Blue State Blues: Democrats’ False Patriotism, Scoundrels’ Last Refuge

We’re hearing a lot this week from liberal pundits and #NeverTrump conservatives about how the Democratic Party has supposedly seized the mantle of patriotism from the Republican Party.

While Donald Trump talks about everything that is wrong with America, we are told, Democrats talk about everything that is right — and therefore they have seized Ronald Reagan’s optimism, or the “moral high ground,” as Jeffrey Engel of Southern Methodist University put it.

Engel went further: on the last night of the Democrats’ convention in Philadelphia, he says, the “Democrats were Republicans” (original emphasis).

Few of these people were in Philadelphia. Let’s talk about what really happened at the convention.

On the first night, there were no American flags to be seen. There was a Palestinian flag, but not one of the Great American Patriots of the Democratic Party thought to decorate the hall with Old Glory.

A few flags appeared onstage after that, and on the last night, Democrats brought them in by the truckload — partly for visual effect, but also to hide the anti-Hillary Clinton signs held by some Bernie Sanders delegates. The party also supplied armfuls of printed “USA” signs for the same purpose.

In addition, there was no respect paid to law enforcement. Uniformed police were invisible on the floor of the convention, and many were cordoned off backstage behind blue curtains. The “Mothers of the Movement,” who lost sons and relatives in encounters with police, were brought on in prime time on Day 2, but no one thought to invite the widows of murdered police. A belated moment of silence on Day 4 for the Dallas officers killed earlier this month was protested by Black Lives Matter delegates.

Worse, and also on Day 4, delegates in the convention hall heckled General John Allen and other veterans, shouting “No more wars!”

Competing signs and chants: “USA!” and “NO MORE WARS!” while Gen. John Allen speaks at #DNCinPHL pic.twitter.com/T1dp02ZVMl

— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) July 29, 2016

The chanting continued as wounded veteran Florentin Groberg took to the stage.

Just minutes before, in the convention’s most poignant moment, delegates cheered the parents of fallen hero Capt. Humayun Khan, who held the Constitution aloft and rebuked Donald Trump’s policy of barring Muslim immigration. But when living veterans appeared? No such respect.

You might not have seen much of that on TV. That is because the organizers did their best to suppress dissent. They cracked down on homemade signs, prevented Sanders delegates from sitting together, and even turned the lights out over parts of the arena.

In the days before the convention, emails from Wikileaks revealed party leaders colluded to ensure Sanders lost the primary race. How patriotic is that?

As for the speeches, look more closely. Hillary Clinton said, “America is great – because America is good.” Wonderful — but she also accused America of “systemic racism,” a malicious, false charge.

President Barack Obama caused anti-Trump Republicans to swoon in unison, recalling Reagan’s “Morning in America.” True, Obama said: “I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.”

But he also said: “We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal.” After eight years, America’s still not good enough for Barack Obama.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivered what was arguably the best speech of the convention. She said: “So, look, so don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!”

A far cry from what she said in February 2008, when she declared, “[F]or the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” Maybe she has changed. Or maybe the Obamas just love America when they can rule it.

As the old Samuel Johnson saying goes: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Democrats put on a show of patriotism — barely — at election time, but they share the broader left’s belief that America is flawed, that it is the problem in the world rather than the solution. They are waving the flag because they have run out of ideas.

They are fooling no one except those who believe an America that elects Trump is not worth celebrating.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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