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June 24, 2015

Ann Coulter: Nikki Haley Is an Immigrant Who Doesn't Understand American History

I was a fan of Ann Coulter's a long time ago, and I resist the pot-shots on her that have become fashionable among the Establishment-oriented crowd. I don't like when people get the Mean Girls idea that it's open season on someone simply because they're no longer In Fashion among the It Crowd.

But I am shaking my head at this claim by Coulter's. First of all, Haley is not in fact an immigrant -- she was born here. Perhaps Coulter meant to say, more accurately, that Haley is first generation, or that her parents were immigrants.

But I would still have to reject the Essentialist nature of that argument -- the implication that only "true Americans," born here, made of this blood and this soil, can understand America.

America is not chiefly about a place. Our physical location is happenstance. It is not about blood or soil. It is not about race. America is an idea -- and ideal.

The reason America is in decline is because far too many born-and-raised Americans do not understand America.

Talk to Charles C.W. Cooke sometime. (No seriously, I recommend it. He sounds like Ringo, if Ringo Starr were the producer of the Mark Levin show.) A five minute conversation with Cooke will demonstrate that America is not born in the blood but awakened in the spirit. The man speaks fluently about the Federalist Papers and DeToqueville and why he's a Madison partisan and not so much a Hamiltonian.

This glib and retrograde idea that Nikki Haley just can't quite get it because she wasn't born here -- even though, you know, she was born here -- seems to itself be lacking in an understanding of what America is.

Coulter may disagree with Haley all she likes -- though I have to say Coulter's point that the Confederate battle flag didn't officially fly over any official Confederate buildings is noticeably weak. It's just a battle flag for the Confederacy, she informs us, as if this makes any distinction at all in the analysis of the situation.

Oh, it's merely that? Well. That changes everything then doesn't it?

Coulter has -- still has, I trust -- a very sharp mind. Because she is sharp, she has typically not had to resort to the sorts of stupid and crude arguments that stupid and crude people are forced to make, finding no others available to them.

But if she's now going down the road of asserting than an "immigrant" (who is not an immigrant) really can't understand America like the native-born can (even though many native-born Americans seem to want to kick American tradition to the cub and go full-on decadent European socialism), then I'll have to conclude that she has become more than merely unfashionable, but instead simply... not worth reading.

If someone said to Coulter, "You're just a whitebread girl from Connecticut, what do you know of America?," I imagine she'd have a pointed two-word rebuttal, and that rebuttal would be well-justified.

Why is Nikki Haley then to be dismissed based upon the accident of her own birth?

But that's just my take; you be the judge.

I hope she'll reconsider this poorly-thought-out line of argument.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said on Tuesday night that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is unqualified to deal with her state's use of the Confederate flag because she’s an "immigrant."

"I'd really like to like Nikki Haley since she is a Republican, but on the other hand, she’s an immigrant and does not understand America’s history," Coulter told host Kennedy on her Fox Business show Tuesday evening.

"You think immigrants can't understand history?" Kennedy asked.

"Well, she doesn't," Coulter responded. "The Confederate flag we’re talking about never flew over an official Confederate building."

"It was a battle flag -- it is to honor Robert E. Lee," she added. "Anyone who knows the first thing about military history knows that there is no greater army that ever took the field than the Confederate Army."

I oppose our current nearly-open-borders immigration scam for a lot of reasons, but a major reason is this: The current temperament of the world is anti-assimilationist and anti-American.

Previous waves of immigrants came in during periods where it was widely believed that assimilation was good, because America itself was good. Now foreign immigrants are being taught -- as native-born Americans are being taught -- that America is shameful and needs to be rejected, torn down, and even, as one anti-American, communist-sympathizing foreign critic said, "fundamentally transformed."*

Immigrants are no longer being encouraged to give up their old hatreds -- their old, unsettled wars -- carried over from their former countries. Now they're being taught that Tribal Identity is the only true identity, and that any adopted identity, such as Americanism, is a sham propagated by, most likely, Jews.

Nor are they being encouraged to give up the political biases they suffered under in their home countries, chiefly socialism and authoritarianism. Strong Men on White Horses increasing the Chocolate Rations out of their undying love for the people.

Previous swarms of immigrants came over fleeing communism, despising it, cherishing freedom and openness and a government that kept out of their way.

Is that what the current immigrants want, in the main? The Democrat Party-- long covertly agitating for socialism, now overtly doing so -- sure seems to think the new immigrants will vote more socialist governments into power, because they're sure salivating at those new fundamentally-transforming votes.

Thus we have a country in which immigrants are now taking America further and further from itself, from the actual idea of America.

Coulter probably agrees with all that, and, as I believe all that too, I couldn't call her off-base for believing it, obviously.

But this idea that we can look at an "immigrant" (who is not an immigrant) and simply dismiss her political conclusions because she's an "immigrant (even though she's not)?

That is off-base. That's just Nativist and Essentialist -- only the native-born are truly American; only those born with the essence of America in their blood can understand America.

And frankly, that sounds a lot like the Tribal Identity Politics that I don't like in the newer classes of immigrants.


* Well someone finally caught this. I explain here, if you care.

Basically, I know how much this bothers the left, so I don't mind tossing out the occasional provocation on this front.


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posted by Ace at 01:27 PM

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