Contrary to what you’ve heard, America isn’t an idea.
America is a people with a history. It’s a place with varied regions, natural beauty and teeming wildlife. America is a huge stretch of land encompassing multiple climates. It’s winding rivers, snaking streams, rolling hills and plains that bleed into the horizon. It’s dense forest and blazing deserts, sweltering marshes and sandy beaches.
America is mountains and valleys, cities and small towns. It’s dirt, clay and red rocks. America is industry and engineering, farming and fishing, hunting and exploring. But it’s not all heart stirring splendor. America is also war, conquest and crime. It’s chaos and anarchy, class struggle and ethnic conflict. America is an organism, an interlacing evolution of a population and an environment.
When someone reduces America to an idea, I wonder what’s rattling around in their head. What do they mean?
It can’t be much. The idea of America being an idea is asinine, and people reverently repeat it because they think it will shield them from charges of bigotry.
They want to appear lofty and principled. They consider themselves above the lowly habit of distinguishing between groups of people. They’re free from earthly preferences and native prejudices. Their eyes are fixed on heavenly forms, they flush when they think of documents and declarations. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like, what language you speak, how you sound or what god you’re sacrificing your goats to, as long as you repeat in broken, mechanical English the immutable truths of our founding fathers, whoever they happened to be, not that it matters.
Our founding fathers could have been muslims, buddhists or hindus, they could have been women, hermaphrodites or slaves and they still could have created the perfect blueprint for a robust small government that would accommodate any number of alien invaders without mutating and expanding and becoming unrecognizable. An idea isn’t bound to a particular place or people. It doesn’t come from anywhere, it has no origin or development. An idea floats, it transcends time. Ideas are better than people with their revolting, decaying bodies and inherited idiocy. Everyone in the world is an Economic-American, a mobile production-consumption unit seeking optimal utility. We’re all Idea-Americans, colorless, bloodless input output machines, disposable and fungible pieces of equipment for generating revenue.
America is an idea, a twitch in your brain, a few firing neurons, but you have to come to America to be an American. You can’t build America in Africa, even though the raw materials of a prosperous, decent society only exist in your mind and can be shared across physical boundaries. Africans haven’t failed to clean up their shitholes because they’re Africans, it’s because of another powerful idea: racism. A certain group of people with the idea of being white imposed the idea of being black on another group. This is the idea of the history of racism and colonialism.
We shouldn’t stop there. Lindsey Graham is also an idea. What he represents is more important than his actual life, his body, his blood, his past and future. If a revolutionary party were to turn his bones into soup then it wouldn’t be a loss of anything valuable. The idea of Lindsey Graham would live forever.
Some people love ideas more than their fellows because they’re socially malnourished weaklings who want to seem enlightened. Other people profess the primacy of ideas because they want to liquidate their enemies. Leftist extermination programs have always followed from a fanatical devotion to their idea of humanity. When real people fail to become ideal, they disappear; they didn’t count anyway. The executions will continue until the idea becomes real. People give life to ideas and then ideas bring death to people.
Hardy 18th century European explorers civilizing a savage land without a safety net are exactly the same as 21st century Haitains clamoring for entry into a complex, overpopulated welfare state on the verge of collapsing under the weight of insoluble environmental, economic and social problems. Founding fathers who owned slaves and descendants of slaves who shit in streets and hack off the clits of their daughters are equal in their love for a set of ideals.
Leftists and pseudocons screech about the evils of false equivalences, but they revel in them. You can’t equate a Nazi with a baseball bat wielding anti-protestor, but you can replace New England Anglos with El Salvadorians and the country wouldn’t change at all; if anything it would become better.
Lindsay Graham says that America is an idea, but who has the power to define it? Is it Americans who’ve been here for hundreds of years? Is it Americans with stakes, with land and resources to protect, with a history and heritage to honor? Or is it a plundering political class of globalist, corporatist shills? Ghanaians and Guatemalans can claim an authentic American identity so they can flee their shitholes to come strip chicken guts in factory farms, while rooted Midwesterners can’t object to drowning in a flood of third world diarrhea. It’s almost as if a parasitic, degenerate elite wants to consolidate its power by destroying the middle class, diluting the stock of industrious, independent peoples and turning the entire world into a stinking slum with a few enclaves of extreme wealth scattered throughout.
My idea of America includes the actual people who created it, who fought for it and defended it, those who adapted and shared their triumphs and tragedies over time. The idea of America is a product of its people, not an offer to the bottom end of humanity to loot and lounge. While there’s some variety and flexibility in the composition of America, there are natural limits to who we are and what we can become.
Lost in the infantile uproar over Trump’s toilet mouth are the details and consequences of our immigration policies. At most you hear a few squeaks about economic cost. No one is talking about environmental impact or the loss of social capital. No one is trying to balance the drive to innovate with the human need to live in cohesive communities and participate in a common culture. You’re either a racist or a good person welcoming the refuse of the world. You’re either a white supremacist or you’re crying tears of rage.
If you only love the idea of a person, do you love them at all? How can the stewards of a nation fulfill their role if they’re bewitched by an idea of what they lead and are contemptuous of the actual people who’ve given them power?
Our elected officials proudly display their detachment from the concerns of their countrymen. They’re loyal to global capital flows, effortless exchanges and ungodly wealth concentration. They’re indifferent to the terrestrial character and genetic legacy of their own country. Corrupt representatives and media stooges want us to believe that gangs of Ghanaian decapitators are the real free market actors and homicidal El Salvadorians are the real American patriots. Every AIDS addled Haitian is a future nobel prize winner. The project to turn America into a tribal wasteland will only succeed insofar as Americans are already demoralized by decades of propaganda campaigns, population fluidity, economic stagnation and social decline.
We can change course, but we’re running out of time.