So here I sit, doing my facebook thing, and in my periphery I see an ad labeled “College Republicans” with the description “Tired of America-bashing liberals?” Since the degeneration of the Right and the devaluation of the word “conservative” are two phenomena that interest me, I clicked and was greeted by the RNC’s new effort to indoctrinate college students. The National Anthem started to play and I was greeted with these words:
At the College Republican National Committee we know which side we’re on. If you’re a proud American, and you’re tired of America-bashing liberals, you’re in good company…and you’re in the majority. You might not see us on the nightly news, because it’s not fashionable to salute soldiers in uniform, fly the flag, or sing the national anthem out loud, but we’re out here, working for what you believe in.
Not all college students are America-bashing Liberals. If you’d like to hear more from the future leadership of the conservative movement, please sign up for the free newsletter from the College National Republican Committee. We’re the future of America and we believe in the same things you do.
I’m not entirely sure where to begin. The recent Republican National Convention has had me thinking about Sinclair Lewis’ superb “It Can’t Happen Here” (especially after reading Justin Raimondo’s post on TAC’s blog).
If you haven’t read it, find a way to get your hands on it, because it is excellent and as prescient as “1984″. Demagoguery of the kind the RNC is using is what Lewis warns us against. He also warns that our inability to come to grips with our own crimes leads to a borderline-religious image of America, leaving her citizens open to manipulation by both the government and by those in power in the business world. America, like all nations of the world, has had its fair share of crimes, but don’t tell that to the RNC. Lewis describes the vulnerability of the “Land of the Free”:
“Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious!—than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana. . . Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio—divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees?. . . Remember the Kuklux Klan?. . . Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares. . .and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children?. . .Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition—shooting down people just because they MIGHT be transporting liquor—no, that couldn’t happen in AMERICA! Where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours!”
Is it unfashionable to salute or wave the flag? Of course not. That’s why the two candidates compete to see which one can get the most “waving flag” backdrops and the most soldier photo-ops. Is it unfashionable to sing the national anthem? Tell that to the hundreds of thousands at baseball games everyday. This is pure partisanship and demagoguery on the part of the RNC. The Left may have race-baiting and class-warfare, but the Right now challenges the patriotism and loyalty of those on the Left and spouts nonsense about how the whole world is against them. Which is worse?
But don’t listen to me. I’m just an America-bashing liberal.