CAN A MELTING POT REALLY EXPECT LOYALTY? | 2000-06-24
The retired Army colonel who has just been arrested for decades of giving secrets to the Soviet Union is the latest in a long line of security problems. The high rank of that colonel was not higher than the civilian rank of the CIA spy Aldrich Aimes, a White Anglo Saxon Protestant from a good family.
Even liberals are admitting that Alger Hiss, one of the most privileged people in America in his time, was a Communist.
In a Clintonesque twist, Department of Energy hard drives with secrets on them that everybody had been searching for turned out to be in an obvious place, a place that had been searched before. Shades of billing records!!
Then there is Jonathan Pollard, who gave the most sensitive secrets to Israel, and was sentenced to life imprisonment for it. Instead of being embarrassed by such spying, the Israeli government is regularly demanding that Pollard -- whom it regards as merely a Jewish patriot -- be released.
The main argument for Pollard's release on the part of Alan Dershowitz and Pollard's other defenders is that he "just spied for Israel." Obviously, there is nothing wrong with giving secrets to one's real country if you are a part of a melting pot to which one has only theoretical loyalty.
It is hard for those of us who were born here, and whose loyalty is a natural one, to understand these reasons. But you have to remember that none of these people think of America in the same terms we do.
On September 19, 1998, in "Why I Will Not Denounce Southern Racism or American Imperialism," I said
"...only a clown can be loyal to a melting pot. By definition, a melting pot is nothing specific. Anyone who can be deeply loyal to nothing specific is in urgent need of psychiatric care."
Anyone who is charged with enforcing a liberal governmental policy must BELIEVE in that policy. Congress would raise Cain if a person charged with enforcing the Federal fair housing law turned out to be someone who didn't believe in it. But I watched the head of Jimmy Carter's Immigration and Naturalization Service declare that, if it were up to her, America's borders would be open and anybody who came here could stay. She felt no loyalty or obligation to the people who were already here (Please see July 3, 1999 article, "Why Wordists Love to Say, 'That's what America Is All About'").
To a liberal, and therefore to a respectable conservative, no one owes loyalty to the PEOPLE of the United States. The United States, they tell us, is just a set of principles. It is a country that consists entirely of words. During the Vietnam War, peace marchers felt that the Viet Cong were upholding true American principles, so they marched with the Viet Cong flag. Likewise, when Caesar Chavez led his Hispanic workers to strike in the United States, he made their symbol the flag of Mexico.
Millions of liberals joined in Chavez' farm workers grape boycott, and not one of them objected to the use of a foreign flag as their symbol. I cannot imagine that anyone who has attended an American university could find this the least bit surprising. The old patriotism is "out of date." The idea that we are a particular people who deserve a special loyalty is an attitude now denounced as the idea of anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.
It is no accident that just such an old-fashioned loyalty was the basis of America's battle against Hitler. While we all knew that Hitler was a dictator, we did not declare war on Germany because of that. It was only when American soil was attacked that the United States declared war on Japan.
And it was then Germany, as an ally of Japan, which declared war on the United States. The United States did not declare war on Hitler. The left, including the Communist Party, was happy to encourage this old-fashioned patriotism as long as it served the interests of their Great Hero and Ally, Joseph Stalin. Loyalty to Americans as a particular people did not become out of date until it was turned against the Communists in the late 1940s.
If you insist that your country is nothing but a set of "principles" -- words -- then you cannot denounce someone who is giving secrets to a country he feels has even more American principles than America does. A Communist certainly believes that. A leftist will not admit that Cuba is any less American than America is. Who can argue? By definition, all those principles are strictly a matter of opinion.
As always, liberals and therefore respectable conservatives, pull out Hitler to justify their position. Hitler, they say, talked about "Blood and Soil," so anyone who says America is more than a private opinion is anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews. But the fact is that the United States did not enter World War II until American soil had been attacked, and American blood spilled.