Make America Socialist

Americans collectively gasped in indignation when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed in a speech that the United States “was never that great.” Cuomo’s statement Erik Holder, former U.S. Attorney General in the Obama Administration.  When questioned about making America great again, Holder snarled, “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

Cuomo and Holder are not being disingenuous. Both are progressives who have little or no pride in America. When they look at our nation, they don’t see American exceptionalism. Instead, they find oppression, inequality, and other so-called social injustices, a country irredeemably tarnished by a history of slavery, imperialism, and genocide.

The views of Cuomo and Holder are commonplace among the far left. For them, America is fundamentally flawed compared to the world they want to create. Anything less than their imagined utopia is unacceptable.

In their progressive paradise, there is no hate speech.  All language that offends, threatens, or insults a person or identity group, based on their race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is impermissible. Also unacceptable is political speech that defends objectionable ideas and statements.  

For progressives, the simplest of phrases can be viewed as dangerous.  Far leftist Christiane Amanpour, a CNN international anchor, expressed deep worry about the chant “lock her up,” a refrain voiced at rallies by Trump supporters in response to Hillary Clinton’s failure to safeguard classified information. Amanpour supported the involvement of the FBI to shut down the chants at Trump rallies, believing they could potentially incite violence.

After progressives remove all hate speech from society, the discourse that remains must be politically correct.  Not allowed are words that are offensive or disadvantageous to any racial, gender, ethnic, cultural, or sexual orientation group.  This means all sexist words such as tomboy, manpower, freshman, manfully, taxman, and sportsman are verboten. Ditto for always naming Adam before Eve. It’s wrongheaded to mention you want to “start a family” because single people and some couples can’t have children. And healthy people must be described as “non-disabled” to minimize any offense to disabled people.

Even the term “hate speech” is considered hate speech by progressives and should be referred to as a “non-crime hate incident.”

In addition to purging all wrongful language from society, progressives want to remove hateful symbols, such as statues, memorials, buildings, and parks named after historical figures that cause offense to identity groups.

Intolerable are statues of Confederate leaders and soldiers because they supported slavery. Also objectionable are George Washington, who owned 317 slaves, and Thomas Jefferson, who had 135 slaves.  Even Christopher Columbus is an unpardonable tarnished figure.  He didn’t own slaves but is at fault nevertheless because he discovered America. He opened the door to European migration and this led to the death of millions of indigenous people. In the minds of progressives, Columbus is not a fearless explorer who changed the world, but a facilitator of genocide.

Anyone with a blemish in their life is a potential target of progressives.  A statue of Kate Smith, a popular singer and star in radio and television, who recorded 28 albums, was removed from outside the Philadelphia Flyers arena because she recorded a song 88 years ago that today offends an identity group. Never mind that her signature song is God Bless America, which was played at the arena before every game for the past 50 years, and the song that causes distress was also recorded by other celebrated singers, including Paul Robeson and Bing Crosby.

Books pose another troublesome issue for progressives, especially the Great Books of Western Civilization, tombs written by the likes of Aristotle, Shakespeare, Aquinas, and Tocqueville.  The books are considered offensive because they perpetuate in the minds of progressives a Eurocentric vision of history. Equally inexcusable for them is the fact that the list of books fails to have an equal number of racially diverse and women authors.

For progressives, motion pictures are especially unseemly.  The offense?  Portraying stereotypes of identity groups. Unforgivable are Native Americans depicted as redskins, Hispanics as bandidos and Latin lovers, Asians as Fu Manchu and dragon ladies, and Arabs as Ali Baba and harem dancers.

Among the list of detestable movies is the first sound film, The Jazz Singer, released in 1927, which featured Al Jolson performing in blackface.  Just displaying a poster of a misbegotten movie can be an infraction. A film school in California recently removed two vintage posters of D.W. Griffith’s ground-breaking film, “Birth of a Nation,” because it made students uncomfortable.

For socialist progressives, scrubbing America’s history of everything that’s offensive to an identity group is a necessary and laudable goal. In their promised land, all that Americans see, say, read, watch, and listen to will be perfectly cleansed and unoffending.

In their perfect world, no one will be irritated or angered by any words, symbols, books, songs, or movies. The nation’s capital will have been renamed, the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial removed, and Mount Rushmore will feature only Roosevelt and Lincoln.

When this day arrives, Cuomo and Holder can be expected to declare that America is great. But then it will no longer be America.