The Most Important Civics Lesson the “Squad” Members Never Learned.

President Trump Missed an Opportunity Last Week When Tweeting with the Squad.

Groupthink appeared to be alive and well within the mainstream media last week over President Trump’s Twitter war with the so-called “Squad.” Almost every mainstream media outlet described Trump’s comments as “racist tweets” because he suggested the Squad should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Donald Trump’s words hurt many, particularly first-generation immigrants who appreciate more than most what it means to be an American. However, Trump’s choice of words was far from racist, and the media’s response to them reflect their long-held bias against the President. Instead, Trump’s tweets reflected a missed opportunity to deliver an important civics lesson about America, one both the media and the Squad would have benefitted from. This lesson bears repeating, particularly today when a dwindling number of Americans have received the benefit of formal education in civics from our public schools.

The Squad Wants to Expand the Definition of Racism, But It’s Not Theirs to Expand.

Congresswomen Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar (aka the Squad) have established a political alliance based on the “Howard Zinn” version of history that declares America to be a fundamentally racist nation. Squad member Ayanna Pressley best expressed their collective point-of-view when she issued a warning to her fellow Democrats saying they would no longer tolerate dissent for their Leftist orthodoxy [Click Here to Read Her Comments].

For the Squad, anyone who disagrees with their Leftist agenda is now seen as racist. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi found this out first-hand when she instructed Squad members to stop tweeting criticisms of other Democratic members of Congress. AOC responded to Pelosi by suggesting she and her fellow Squad members were singled out for rebuke because they were women of color. This was a clear example of the Squad, and the Left-wing media, are working to expand the boundaries of how racism has been traditionally defined.

Racism Has a Specific Definition and It Does Not Change with Time.

Webster’s dictionary defines racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” Trump’s tweets to the Squad do not remotely align with this definition. Instead, it would be more accurate to describe the sentiment behind his tweets as expressing deep frustration with four newly elected representatives who have used their public platform to disparage America. Even worse, the Squad members have used their platform to project their own brand of racism. This includes Omar and Tlaib who have been persistent in their expression of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli bias. Further, the Squad has engaged freely in identity politics that holds the intersectionality of their minority status gives them greater credibility and authority to speak out on matters involving racial discrimination. But identity politics is just blather from far-Left progressives who always resort to accusations of racism when they are losing the political argument. The only difference today is that the Squad is now targeting the Democratic establishment for their racial demagoguery.

The Lesson to be Learned from the Twitter War is Not About Race… It is About Assimilation.

President Trump would have been wiser to have engaged the Squad on the topic of assimilation into American society by focusing on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s personal story as a Somali immigrant. Assimilation means developing an understanding of what it means to be an American citizen with all its rights, privileges, responsibilities, and values. It also means acknowledging that America is exceptional, even when compared to other Democracies around the world. Clearly Ms. Omar has not yet assimilated into America, and her constant gaslighting over so-called American oppression suggests that our nation may have made a mistake by allowing her to become a U.S. citizen in the first place

Assimilation is Not About Culture… It is About Values.

When you travel to most other nations, you’ll find that what binds their people together is not values or principles, it is culture. For example, you can emigrate to a county like France, Germany or Japan and eventually become a citizen by following established legal procedure. However, you will never be fully accepted as an ethnic national in these countries because of differences in heritage and culture. In America, an immigrant becomes an American by accepting certain values and principles that we all share, regardless of a person’s heritage or culture. This is not multiculturalism by any means because an assimilated American must give up certain values and principles that conflict with those we accept here. For example, because Ms. Omar is a Muslim, it is reasonable to expect that she would have abandoned aspects of Sharia Law and accepted secular law under our constitutional framework. In effect, an American is defined by their loyalty to the Constitution and acceptance of the common set of principles expressed in our Declaration of Independence. This is what is meant by our national motto: E Pluribus Unum, or “From Many, One.”

Assimilation Means Trading Old Values for American Values.

American values are not universally accepted around the world, even by some well-established democracies. In France, for example, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man sought to protect the natural rights of the French people as having no limits except those ensuring that the rights of others are protected. However, the French Declaration also states that “These limits can only be determined by law.” Therefore, the natural rights of a French citizen are ultimately determined by government. The American Declaration of Independence states that these same natural rights come from God, not government. Therefore, Americans have a different understanding of the origin of natural rights and, as a result, we value these rights differently. This is the essence of American exceptionalism, as it means our society is different from others. A true American accepts this whether they assimilate as an immigrant or they inherit citizenship by birth.

Assimilation Also Means Accepting Limits on Equality in Exchange for Economic Freedom.

Americans also inherit their natural rights equally as human beings, but these rights do not include a right to economic equality. We are all granted special traits and abilities that we inherit from God, and we are free to apply them in our own way in order build our life in a free and just society. Therefore, as we move through life and apply these traits and abilities, we may acquire a level of wealth that makes us economically unequal to others. An assimilated American accepts this fact because America honors and protects economic freedom and private property rights. In contrast, European socialist regimes have a different set of values that often entitle their citizens to a certain level of economic equality that extends far beyond what we in America call the “social safety net.”

Assimilation is Not Just the Responsibility of Immigrants but All Americans.

By every reasonable measure, the Squad members divorced themselves from American values and principles long ago. As Americans, the Squad should know they have the right to stay in this country and they are also free to leave. Since the Squad has decided to stay, they also enjoy another thing that makes America exceptional; our right to freedom of speech. With this right, they have chosen to attack American values and our founding principles while at the same time using their public platform to lie to the American people about racial animus and oppression. Listening to such acrid political rhetoric is the price we pay as assimilated Americans to protect our own free speech rights. However, the Squad members had better be prepared to receive their own fair share of public criticism from the rest of us over delivery of their Left-wing racial propaganda. Otherwise, we should all remind them of the admonition my mother shared with me many times while I was growing up. That admonition was: “the door swings both ways.”

Help Millennials Understand Why America is Exceptional.

If you are the parent of a millennial and want to inspire them to understand more about American exceptionalism and free markets, there is something that you can do. Give them a copy of Conquering the Political Divide – How the Constitution Can Heal Our Polarized Nation. This book provides the grounding we all need in basic civics and economics to help us defend ourselves from progressive ideology. Order your copy today by clicking here.

If you would like to suggest a topic for a future blog, or to provide us with feedback on this commentary, email us at: [email protected]

Eric A. Beck
Free Nation Media LLC
Greenville, South Carolina


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