What is America anyway?

Basically, American is Christian white people if you ask the Fox News types (i.e., today’s Republican Party).  Laura Ingraham basically makes the subtext, text.

Lots of good takes.  Great one from Conor Friedersdorf:

What I love about America is its animating idea: “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

What Ingraham loved about America was apparently its former demographic profile. Now that Hispanic and Asian immigrants have triggered “massive demographic changes,” the America she loves “doesn’t exist anymore.” Sad!

I expect my love of country, or patriotism, will remain strong in coming years, grounded as it is in the timeless ideals of America’s founding document.

Whereas Ingraham’s love of country was significantly grounded in its demographic makeup. And the changes she observes will only continue—the country will become less and less white with every passing year, with the changes affecting more and more of the nation’s communities. It seems as though Ingraham’s love of country will keep withering.

Should she stay here rather than immigrating to a country with a whiter population that more closely approximates her preferred demographic profile, one might think her waning patriotism would jeopardize her job at a flag-waving network like Fox. But in Ingraham’s telling, a lot of her audience also feels like changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the country is causing the America that they loved to cease to exist, so perhaps she can survive by holding onto the growing cohort of former patriots. Ratings are king.

Lest anyone worry that America won’t have enough patriots left, Ingraham is thankfully wrong when she implies that “most of us” feel as she does:

The survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 5 through 12 among 2,002 adults, finds that 38% say legal immigration into the United States should be kept at its present level, while 32% say it should be increased and 24% say it should be decreased. Since 2001, the share of Americans who favor increased legal immigration into the U.S. has risen 22 percentage points (from 10% to 32%), while the share who support a decrease has declined 29 points (from 53% to 24%).

God bless America.

Amen!  At it’s best, America is a set of ideas and values (one of these founding values being that we are actually a nation of immigrants).  America is not white people.  Go to hell Laura Ingraham and your xenophobic, bigoted, ignorant fellow travelers.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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