On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass offered up an oration on the meaning of July 4th to slaves. He condemned the hypocrisy of the American republic for fighting for the equality and liberty of all men while imposing slavery. Then, of the constitution, he said this:
Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it. … Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery. (Source)
Douglass routinely grounded the legitimacy of his cause in the founding documents of the nation. In fact, the founders themselves realized slavery was hypocritical, but they felt the need to dispense with Great Britain before dealing with slavery.
The constitution, though progressives now revise the debates, was not a pro-slavery document. It barred the importation of slaves. It limited the power of southern states both with the three-fifths compromise and the Electoral College.
Progressives now claim the three-fifths compromise was a pro-south compromise, but the southern states wanted slaves counted for population purposes. In order to secure the constitution, the northern states had to compromise but refused the one-to-one counting the south wanted. The smaller northern states then also insisted on the Electoral Compromise so the more populous southern states, thanks to the three-fifths compromise, could not overwhelm the northern states in choosing a president. The historic record makes these things clear, but the left chooses to ignore those things.
Over the weekend, it became clear the left has no reason for honesty. It has returned to hating America. First, consider Congresswoman Corrie Bush, one of the leading progressive voices in the United States House of Representatives.
This is not “nut-picking,” i.e. picking one nut on the left to say they all think this way. This is a prominent sitting member of the United States House of Representatives whose views are widely shared on the left.
She cannot even see how awesome the United States must be if a non-free black person can still be elected to Congress or the Presidency or the Vice Presidency.
Concurrently, the New York Times ran a lengthy piece on how the American flag is now a source of division in the country. In some parts of New York, neighbors make negative assumptions about their neighbors who fly the flag. Inevitably, it is the progressive New Yorkers who presume their flag flying neighbors are racists, Trump supporters, and Republicans.
In the past decade, as America moved into a post-Christian world, various news outlets relished the opportunity to run stories at Christmas and Easter attacking the foundations of Christianity. From the resurrection to the virgin birth to the reality of Christ to even dismissing the severity of well documented early church persecution, the New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets routinely deride Christianity.
We’re reaching what amounts to a post-American worldview of the same media outlets now reflected in the progressive left. They now routinely run opinion pieces and “analyses” condemning the nation at its Independence Day. No longer does the left encourage the nation to live up to its ideals. Instead, the ideals are condemned as is the founding and its founders.
Kevin Drum, a progressive political commentator, recently noted the progressive left has moved further left in the last few decades than the conservative right has moved right.
As you can see, in 1994 the average Democrat was at 5 and the average Republican was at 6. In 2004, that had changed slightly: the average Democrat was at 4 and the average Republican was just under 5. In other words, both parties had gotten a little bit more liberal.
But by 2017 that had changed completely. The average Democrat was at 2 while the average Republican was at 6.5. In other words, between 1994 and 2017, Democrats had gotten three points more liberal while Republicans had gotten about half a point more conservative.
That takes us up to 2017, by which time Democrats were quite obviously farther from the median voter than they had been in 1994 or 2004. And it showed: Our election victory in 2020 was razor thin even though (a) the economy sucked, (b) we were in the middle of a pandemic, (c) voters had had four years to see just what Donald Trump was really like, and (d) our candidate was bland, amiable, white, male Joe Biden. This should scare the hell out of liberals. (Source)
As the left moves further left, it has a harder time not just relating to native-born Americans, but also to immigrants who chose to come here and have a deep sense of American patriotism.
The left is choosing the leave behind the American experiment and the American experience and, concurrently, attempting to hijack our institutions — academic, corporate, and cultural — to leave too. But the body of the republic will not be so easily cajoled into abandoning what only the left hates. Moreover, there is a clear backlash not just among conservatives, but among moderates and even liberals who reject the progressive fatalism about America.
The nation has always had problems, but it is far better than any alternative and always moving forward to a better day. As the left forgets this, abandons patriotism, and turns hostile to what the nation means, it can expect far more electoral and even cultural losses.
After all, it is pretty obvious for most to see, there’s a level of ungrateful self-centeredness when a sitting elected member of Congress condemns the nation and the supposed paper of record declares flying the nation’s flag anathema. It makes it easier for conservatives to relate to people and harder for the left.