A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name: Tom McLaughlin
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
What the left sees as progress — a flood of diverse, multicultural, unassimilated migrants from Mexico, Central America, as well as the Muslim countries of Africa, and the Middle East, many other Americans see as the disintegration of America as they know it. They’re watching similar changes in Europe and worry that western civilization itself is unraveling. They elected a Republican majority in Congress to stem immigration and the enormous growth of the federal government, then watched that Congress capitulate to the president’s big-government, open-borders agenda. These Americans are not in the minority, but their view is scorned as racist and xenophobic by establishment leaders in government, in academia, in mainstream media, and in the entertainment industry, who consider themselves more enlightened.
They’re the people candidate Barack Hussein Obama spoke disdainfully of when addressing elite donors in Marin County, California back in March, 2008: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
These Americans are rebelling now against what they see as an elite establishment coalition. As they watch the West decline, they’re realizing the leaders they elected, as well as the media who report on them, seem okay with the transformation of American that so worries them. So far the rebellion is political with Republican support for candidates they perceive as outsiders. Donald Trump/Ted Cruz Republicans believe big business and big government are symbiotic and prefer a smaller, decentralized government with more power returning to states. Others see no important differences between the two major parties and call for a third.
Their concern is exacerbated by increases in radical Islamic terrorism in both Europe and the United States that governments seem unable to deal with effectively. (Just Monday, however, the UK officially labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization — breaking with Obama who praises the MB.) A recent essay by historian of Islam Raymond Ibrahim sees Islamists rushing into a vacuum created by western decline in Europe and in the United States. Ibrahim calls the unraveling described above as the West becoming a self-hating civilization, and he takes a long view:
“Once upon a time, the Islamic world was a super power and its jihad an irresistible force to be reckoned with. Over two centuries ago, however, a rising Europe—which had experienced over one millennium of jihadi conquests and atrocities—defeated and defanged Islam. As Islam retreated into obscurity, the post-Christian West slowly came into being. Islam didn’t change, but the West did: Muslims still venerate their heritage and religion—which impels them to jihad against the Western “infidel”—whereas the West learned to despise its heritage and religion, causing it to be an unwitting ally of the jihad.”
Ibrahim scoffed at President Obama when he: “counseled Americans to get off their ‘high horse’ and remember that their Christian ancestors have been guilty of similar if not worse atrocities. That he had to go back almost a thousand years for examples by referencing the crusades and inquisition—both of which have been completely distorted by the warped postmodern worldview, including by portraying imperialist Muslims as victims—did not matter to America’s leader.”
Many Americans have a limited understanding of historical Islam and don’t detect Obama’s distortion. Some do. Others just sense that his explanation is hokey.
The horrors ISIS and other radical Islamist groups are perpetrating today have been more the rule than the exception over the 1400 years of Islamic imperialism. We’re seeing is its resurgence enabled by the retreat of a breast-beating, mea culpa western establishment trying to do penance — Europeans for their colonial past, Americans for using their powerful military to curtail communist expansion and keep oil flowing out of the Persian Gulf.
Though establishment leaders play down resurgent Islam’s threat and trumpet “Islamophobia,” fewer Americans are buying it. They’re fed up with the flood of illegals from our south seeking “aslyum” as well as others from Africa and the Middle East who may or may not be refugees. Our establishment elite portrays both as oppressed, brown-skinned victims of Western imperialism. More Americans are seeing them as foreigners looking to get on the welfare gravy train and drive up the national debt, or, at best, as unskilled laborers who would take jobs away from them and drive down their wages. They also know thousands of illegals from our south have committed serious crimes and they question whether others from Muslim countries will assimilate as Americans.
They see both Democrats and Republicans belonging to the elite establishment and maintaining the status quo and they want to change course. I hope that comes through the ballot box and worry about what may happen if it doesn’t.