CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, host of the network’s weekly international affairs program and author of The Post-American World, has some advice to offer on how to be a “real American”: “Part of being a real American is urging the country to look at its flaws…and fix them,” he says in a promotional ad for his television show.
The ad, which ran during CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley this morning, evokes stereotypical liberal condescension and jinogism all at once, assuming both that America is fundamentally flawed and that there is some essentialist concept of a “real American” requiring definition and defense from elite patriots.
Zakaria, who was caught plagiarizing articles for CNN and Time earlier this year, is a confidant of President Barack Obama. His words echo the sentiments of Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The former declared in 2007 that wearing an American flag lapel pin was something other than “true patriotism,” while the latter told an audience in 2008 that her husband’s campaign for “change” made her proud of her country for the first time.
The American left has sought to dispel past questions about its patriotism–questions prompted by its antiwar rhetoric–by redefining patriotism, asserting that it consists not of love of one’s country and loyalty to its ideals, but the desire to change that country, and, to that end, to put one’s individual will at the service of government.
That is why Obama went from vowing in 2008 that he would never question an opponent’s patriotism to routinely accusing Republicans of being unpatriotic by opposing his policies.
Other Democrats, and their media supporters, have made similar assertions–not realizing they have become the very status quo that needs changing.