Dave: You hear from your folks, Mooch?
Moocher: Yeah, my dad called. He wanted to know if the house was sold. He could use the money something fierce.
Dave: Well, you can come and live with me when it’s sold. In Italy, everybody lives together.
Moocher: [laughs] Since you won that Italian bike, man, you’ve been acting weird. You’re really getting to think you’re Italian, aren’t you?
Cyril: I wouldn’t mind thinking I was someone myself.
—Breaking Away, 1979
Dave: Buon giorno, papa!
Dad: I’m not “papa.” I’m your god-damned father.
—Breaking Away, 1979
Only two candidates really seem to understand this country. (I’ll tell you who they are later.)
To Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, and all the other candidates and pundits preaching the acceptable idea of America: you don’t get to decide what America is; we do. Your opinion is just .000000003 of what America is. Just like mine. America is what the people decide, not what Republican elites and the New York Times editorial board shove at us. So spare us your sanctimonious “that’s not America” crap.
America is for Americans. What America stands for changes over time. But it changes because large numbers of Americans change their attitudes and behaviors, not because Jeb Bush releases a white paper on acceptable American beliefs.
But here’s the bigger issue: America is not for Muslims or for the Irish or Mexicans, Norwegians, or anyone else. America is for Americans.
I realize that sounds obvious, but a lot of elitists seem not to get it. A lot of Hispanic activists don’t get it. Fifty-one percent of Muslims in the United States don’t get it. Hillary Clinton doesn’t get it, and neither does Lindsey Graham.
Immigration serves one purpose: to make more Americans. The only reason to allow anyone into our country is to make it easier for them to become one of us by acting like us and broadly believing what we believe.
For the most part, immigrants to America emigrated from some hell-hole country.” Elites in the old country boogered everything up so badly no one wants to live there except the elites. So ordinary Jordanians, Mexicans, Norwegians, Irish, or whatever leave their native country for America—for freedom and opportunity and 24-hour sports and wifi everywhere and Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day. They come for 420-horsepower cars with drink holders and, yes, for the freedom to keep and bear arms and to write a blog post even if the blog irritates the attorney general.
The living generations of Americans—the people who actually decide what America is—we are thrilled to open up to people who want to live the American dream.
We want more of us.
We don’t want people who want to turn America into the hell-hole they just crawled out of.
In the 1979 movie Breaking Away, the young protagonist, Dave, is a high school kid in Indiana. His dad works in a quarry. Dave is as middle-class, middle-American as a human being can be.
But Dave doesn’t act middle-American. Dave acts Italian because he’s obsessed with Italian bicycle racing. He wants to move to Italy to be more Italian. He doesn’t want to move to Italy and turn Italy into Indiana. If Dave wanted to live in Indiana, there’d be no story.
Donald Trump gets that. I have issues with Trump, but he’s one of the two candidates I mentioned above. The other one is Ted Cruz. The rest are too busy displaying their incredulity over Trump’s words to remember that America is for Americans.
Erick Erickson is not admirer of Trump’s, but Erickson recognizes this, too:
Set aside the merits of what amounts to at least, in part, an unconstitutional position.
This is actually brilliant politics for the here and now. Immediately, every other Republican candidate except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (100% Heritage Action score) rushed out to attack Donald Trump. He’s unhinged, hateful, etc. And the responses all amounted to “we must let muslims enter our country,” which sounds a whole lot like “we must allow all Mexicans in our country,” which everyone knows is blatantly untrue on both counts.
We do not have to do it, but the other candidates, unable to nuance their spittle, went all in with “no religious tests” and “yes we must do this because it is who we are.”
So, to put it another way, the day after the President failed to reassure a scared public following the second worst terrorist attack since 9/11 on domestic soil, Donald Trump not only got himself to the right of all the other candidates, but also got every single one of them save for Sen. Ted Cruz to align themselves with Barack Obama.
When Trump said maybe we should think about closing our borders to Muslims until we get a handle on this situation, he was saying what America thinks. Not elite America, but real America. And we in real America have good reason to think what Trump says.
Most Muslims in the United States admit they want to replace the Constitution with sharia law. Most. Not some, not a few. Most. From a terrifying poll by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy:
According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).
In other words, 51 percent of Muslims in America want to turn America into the shit-hole they escaped from.
Suppose 51 percent of Irish immigrants wanted to live under cannon law instead of US law? Wouldn’t we be very reluctant to let more Irish into the United States?
This isn’t Islamophobia—it’s defending the country we’ve built over 400 years. It’s defending the ideals that go back to ancient Greece and Rome against a competing and incompatible set of beliefs.
When a majority of immigrants from an identifiable group says it wants to replace American laws with the laws that made their native countries unlivable, shouldn’t we at least think about closing our doors to the people who identify with that group?
If you want to become American, do it. I actually think America needs immigration since the natives aren’t pushing out many children these days. I’m all for people becoming American. I’m honored.
If, however, you want to mutilate vaginas, outlaw Halloween, and enslave or murder Christians and Jews who won’t convert to your religion, stay the hell away from our country.
Our leaders have a duty to determine whether every immigrant is here to become an American or to convert America into something it’s not. Likewise, the government must block entry to visitors who want to do us harm. We can debate the best means of screening out the bad guys, but let’s admit that Donald Trump did us a favor by making people talk about solutions instead of admiring the problem.
America is for Americans, wherever they’re from.