A new poll from TransferWise shows that 35 percent of those born in the United States would consider ditching their home country to live elsewhere; that number skyrockets among those aged 18-34, the so-called millennials, 55 percent of whom said they would think of taking off if given the chance.
Most of those millennials cite economics as a chief factor in their desire to leave: 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women said they’d leave if they could get paid more in another country.
The rationales for staying in America, articulated by Americans, are particularly weak: 59 percent say they would stay because “it is home,” another 58 percent say they would stay thanks to romantic and family ties – and then the stats drop precipitously, with just 22 percent stating they would stay for the democratic society, 17 percent for the culture, 10 percent for the good future for children, 5 percent for wealth, 3 percent for low crime, and 2 percent for low taxes.
All of which makes sense, given that America has been moving in the wrong direction with regard to preservation of democratic society, a common culture, a good future for children, wealth, low crime, or low taxes.
It is worthwhile noting that the same millennials who say they would leave the United States voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama in 2012, 67 percent to 30 percent. Obama won at least 61 percent of the youth vote in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. In 2008, they showed up in droves for Obama, voting 66 percent to John McCain’s 32 percent for the first black president. These millennials helped President Obama redefine and radically transform America, and now it turns out that they dislike what they’ve built.
But that won’t stop them from voting for more of the same. A YouGov poll from February showed 55 percent of millennials trending in favor of Hillary Clinton. The same number, according to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, want Democrats to stay in the White House.
Barack Obama’s America doesn’t attract people who want to stay in America because Barack Obama’s vision of America does not include America staying in America. America used to have a definition as a nation. We used to have a common history, a common set of values, a common language, and a common culture. All of those elements create social capital – the ties that bind us together, that allow us to trust one another in the absence of compulsion.
The left believes – wrongly, as it turns out – that Americans, having been crafted by a philosophy prizing individual freedom and a Judeo-Christian ethos, are inherently evil, and that their social ties reinforce that evil. And so they set out to destroy them. The left sees government as an ultimate good and sees that social institutions pose a threat to the dominance of the government. If you care more about your family than about the collective, that threatens the collective’s ability to extort wealth from your family. If you care more about your religious group than about the priorities of those who oppose your religious principles, that threatens the collective’s ability to redraw boundaries in its own favor against religion.
The only safe space – the only thing we all share, as the Democratic National Convention said in 2012 — is the government, according to the left. That’s why leftists openly call for the abolition of non-profit status for religious institutions, with Mark Openheimer, “Beliefs” columnist for The New York Times, explaining, “We’d have fewer church soup kitchens — but countries that truly care about poverty don’t rely on churches to run soup kitchens.”
The problem, as Jonathan Haidt stated, is, “We need groups, we love groups, and we develop our virtues in groups, even though those groups necessarily exclude nonmembers. If you destroy all groups and dissolve all internal structure, you destroy your moral capital.” And without that moral capital, Haidt continues, governments must go tyrannical in order to replace the informal set of bonds that keep us unified.
The left, however, doesn’t care about the cost of destroying our social capital. So they have set about the task of tearing down America’s ties to one another, one by one.
History: The debate over the Confederate flag is not merely a debate over the Confederate flag, which we can all agree has a despicable history of association with racism, slavery, and Jim Crow. It is a broader debate about the role of American history in our lives. Is American history a story of a nation founded in liberty, a nation that committed horrific sins but overcame them with its own blood and treasure by revivifying founding principles? Or is America a brutal country enmeshed in an exploitative founding philosophy, unable to cope with its sins and requiring the constant corrective of big government to wipe away their stain? Are we a people united by our common history, or a people divided by it? Removing Confederate flags is prelude to removing American flags; removing Confederate war memorials is prelude to removing Thomas Jefferson from our pantheon; removing Alexander Hamilton from our currency is prelude to removing George Washington. A people without a history is no people. And the American people are having American history removed from them under the guise of non-offense.
Values: There is little question that American values are no longer universally held. President Obama said as much in his second inaugural address: “Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way…” But that is precisely what our founding documents do: they establish a common vision of liberty for all of us. That liberty is negative with regard to government – we are free because government cannot invade our rights. That liberty is based on a Judeo-Christian ethos that takes social institutions like marriage and religion seriously. But those concepts have been wiped away. Liberty now means compelling doctors and health insurers to provide you health care. Liberty is now based in an anti-religious crusade that ends with forcing religious people to redefine fundamental principles like marriage in their businesses, and eventually, in their churches and homes. We hold no common values, or a common vision for the future of the country.
Language: Language is a prerequisite to communication, of course. And if we can’t speak the same language, it will be very difficult for us to trust one another. Right now, nearly half of all New York City public school students speak a non-English language at home. There’s no problem with other languages, but there is a problem if we can’t talk with one another about issues that matter. And that problem is not relegated simply to cross-lingual barriers. The left has now perverted English itself so that words no longer have meaning. Man no longer means man; it may mean a woman who wants to be a man but has all her female genetics and body parts. Marriage no longer means marriage; it means whatever Justice Kennedy thinks it means today. State means federal for purposes of Obamacare; fine means tax for purposes of Obamacare. Words shift their basic meanings to serve the purposes of the left. When self-definition trumps common meaning of basic language, it becomes impossible for anybody to talk seriously.
Culture: America used to prize a culture of patriotism. No more. We now have our own cultures to press forward as alternatives, which is why major universities have now attempted to ban the phrase “melting pot” to describe the assimilation of various groups into Americanism. But that results in divisions, not in unity. As sociologist Robert Putnam points out, “Diversity seems to trigger not in-group/out-group division, but anomie or social isolation. In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’ – that is, to pull in like a turtle.” And government cannot fill that gap. When we lose connection with one another, we have no reason to stick around for the overregulation and high taxes.
Haidt, in The Righteous Mind, writes:
[I]f you are trying to change an organization or a society and you do not consider the effects of your changes on moral capital, you’re asking for trouble. This, I believe, is the fundamental blind spot of the left. It explains why liberal reforms so often backfire, and why communist revolutions usually end up in despotism.
The left is successfully destroying all social and moral capital, all the ties that bind us. And the Super Bowl and Avengers movies won’t save us. An ugly America is quickly replacing the shining beacon on the hill. And that transition has alienated even those who decided to level that beacon, and even the hill itself, in favor of President Obama’s fundamental change.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.