Perhaps the most egregious Big Lie spun by so many on the Right Wing of this nation’s politics, is that THEY represent the “Real Americans” and the “Real America“. I can’t pin down whether this Big Lie is the result of stupidity, ignorance, demagoguery, or some combination of the three. Yet I know in my gut how phony their claims are. We know that our nation’s shame today has to do with the dumbly demagogic Trump. This thug proved his bigotry initially by surging to the lead of the ridiculously racist “birther movement“, hating President Obama simply because of his skin color. Yet had that not in itself been a perfect proof of his bigotry, he underlined it in his dog whistling initial campaign speech. In that speech he smeared Mexicans as “murderous rapists” and an entire religion as “terrorist”. With that disgustingly demagogic campaign opening, he appealed to the worst elements in our country, who falsely see themselves as the “Real Americans“, when in fact they are only ignorant and dumb Right Wing Authoritarians.
These “Real Americans” are benighted fools who believe in the premise of American Exceptionalism. They base their beliefs on two false concepts, which they believe were ordained by God:
- The U.S. has a unique mission to transform the world.
- The United States’ history and mission gives it a superiority over other nations.
Dress those premises up in any fancy rhetoric you might choose and all they really amount to is the same type of jingoistic belief that has been used since the dawn of recorded history by people justifying oppressing other people, either through war or economic exploitation. They use these beliefs to rationalize their own prejudice, fear and greed, against those they deem to be an unworthy other. These self congratulatory “Real Americans“, viscerally understood the true connotation underlying the seemingly innocuous Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again“. Given the context of Trump’s campaign rhetoric, MAGA, stood for “White Supremacy“, deporting Latinos and making war upon Muslims. This hateful and mindless bigotry was purportedly justified by the need to support their false Mythology of American Exceptionalism as a Nation of Rugged Individualists.
Another aspect of the Trump supporters imagining themselves “Real Americans” was their belief in their Heartland Myth of Who Are the Real Americans. This provably false mythology, casts the so-called “Red States” and their overlapping “Bible Belt“, as the “true America“, where the “Real Americans” lead lives that exemplify “true Christian moral values“. However, national surveys have proven time and again that “heartland” America, the Red States and the “Bible Belt” lead this country in only the moral hypocrisy of the publicly religious.
These States have the highest divorce rates; the most unwed births; the biggest drug problems; the highest poverty rates; the worst educational systems; the greatest political corruption and the least sense of communal values. They pretend to be the bastions of our national ethos and in truth are merely the fortresses of our most politically cynical and corrupt. The cynicism and the corruption of the Heartland’s Fundamentalist religious and political leaders was proven by their embrace of the New York conman, with an amoral history and no discernible religious values.
There is, however, one clear case to be made that our America is a wonderfully exceptional nation in human history. These United States are the most racially, ethnically and religiously divers nation in all of human history. It is this singular fact that makes our country exceptional in the world today and it is a beautiful thing. Most ironic, given his bigoted mewling, is that Trump was born and raised in the most ethnically diverse county in these United States, Queens County in New York City. Having spent more than 25 of my 73 years living and/or working in Queens County I know from experience what a marvelous locality it is and how well people there get along with each other despite, or perhaps because of their diversity. That Trump never appreciated his birthplace, is a function of his own upbringing as the son and grandson of racist bigots, infected with a fascist belief in Eugenics.
As the grandson on both sides of Jewish immigrants from Europe, whose grandmothers were not English speakers, my love for my America is unsurpassed. Had my grandparents not emigrated to America, they would have probably been murdered in the Shoah, as were so many of my distant relatives. Because I love my country, I have spent a long life immersed in its’ history. This country’s greatness is a direct result of the diversity of its’ people and contrary to the ignoramuses of Alt-Right fascism, our greatness is not the exclusive domain of the myth of Anglo-Saxon superiority. Our country’s greatness is also due to the efforts of kidnapped African people, whose genius of intelligence and creativity has given so much to our culture and country, despite the enormous oppression they have endured and still endure
The Statue of Liberty does not stand as a tribute to those fools who pretend to be the ‘”Real Americans“, who disparage others to compensate for their own limited capacity. The Statue of Liberty represents the truth that we are a nation of diverse immigration, that blends its’ panoply of talents, in an attempt to create something of human greatness. The “Trump Real Americans” are in truth the enemies of our country’s striving to be great.