Tuesday, January 03, 2017

UK out of EU; US out of UN next?

Watters' World

Why are we surprised that our young people are ignorant of US History? For decades now, our academic elite has been consciously making them so. George Washington University is just the latest institution to drop a US History requirement — even for its history majors. Will Jesse Watters of O’Reilly Factor’s “Watters’ World” go to our nation’s capital and ask a GWU student who George Washington was? Will we see a blank look followed by a giggle and a shoulder shrug, and then an answer something like: “Umm… I should know this…”? Watters isn’t the first to expose this ignorance; Jay Leno did it for years with his “Jaywalking” segment on the Tonight Show.

It’s sad, but cluelessness about our nation’s history has been the desired outcome of academia for decades now. A high school graduate may not be able to tell you when World War II was fought, who the combatants were, or even who won — but would have heard about internment of Japanese-American citizens. That’s because the dwindling number of students still taught US History learn more about America’s sins than America’s glory. The texts I used reflected that. After many chapters I had to offer students a contrasting perspective.
According to Ian Tuttle writing in National Review Online: “To the administrators and academics who revise these institutions’ mission statements, the nation-state has had its day… [They] work toward a ‘global community.’” Our elites see themselves as citizens of the world. Senator Barack Obama declared himself such in Berlin, Germany six months before being elected president — and his entire presidency seemed predicated on that vision. By contrast, his successor was elected promising to “put America first.” Donald Trump sees the world through an American lens, whereas Barack Obama saw America through a world lens. After his inauguration, Obama went around the world apologizing for America. Don’t expect that from Trump.
Academia had its way for decades, but backlash has been brewing among Americans living away from coastal bastions who are proud of America and would die for it. The coastal elites acknowledged them, but only to heap ridicule. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described them to a Marin County audience: “[T]hey 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.” In 2016, Hillary Clinton called them “[T]he basket of deplorables… racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it… Some of those folks -- they are irredeemable.” Two months later, those people elected a man who traveled the country wearing a baseball cap famously emblazoned: “Make America Great Again.”
Nationalism is ascendant throughout the western world now. People in Europe and in the USA want to preserve their way of life, not see it subsumed under a bland multicultural miasma in the European Union or the United Nations. There’s a common thread in the rise of Brexit and the rise of Trump. It’s no coincidence that Nigel Farage, the face of Brexit, appeared with Trump on the campaign trail here in the USA. Both tapped movements the elites scorned: renewed nationalism and disdain for globalism. Voters in both the UK and USA saw their nations as bulwarks against the vagaries of the world. They were willing to die for their countries but not for the EU or the United Nations (UN).
Nigel Farage wallops EU president to his face

Will the UK be better off out of the European Union (EU)? Will Donald Trump make America great again? Will he take the US out of the UN? 2017 will offer hints, but it will take at least a couple of years for enough evidence to make an educated guess. Government elites, as well as their cocktail party friends in elite media and academia predict disaster. They did their darnedest to forestall both developments and have yet to accept either. Some among them, however, are bold enough to predict the continued decline of EU and even its eventual collapse — with radical Muslim terrorism and uncontrolled Muslim immigration being the driving forces. Trump warned often against both here in the USA. Working through the United Nations, Obama has done his best to hamstring the Trump Administration in the Middle East and keep importing Muslims even after his term ends.
When it looked like her husband would win the Democrat nomination, Michelle Obama said: “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country…” We can assume that, like so many who who attended elite universities, she was ashamed of it.
Trump and LePage

Resisting the trend in our universities, Maine still requires US History as a condition for high school graduation. That won’t change over the next two years with LePage as governor. Nor is it likely to over the next four years with Trump as president. After that, we’ll see.


Anonymous said...

History is important. It gives necessary context to understand the world and current events. But we should strive to teach it objectively, neither demonizing the USA or ignoring the bad things it has done. (And yes, Mr. McLaughlin, our country does in fact do bad things on occasion.)

You can't understand the Middle East, for example, without understanding the importance of oil to the world's economy, the creation of Israel in 1948, the CIA's overthrow of the government of Iran in 1953, the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, or the rivalry between Shia and Sunni sects of Islam.

Brian said...

I stopped reading midway through when I hit the moldy old chestnut "Obama went around the world apologizing for America." At that point I realized again that I am dealing with someone playing loose with facts, or just flat out dishonest. I remember challenging you years ago to come up with one single instance of Obama making an apology for the USA. Typically, you hid....so I am still waiting.

Tom McLaughlin said...

We disagree Brian. I accept that. Having read several speeches, it's clear to me that's what Obama was doing. You can believe the liberal fact-checkers who "debunk" it if you want to but I'm not going to spend any time trying to convince you otherwise.

Brian said...

Here is a question. Has the USA ever done anything that it should apologize for? Of course it has. So one could easily say that Obama SHOULD have apologized, for real, not tip-toeing around it, as you believe he was doing, but flat out apologize.

But he didn't.

So what is this big deal the far right is (STILL?) making about the matter. Care to answer that?

Another historian said...

Tom, have you ever read the history of US Fruit and its aftermath in Central America? Check it out, and then, as a historian, write us an article about the root causes of illegal immigration to the US.

Brian said...

Tom said: "Will Donald Trump make America great again?"

Which reminds me of another of the questions that Trump supporters have trouble answering. Just exactly when was this mythological era in which America was greater than it is now?

Peter said...

I am truly interested in an honest globalism/nationalism/isolationism/Trumpism discussion. I am curious as to what some would say in response to the following column:


I am willing to listen to the good points I am sure some can come up with in response. There is certainly a middle ground when it comes to this matter, and my mind is far from made up as to where it lies.

Anonymous said...

The "liberal" fact checkers? Facts are facts no matter who checks them, that is what makes them facts. If "liberal" or "conservative" mattered they would be just opinions. So when Trump stands out on fact checking sites, not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong, it means Trump is an incredible liar even by politician standards. Thousands of Muslims dancing in the streets....100% self funded campaign.....on and on...the man simply has trouble uttering true words. Perhaps lots of times he is not lying, he is just uninformed. Another wonderful quality for a president.

Rick said...

Ironic that Tom keeps bringing up "elite" this, and "elitist" that, when Trump is the ultimate elitist, the pampered, petulant man-child born into the upper elite, and who, because he is pathological in his dishonesty, suckered the rubes into thinking he cared about them and would help them. The man cares about nothing, including his country, but himself.

Anonymous said...

Of course Trump cares about the country, just look at all his talk about making products in America and creating American jobs! Oh wait, most of his products are made overseas? You mean he is a big talking' hypocrite? Never mind, then.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

History? HISTORY? Bah, who needs it?
I'll NEVER use that stuff in, like, you know,um ...REAL life!!!!!
But did you SEE the latest Political Science tweet from that progressive gender fluid feminist comedian, cited in THE NEWS, on your smart phone?

Anonymous said...

LePage is definitely not a good thing when it comes to education, nor does anyone who believes creationism belongs in public schools. I would rather my children get taught NO history than FALSE history. There is a good chance that LePage goes down in history as the worst governor of all time.

Anonymous said...

Great column Mr. Tom. Simply unbelievable, the way some of the universities operate these days! Perhaps they'll go back to teaching U.S. history after they revise it to their questionable standards. (Show Low Yaqui)

p.s. Happy New Year and keep on Truckin'!

Steve said...

I don’t understood the right's absurdly prolonged consternation over the President admitting the US made some unspecific mistakes in the past, and that we acknowledge them and will strive to improve. The link you included with the 10 quotes were in speeches given over 7 years ago! Considering we were just coming out of the presidency responsible for the Iraq War, which is arguably the most ill-conceived, unnecessary, catastrophic foreign-policy initiative, perhaps in our nation’s history, I think those speeches struck a reasonable tone at the right time. Would you rather his speeches have gone, “In case anyone of your forgot, America is the greatest country in the history of homo sapiens.” (drops the mic and moonwalks off the stage). But honestly, doesn't it sound like something espoused in Catholicism - own up to your mistakes, endeavor to improve, don't be boastful? Isn't that what most responsible parents teach their kids? We're the top dog. We're the country so many other countries look to. Why is a little humility such an unpardonable sin among you republicans?

Peter said...

Amen to what Steve said.

It looks like this is not a place for real give and take discussion, or anything other than to read vague partisan talking points points about "globalism", or "sex freaks" or whatever the weekly topic may be, or to get a good laugh about how some people are still hanging on to old, dopey, long failed, partisan attacks, like "apology tour" and "birth certificate", or "tele-prompters", and laugh about them the same way you would chuckle at seeing a dude in a mullet and 80's shorts. Never cool to begin with, but to be seeing it NOW...?

So why am I here? I guess in the hopes that I can convince some youngster, somewhere reading this, to see the truth, to investigate for themselves further, and to put down those scissors, and give up the dream of the mullet and the cut-off short-shorts...

Tom McLaughlin said...

You think, Peter, that these accusations are "debunked," as the leftist media declares. You should know by now that I interpret developments for myself. Politifact, Snopes, and the rest have their opinions and I have mine. If you question why you're here, only you can answer that. The next four years are going to be painful for you and you're not likely to find succor in my columns. Perhaps Salon, Huffington Post, or MSNBC would soothe you. I recommend you go to any one of those to feel comfortable.

I see you like Fareed Zakaria. He won't upset you either. His world view and yours probably align well, but watch out. He's known to plagiarize from time to time.

Tom McLaughlin said...

I'm going to be in Flagstaff for a week next May, Show Low. Going to see the Grand Canyon to cross it off my bucket list. Perhaps you could email me at tomthemick@gmail.com

Peter said...

Yes, the next four years may be painful for most of America, but we'll be fine in the long run after clown-child has failed miserably in the White House. We can just chuckle at the buffoonery and hope for the best.

As for finding sites that soothe me, I am not one who insulates myself in a bubble or an echo chamber. I much prefer to see how others think and try to get their point of view. It is irritating when people post comments without being able to defend them deeper. As for "debunking", I am fine with your opinion that Obama was tip-toeing around an apology. As I said before, and as Steve mentioned, why NOT apologize. But are you really standing by the "Birther" movement??? Really!? That speaks volumes. And there is nothing to "debunk" with the teleprompter, that was just pure silliness, a desperate grasp to try and belittle the president. Amusing.

Faree Zakaria? I'm really not familiar with him. I just found the column and found it interesting, and wondered if anyone here had any counter-points. They did not, which strengthens my feelings about points the column brought up.

And have a great time at the Grand Canyon! I crossed this off my list just this past summer. Awe inspiring and beautiful.

Brian said...

Aside from saving relatively little money (4 billion, about 0.6% of the budget for the US Department of Defense.) what are the benefits of leaving the UN? I know that the money we pay does go towards some good things. For example, it paid the the UN mission that got rid of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. It pays for election monitors in places like Afghanistan. It pays for the ongoing peace talks in Syria. It pays for over 100,000 peacekeepers deployed around the world, helping to keep a lid on wars and violence that can spread. It pays for efforts to stabilize Somalia and Mali- places where just a few years ago terrorist groups controlled swaths of territory. It paid for the translators at the historic Paris Climate talks. And it pays for efforts to fight disease’s like Polio, and for efforts to bring people out of extreme poverty worldwide.

As a member, the US has invaluable influence and entitlements when it comes to world affairs. To surrender its place on the council simply because a certain group of citizens fail to accurately put our position into context would be both ignorant and self destructive. The US is indeed an important world power and with that power comes a significant responsibility. Attempting to dodge that responsibility is unrealistic and shortsighted egoism. Running away is not the answer.

So what benefits outweigh all this by leaving?

Anonymous said...

Now this is what I call "Telling it like it is":

"Grow up, Donald. Grow up. Time to be an adult, you're president. You've got to do something. Show us what you have. ... For a President not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to the myriad of intelligence agencies from defense intelligence, to the CIA, et cetera, is absolutely mindless. It's just mindless."

Rick said...

It is amazing how The Donald suckered so many into this "Telling it like it is" crap.

"I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care.” (CNN, October 8, 1999)

“I’m totally pro-choice.” (Fox News, October 31, 1999)

“I don’t mind being criticized. I’ll never, ever complain.” (CNN, September 24, 2015)

“I see NATO as a good thing.” (Washington Post, March 21, 2016)

I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” (Trump: The America We Deserve, 2000)

“I have great respect for President Obama” (White House, November 10, 2016)

“We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out.” (CNN-Republican Debate, February 25, 2016)

“We have some great generals. We have great generals.” (60 Minutes, November 13, 2016)
"Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do [know more about ISIS than the generals do] because look at the job they’ve done. (60 Minutes, less than a minute later)

“The electoral college is a disaster for democracy.” (Twitter, November 06, 2012)

We could go on and on. Trying to lock up Hillary. Mexico paying for the wall. Draining the swamp.

The most 2-faced president ever?

Anonymous said...

Many, many people would love to tell bratty little Donald to grow up, and that they would like to take him behind the gym and teach him a lesson, but straight shootin' Biden is the one who had the balls. Just imagine the tantrums that this causes our thin-skinned wanna-be-king to throw!

Anonymous said...

Scary how some Russian thug has influenced our election and has our president-elect eating out of the palm of his hand. Does he have some damaging hacked info on Trump as well? Putin's pompous, petulant puppet.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Putin has been making a fool of Obama for eight years. He'll have a tougher time with Trump.

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

Putin will have a tough time with Trump, his biggest fanboy?!?

Let's take a look at some Trump quotes:

“I really like Vladimir Putin. I respect him."

"Will he become my new best friend?"

Trump seemed to defend Putin’s killing of dissident journalists, stating, “at least he’s a leader"

"he's doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia"

And then there is the denials, ignorant statements about the hacks... "The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails" Turned out that Trump was the joke.

And the mind-numbing, "oh my god this guy is going to be president" quote of: "He's not going into the Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want,"

Ooops. Forgot about Crimea.

Trump is the fool. I wonder if Putin has his tax returns.

Anonymous said...

And now the insolent little brat child actually denies mocking a disabled man, even though the evidence is right there on video for all to see! Like a 5 year old with cookie crumbs on his face and his hand in the cookie jar denying he took a cookie. Truth means absolutely nothing to this man-child.

Anonymous said...

Well, baby brat Trump shows again that what he says means nothing. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter in August 2015 if there are any actresses that he loves, Trump said "Meryl Streep is excellent; she’s a fine person, too,” . But once his itsy bitsy feelings got hurt she became "over-rated". What a clown.