Taking a stab at explaining American Exceptionalism, Fareed Zakaria framed the national feature as being rooted in “diversity” and immigration. Without mentioning the nation’s Constitution or Declaration of Independence, CNN’s resident left-wing academic and foreign policy guru pushed back against the perception of President Barack Obama as seeking to unravel America’s founding ethos. According to Zakaria, it is Republicans who are pushing for policies antithetical to core American principles.
Responding to Senator Marco Rubio’s assertion that Obama is deliberately seeking to reshape America into a more European-style socialist state while simultaneously weakening the nation’s relative power to other states in the international arena, Zakaria asks what defines American Exceptionalism.
Knowing his unjustifiably pretentious audience, Zakaria attaches the aforementioned view of Obama’s political agenda to right-wing talk radio: the realm of rural rubes, no doubt.
Zakaria answers his own question: mass immigration to America combined with “diversity” was the cornerstones of the nation’s noble distinctions.
Reading a teleprompter upon which his op-ed published at The Washington Post is displayed, Zakaria makes no mention of America’s geography, the ideological roots of the nation’s founders, or the specific constraints on and divisions of governmental power articulated in The Constitution.
After mischaracterizing conservative and right-wing understandings of American Exceptionalism in order to lampoon them, Zakaria implies that mass immigration to America – both legal and illegal – are the hallmarks of what make America great.
“But no other country from the outset believed in the idea of openness and the mixture of people. The United States is a nation founded on diversity — of race, religion, national origin,” says Zakaria.
Zakaria then lies through both commission and omission; falsely attributing positions to unnamed Republicans (Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, most likely) and then decontextualizing others.
A religious or ethnic test to bar immigrants is suggested to be abhorrent. Calls for “monito[ing] houses of worship” are misleadingly attributed to Republicans, given that such calls were made with respect to mosques where there are reasonable grounds to investigate ties to Islamic terrorism.
Zakaria would have his audience believe that there is no overlap between Islam, Muslims, and Islamic terrorism. Indeed, those who highlight such connections are neither reasonable not concerned about national security – they are bigoted or “Islamophobic.”
“These ideas would fundamentally change America, tearing at its founding DNA. It would make it much more like the rest of the world, becoming one more nation in which certain ethnic groups and religions were privileged and others were outsiders, a country in which diversity was a threat to national character and unity rather than a strength,” says Zakaria, before adding that Obama is indeed the keeper of American Exceptionalism while Republicans stand in opposition to it.
“And who is it proposing these changes? The last time I checked, it was not Barack Obama,” concludes Zakaria.
No meaningful exposition is provided in Zakaria’s monologue of the nature of American culture beyond describing is as being open and composed of a “mixture of people.” No normative vision of the appropriate relationship between the people and the state is included.
Last month, Zakaria seemingly cheered the decline of whites in America. Now he is cheering their replacements.
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