On Tuesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan discusses a new video released by The New York Times which claims that the United States is not great, and what that means for the other political side of the aisle. Video and partial transcript below.
The New York Times, this morning, the former newspaper, ran a video op-ed called something like “Stop telling me America is great”, and they ran this thing. It’s very well-made. It’s very clever and it puts forward the idea that this whole concept of America being great is ridiculous. Here’s a cut.
Video: “America, the greatest country on earth. A narrative packed and sold to tiny patriots. Reinforced by every cartoon, movie, cheeseburger and mattress sale. A mythology so entrenched our most beloved personalities urges never to question it. – Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great. This right now is the greatest country on earth. Greatest country God ever gave. We’re the greatest country in the world. America is the greatest country in the world. – But what if we did question it?”
It’s a really dishonest video in a lot of ways. First of all, the entire setup in which children are being taught, all the pictures of the children are from the ’50s. So, the idea that children are being taught this is a great country is kind of garbage. The fact that they put Michelle Obama and then they put Sean Hannity say oh it’s bad, both on the left and the right, that they’re saying it’s a great country. We know that the Obamas did nothing but apologize for this country. We didn’t forget that Michelle Obama said the first time she was ever proud of her country was the day her husband happened to get elected. So, we know it’s really only one side. They go on afterwards, I’m not going to play the whole thing, but they talk about all the ways they think America is not great and some of the stuff they say is fair, but a lot of it is questionable.
So, they use our high poverty rates without mentioning the fact that poverty in America is wealth anywhere else because of wealth transfers. The problem we have here is not that people don’t have enough money because they can get enough wealth transfer so that people living in poverty today are living at a fairly high level compared to other countries if you’ve ever been to another country with the exception of Democrat cities where people are homeless. That’s the kind of poverty that is widespread in a lot of other countries. We’ll talk about the high mortality rate among infants without mentioning the fact that we try to save a lot more infants who have been born so early that they would die in any other country. So you know the statistics are questionable but I don’t think that there is any question that this is not the country that it was. That is the fact and is the reason Trump is so popular with his slogan “Make America Great Again,” the idea that something has been lost.
I think after eight years of listening to Obama apologize for this country, after eight years of listening to news people, like Katie Couric, who said she was uncomfortable when she saw somebody wearing an American flag pin. Questioning if it wasn’t going too far, when we were supposed to wonder why Al-Qaeda disliked us, instead of just bombing them into the Stone Age. I mean why should we wonder why animals like al-Qaeda dislike us?
They dislike us because we’re better than they are and we’re free. That’s why they dislike it. And it goes on to talk about how we’re not free. I mean it really is a dishonest video but still, I can’t help feeling that everybody senses that this is not the country that it was, and something was lost and a lot of the people in the left say oh that’s because you’re a racist. You want to go back to those days of Jim Crow and go back to the days when women were stuck in the house and all this stuff but that’s nonsense. That’s absolutely absurd.
What people want is to go back to the days when people were proud of their country when their children were taught to be proud of their country. And yes, now we understand that people were left out. Let’s include them too. I don’t think anybody is against that. I think the problem is that we’ve lost some sense of pride.
You know Gallup has a poll out that says as Americans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, their pride in the U.S. has hit its lowest point since Gallup’s first measurement in 2001. While 70 percent of U.S. adults overall say they are proud to be Americans, this includes fewer than half who are extremely proud. Marking the second consecutive year that this reading is below the majority level, it’s only really a two percent decline which is kind of meaningless. Still, people were extremely proud of America. The last time that number really spiked was after 9/11 when people suddenly realized, “Oh yeah good country.” But when you read more closely into this Gallup poll, it’s the Democrats who weren’t proud. The latest overall declines in patriotism are largely driven by Democrats whose self-reported pride has historically been lower and has fluctuated more than Republicans.
Democrats latest 22 percent “extreme pride” reading is the group’s lowest in Gallup’s 19 years of measurement and is half of what it was several months before Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory. So they’re happy when they’re winning. They’re not happy when they’re losing, which is not true of the Republicans, who remained very proud even during Barack Obama. Republicans have remained extremely proud of their country, and the latest 76 percent reading is just 10 points below the high recorded in 2003. Even when Barack Obama was in office, Republicans’ extreme pride never fell below 68 percent. And that’s really telling to me; it’s really telling that when the Democrats lose, they lose their pride.
In other words, they’re only proud like Michelle Obama. They’re only proud of a country they run, and they cannot see that there might be another way whereas Republicans are proud of the structure that the friends of the founding right. They understand that the founding is still in place even if they lose an election the fact that there’s an election, the fact that it works the way it’s supposed to work, the fact that we transfer power peacefully, that people are still constrained by the Constitution. Obama less than any other president I can think of but still you know was constrained to some degree by the Constitution and by the separation of powers and by the courts who gave him a record number of 9-0 defeats in the Supreme Court because he overreached on his executive powers.
So we remain proud because we feel the system is in place, whereas we know when the Democrats lose, it’s suddenly all we’ve got to get rid of the system, we got to stack the Supreme Court, we got to get rid of the electoral college, because they are only proud of this country when they win. And that is the difference between somebody who’s proud of the founding, who’s a friend of the founding, and someone who is just proud of himself and think he’s his own glorious compassion and virtue is going to transform the world into something it has never been ever. And that is the difference.