It appears that Congressman Steve King has recently become the latest heretic to be officially excommunicated by our pious progressive media. His crime was uttering the, unspeakable blasphemy that: "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."
Chris Hayes, MSNBC's resident hermaphrodite, spoke for the entire Liberal Hivemind when he tweeted:
King's retrograde tweet seemed to send shivers down the spine of the entire commentariat. As though they were Lovecraftian protagonists who had suddenly encountered a dark and primordial force which, until King's nefarious tweet, had lain dormant beneath a thin veneer of Liberal "Zivilization." The full knowledge and significance of which they could only fathom in the darkest of malaria-induced nightmares, if at all. For the Liberal Soymass lives on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of a black sea of infinity, and it was not meant that they should voyage far.
For earnest Liberals of all stripes, King's savage and retrograde utterance struck at the very heart of the sacred tenants of their faith. As Conor Friedersdorf, the house civil libertarian at The Atlantic, explained:
His words seemed to imply that someone like Tiger Woods, born to parents of African and Asian descent, or comedian Aziz Ansari, the child of Muslims born in India, are less authentic members of our culture than babies born to parents of European ancestry who alone can “restore” Western civilization...
Much of what’s gone wrong in U.S. history flowed from the Europeans who imported that prejudice.
But unlike the cultures where King’s ancestors were born, where ethnic conceptions of citizenship prevailed for so many generations, the United States is a place that declared in its founding document that all human beings are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Affirming those values, the best rather than the worst of what Western civilization has embedded in institutions, constitutes full patriotic assimilation in the United States.
Among those who’ve failed to assimilate over the years are millions of white Americans.
Here we are granted the privilege of seeing the Liberal mind in full flight, soaring freely above the terrestrial realms of history and rationality, choosing to glide placidly upon the gentle currents of Americanist Ideology.
Granted it's easy to criticize individuals like Friedersdorf, who are both simple and credulous enough to mistake the declaration's empty platitudes for serious political philosophy. From the perspective of anti-liberal, Friedersdorf merely begs the question. One could, of course, go into depth dissecting the logical fallacies and baseless assertions which undergird these sorts of Liberal responses. Such an exercise, however, would not only be mostly tedious at this point but more importantly, it would be uninteresting.
For while the Liberal reaction has been amusing to watch, it's also been far too predictable. We've all seen this movie before, haven't we?
What has been interesting though is the apologetic King has been using to defend his statement:
Cuomo: If you want to apply that kind of thinking to America, it seems like a complete contradiction of what we're all about. This is the melting pot. We are known by those countries as the bastion of diversity. It's an unqualified strength for us. It sounds like you're trying to white cleanse our population and saying somebody else's babies. I think that means me, Congressman. I'm only second generation in this country. Who is somebody else's babies?
King: Chris, we're a country here, that if you take a picture of what America looks like, you can do it in a football stadium or a basketball court and you see all different kinds of Americans there. We're pretty proud of that, the different looking Americans that are still Americans.
There's an American culture, American civilization. It's raised within these children in these American homes. That's one of the reasons why we require that the president of the United States be raised with an American experience. We've also aborted nearly 60 million babies in this country since 1973.
There's been this effort we're going to have to replace that void with somebody else's babies. That's the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization. Some embrace it, yes. Many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back in resistance against assimilation. It's far worse in Europe than it is today here in the United States, but I want us to be looking at that, promoting the birth rate in America, restoring the rule of law, putting an end to illegal immigration and recognizing we need to be a country that's pulled together on similar values. That makes us stronger.
Cuomo: That's the exact point. It seemed like you were doing the opposite, like you were trying to say someone else's babies means you're either white or you're not right. As you know, that is anathema to what America is all about. Can we get agreement on that?
King: Well, actually, if you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I'd like to see an America that's so homogenous that we look a lot the same from that perspective. I think there's far too much focus on race, especially in the last eight years. I want to see that put behind us. And I want to see us bonded together. I gave a speech on this on Saturday and half the liberals got up and left the room when I talked about unity—they're looking for hatred is the point, Chris.
Now it seems obvious that King is merely attempting to articulate a classic, milquetoast vision of American Civic Nationalism, this in spite of Cuomo's panicked insinuations to the contrary. The fact that he seems unable to communicate this clearly speaks less to his lack of eloquence than it does to the incoherence of the modern civic nationalist project.
One can say what they will about Cuomo's Liberal vision of Americanism, but to quote a great man "at least it's an ethos." And a clear and simple ethos at that.
For the Cuomo's of the world America's Lady Liberty is a beacon in a dark world. A Passionate lover who is more than willing to generously lift up her skirt and welcome the huddled masses into the soft and fleshy embrace of her bountiful loins. She is an unquenchable nymphomaniac who will never be satisfied until she has drawn the entire world into herself.
This is the vision of the Liberal: a universal empire of "freedom." The fact that the U.S.'s recent misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have thwarted Lady Liberty's attempts to force herself upon the freedom-loving men of those regions has only increased her desire to entice them to come to her. After all, if one can't invade the world, one is forced to invite it. One way or another the universal will be actualized.
The Liberal believes that in the words of the colonel from Stanley Kubrick's classic film Full Metal Jacket: "Inside every gook there is an American trying to get out." The Liberal only seeks to facilitate this inevitable transformation. The traits which King fixes upon such as ethnicity, religion, and culture are, in the eyes of the Liberal, accidents and not essences. Incidentals which can be purchased in any boutique and mixed and matched to suit each individual's own personal tastes.
The Buddhist, Rastafarian who writes Sufi poetry and makes kombucha is just as American as the transgendered, Jewish Mennonite with a passion for cycling. All persons and choices which are equal in the great Shopping Mall of the soul which we call "Amerikwa."
Contrast this vision with King's own anemic conceptions of American identity. In King's mind being American merely equates to geographical proximity, which is tautological: True Americans are those who are born in America and have been enculturated into the "American Experience" (whatever this means.) While this conception is certainly the opposite of Liberal Universalist conception, it is no less banal.
Even if immigration were halted, full stop, tomorrow (which seems a tad arbitrary as it has been going on for decades, so why stop now?) America's identity and cohesion would be no less in question. As the question of "who are we?" will still remain largely unanswerable. After all, what does it mean for the Paleocon Civic Nationalist to be truly American? Is it a dedication to
tax cuts freedom? Shooting lots of guns? A commitment to improving the vibrant civic culture of your local strip mall-centric ex-burb? Embracing the Protestant ethic of hard work and piety which is largely as dead as the Puritans who practiced it, except where it still lives on amongst the Mormon used car salesmen of central Utah? Or is it perhaps that elusive specter of "Western Civilization?" Which seems to be celebrated in our American context in such dignified and reverent annual national events as Summerslam and the Superbowl.
Thus while the question of identity is perhaps the most pertinent of our time, the question of American identity may not be. In whatever manifestations the answer to the latter may appear to us, it will always be nebulous and unsatisfying, being at best a false lucidity.
So while many may believe that Cuomo and King's dialogue about the constitution of the American character may be of metaphysical significance, others may come to a different conclusion. After all, what's the point in arguing over the soul of a machine?