no room for rambunctious and rude free speech that displease progressives, nor inventiveness that disrupts progressive priorities, nor churches (or mosques) that compete for the souls also collected by progressives, nor the rough competition for wealth and fame or the insistent demand for self-rule that rejects claims of social status for progressive politicians and bureaucrats.
Amusingly, Obama has the same condescending view of foreigners’ cultures.
In Obama’s unseeing eyes, national cultures are so diversely bland that there’s no cultural difference between a yarmulke and a hijab — as if Islam was not at war with Jews for the last 1,400 years, or as if support for a Detroit baseball team is just the same as public declaration of Islamic piety.
Obama’s contempt for Americans’ culture and civic society is the self-serving view of his progressive tribe. Their wealth and status is boosted if they believe that Americans are so pathetic and helpless that they need salvation from their all-encompassing government. For him and his political allies, only big government — not family or business or ennobling Christianity, or civic clubs or entrepreneurship or hard-work or self-government or small government or libertarianism — can lift Americans from their contemptible helplessness.
For Obama, people achieve meaning when they act through government — not by the personal creativity of parenting, inventiveness or accomplishment.
I am even more optimistic about the future of America. How could I not be – after all we’ve achieved together? … I see people working hard and starting businesses; people teaching kids and serving our country. I see engineers inventing [mere] stuff, and doctors coming up with new cures …
I’m here to tell you that yes, we still have more work to do [via government]. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who hasn’t yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years. We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer; our homeland more secure, and our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation. We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed – that all of us are created equal and free in the eyes of God.
… Most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love.
Trump, in contrast, recognizes that Americans’ sophisticated culture is powerful and very different from foreign nation — and is liberating for each and every American.
We must choose to Believe In America. History is watching us now.
It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong … We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again.
Trump’s nationalist view of Americans vs. Others is layered though his speech.
The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017 … The American People will come first once again.
That America First view applies to economics, says Trump.
I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.
I’m going to make our country rich again … I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries … I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence.
Trump’ America First policy applies to the labor supply, to immigration and culture, he says.
Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people… Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?
These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.
We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.
My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief.
His view shapes his attitudes towards the courts;
We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.
And the nationalist policy applies to him personally, because he’s setting his goal as elevating Americans and their culture to a primary status in the world;
It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.