WASHINGTON: I recently had an interesting exchange with a Canadian reader who objected to the notion of America regulating its borders. Who took issue with the idea of American Exceptionalism. Who thought America, but not Canada, should erase their borders. That open U.S. border was the only natural outcome for America.
“America is a shithole now and Trump and his cronies & supporters are the reason,” he insisted. “You’re setting human rights back decades to a time when it was great if you were a rich, white male. Religion needs to be abolished from any influence in your government.”
These are universally held notions worth unpacking.
Canadian ideas as fuzzy as a Mountie’s hat
The first observation is funny in light of the fact so many illegals cross our southern border to escape the Hobbesian states of nature back in their own Latin American hellholes.
And America is at its best when it refuses to recognize people by the color of their skin but, instead, by the contents of their individual characters.
I also had to remind our Canadian friend that fences make for good neighbors and that breaking into my country illegally and ravaging its social safety net is no more a “human right” than breaking into my home and emptying my refrigerator and closets of their contents.
And he incorrectly believes America can “abolish” religion “from any influence” in our government.
That is impossible since the free exercise of religious conscience is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is not subject to the opinions of the political majority or that of their elected representatives.
On occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court has to remind anti-religious fringe groups – who would use the authoritarian power of the state to force us to celebrate their lifestyle choices against our will – that the individual is protected, whether that person is a member of the president’s cabinet or a lowly Colorado cake maker.
The fascist global impact
Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile believed “the State and the individual are one, or better, perhaps, ‘State’ and ‘individual’ are terms that are inseparable in a necessary synthesis.”
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who appointed Gentile his minister of education, simplified the philosopher’s dictum:
“All within the State. Nothing outside the State.”
When asked to describe “American Exceptionalism,” President Obama was at a loss for words, saying he thought “the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
This is because, like Gentile, Obama saw the individual as indistinct from the State; as do the governments of Britain, Greece, and Canada for that matter.
The heart of American Exceptionalism
What sets America apart from the rest of the world is what is tacked at the back of a dry and soulless document describing the mundane structure of our democratic government – the U.S. Constitution.
That document would never have been ratified by the original 13 states if not for a promise to have the first Congress offer amendments specifically designed to protect the individual’s rights.
The Bill of Rights, then, is at the heart of American Exceptionalism. They are based on the idea that sovereignty rests in “We the People,” not as a group but as individuals.
It’s not surprising that American Exceptionalism should be despised by the unexceptional nations, like Canada, of the world. What is surprising is how many members of Congress loathe American Exceptionalism. Those members who push for open borders in direct hostility to the very immigration laws they themselves passed.
Open U.S. Borders invites thieves in the night
As foreign nationals seeking U.S. citizenship know, they are required to understand the history and Constitution of the United States before they are allowed to raise their right hands and swear the following:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic… that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
This is what illegal aliens profoundly lack.
Understanding, preserving and perpetuating the exceptional rights recognized and enshrined by the laws of this land should not be expected of those who come as thieves in the night.
Top Image: Mexican illegals scale U.S. border wall along the California coast. Voice of America screen grab.