LOS ANGELES, June 25, 2015 — On Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal became the 13th person to officially declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.
If Jindal were a Democrat, he would be celebrated as an American success story and the first person of Indian descent to seek the White House. Since he is a Republican, the liberal media predictably attacked his ethnicity. Jindal was criticized for obsessing over becoming American at the expense of his Indian heritage. This charge is as malicious as it is false.
Jindal is the son of Indian immigrants, but he was born and raised in Louisiana. Originally known as Piyush Jindal, he changed his first name to Bobby after Mike Lookinland’s “Brady Bunch” character Bobby Brady. His parents wanted him to become Americanized, and he wanted to be an American.
When it comes to Republicans, liberal Democrats think one cannot be both a proud American and proud person of another nation or culture. Democrats are the party of black separatist groups such as the New Black Panthers. Democrats are the party of Latino separatist groups such as La Raza.
Democrats are the party of illegal immigrants who fly Mexican flags on American soil. It seems that far too many liberals support everything but becoming American.
In earlier waves of immigration, Irish, Italian, Polish, and Jewish immigrants wanted nothing more than to be American. The same was true of other ethnic and national groups; Germans, Serbs, Chinese and Scandinavians all brought elements of their cultures with them, but all were proud to call themselves “Americans.” And this was despite facing bigotry and resistance from earlier arrivals; they persisted and literally built this country brick by brick and train track by train track.
They also built distinctly ethnic neighborhoods. To this day there are Irish, Italian, Polish and Jewish neighborhoods. They all fiercely cling to their heritage while simultaneously displaying their pride in being Americans.
For those complaining that Jindal does not look authentically Indian by wearing a turban or saffron robes, it is because he is a Christian.
Those who focus on race and gender rather than substance may not know that Jindal has been a highly successful governor. Those who focus on his one poorly delivered rebuttal to the State of the Union may have forgotten that former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton gave a 1988 nomination speech at the Democratic national convention that was miserably received.
Both Clinton and Jindal improved on the stump. While Jindal is not made of fire and brimstone, Clinton’s wife remains wooden. Jindal delivers substance.
The big lesson that far too many liberals fail to take away is not that Jindal is proud to be American; it is that immigrants who come to America are supposed to be proud to be American.
America feeds, clothes, protects and defends the world. When it comes to stains on our history, we are openly self-critical almost to the point of self-flagellation. The entire world has people willing to risk life and limb to escape their own nations and American border guards to come here. American critics born and raised in the United States should kiss Lady Liberty’s feet every night and offer to repolish her toenails.
To the liberal media, ethnic authenticity means putting cultural heritage and identity above love of a nation that warmly embraces them.
Jindal is better than that and far better than his critics. He is proud of his heritage. Unlike the critics, he is also proud to be American. If liberal members of the media were as well, they would discuss Jindal’s tough views on radical Islam and his serious education and healthcare plans. They would not waste one minute questioning his love of his given culture and his beloved American homeland.