By J.B. Shurk
It has been the project of the political left for quite some time to convince Americans that there is nothing exceptional about their country. To “fundamentally transform” a culture, you must first poison the roots of what has already been growing. So for a century, Marxists have disparaged American history as steeped in genocide, imperialism, and avarice. They have exploited the imagery of virtue and vice to convince moral people that their nation rose from immorality. This has reached its logical apex with the historically illiterate 1619 Project, supported by elite news publications and academic institutions, reimagining America’s birth as bathed not in liberty, but rather enslavement.
Killing American history is not just a matter of destroying our collective identity as Americans, but also the vehicle for undermining notions of personal freedom. Barack Obama famously revealed how little he understood about the United States when he mocked the idea of “exceptionalism” altogether: “I believe in American exceptionalism,” he said after becoming president, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” After taking heat for so nonchalantly dismissing a point of American pride, Obama made sure to pay lip service to the idea of “American exceptionalism” for the remainder of his presidency. When he did so, however, the “exceptionalism” of which he spoke was clothed in the trappings of postmodernism, personal identity, and power. At various times, he pointed to America’s commitment to “international norms,” the ability of American NGOs to reshape societies abroad, government-funded science and health care, American economic dominance and military might, and even his own rise to power as proof of “American exceptionalism.” In other words, Obama redefined “American exceptionalism” in ways that a Marxist professor might find appealing to justify collective power and global government and buried what actually makes “American exceptionalism” so historic.
When we talk about America’s “exceptionalism,” it is not a racial or nationalist idea that denigrates other countries or implies that Americans possess in their DNA something that is unobtainable by other peoples. It is, in fact, a proposition that the Founding Fathers hoped would inspire the world’s nations in time to emulate America’s example. At its crux, three intertwined principles are sewn together to create something revolutionary: (1) all people are created equal; (2) every individual possesses rights that cannot legitimately be diminished or denied by those in positions of power, and among those rights are life and liberty; and (3) legitimate governments exist only through and by the consent of the governed.
The 1619 Project Marxists and their propagandists in the press and academia can attempt to rewrite the genesis of America as something mundane or even evil, but the truth is that America’s founding was just the opposite. The history of the world is composed like links on a chain of small aristocratic groups of self-styled “elites” proclaiming inherent powers over everyone else. On every spot of land that man has cultivated through every generation up to the present, a hideous idea has taken hold that some people are entitled to rule and that some people must always obey. When America declared its independence to the world in 1776, it did so by explicitly smashing that falsehood on the rocks of its foundation; lifting the chains of aristocracy from its shoulders; and saying, “No more.” No nation had ever set forth the course of its future on the bedrock of such revolutionary principles that prized above all else the inviolable freedoms of every person, and no nation has done a better job at trying to cultivate and safeguard those principles over time and through all hardship. That and that alone is what has always made the United States of America exceptional. It has nothing to do with privilege, purse, or power — let alone domination over those within its borders or those well outside them. Yet American leaders from both parties have worked outrageously hard for many decades to scrub that truth from the minds of the American people.
When George Bush decided to memorialize in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the three thousand Americans murdered by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 by denigrating pro-liberty Trump voters as morally equivalent to jihadists, he revealed just how bipartisan the parasitic tumor of “elite rule” has become. To defer to the American voter has become synonymous with condoning vulgarity. To empathize with Americans who disagree has become superfluous in a system that increasingly guards self-preservation, not the honest protection of those it purports to represent. To recognize that Americans now find their rights being threatened is to acknowledge that those who have been charged with protecting those rights have failed. It is much easier to pretend that the intrusive surveillance state unleashed in the wake of a national tragedy was done for the public’s own good, and not to usher in a new era of absolute control. It is much easier to assert deceitfully that the world has grown too complex and unwieldy to survive without a class of managerial technocrats ruling over everyone else. It is much easier to malign a political opponent and his followers as fascists while organizing behind closed doors with the globe’s financial elite to initiate a “Great Reset” of society. It is much more difficult to listen to those who object to the loss of their independence and liberty and self-government. Choosing the difficult path, after all, is what has always made America exceptional.
Now that it has been confirmed that Joint Chiefs chairman General Milley conspired with House speaker Nancy Pelosi and others to usurp the constitutional powers of President Trump while he was in office, there is little question that those with power in America have chosen to reinvest in aristocracy again.