Kevin Williamson — a writer who, admittedly, is not to be trusted — has a column out warning against “send her back” and the desire of Trump voters to strip the citizenship of Rep. Ilhan Omar. Her crimes? A) being a brown person born in Somalia, b) her lefty politics and c) being an Israel-obsessed Jew-baiter. All of these things are true: whether c) is bad should not be a matter of controversy; whether b) is bad should by definition be a matter of controversy as much as conservative politics should be, and thinking a) is bad is as contemptible as Omar’s risible anti-semitism.
But none of that should be germane to her citizenship, which is just as valid as the president’s, or his foreign-born wife’s. That is not something the federal government can revoke, nor should it ever be able to. Mass murderers do not lose their citizenship, and neither do pedophiles. And neither has Robert Hanssen, one of the worst traitors in American history.
None of that matters to Trump voters. Not established legal precedent, nor established moral precedent observed over the centuries, even in the face of far worse threats to the country than a liberal freshman congresswoman. No, they just don’t care; they hate lefties such as Omar with such intensity that not only is every election a Flight 93 election; every day on social media must be viewed as a to-the-death struggle against the terrorists. As I once warned years before the rise of Trump: the ultimate threat to America, or any republic really, is what happens when a sizable enough bloc of legal voters vote specifically to end that republic.
The trigger for this particular discussion was the “send her back” chant, which seems to have replaced “lock her up” as #MAGA’s go-to motto. And, no, it wasn’t just meaningless words, not when the president himself is fomenting this specific “go back to your country” antagonism towards Omar — as well as three other congresswomen of color who were all born in America. What’s a chant today could easily become the official position of the White House, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy next year — if enough of their voters demand it. And all it takes is a trip to the comments section of Williamson’s article to prove the point. (It does not appear to allow linking to individual comments.)
“For citizenship to be truly valuable, loss must be a possibility. Otherwise the bad apples deflate the value and tarnish the brand. And Surprise Surprise – federal law provides for a number of “potentially expatriating acts”.”
“I have nothing but contempt for Kevin’s puerile and sentimental paean to citizenship…. Words like blood, soil, and memory make the ~bien pensants~ go nuts. Throw in religion, too. These sorts of things characterize successful cultures. Simply put, they mean harmony. Diversity — beyond a certain point — means disorder, hostility, and violence.”
“Put it this way: is there *any* behavior so “anti-citizen”-ish that it warrants public shaming like DT’s, or worse? Traditionally, the answer is No. But: when was the last time a BDS (that is, a blatantly anti-semitic) motion was submitted to Congress?”
You get the idea. This among the handing out of smelling salts for Williamson’s gross blasphemy against the God-Emperor (which, on Williamson’s part, had been extremely muted in between his rehiring at NRO and now).
The specific invocation of blood and soil is, of course, straight out of fascism, and by that I don’t mean the codeine-fascism of Franco or the Vicodin-fascism of Mussolini. I mean the pure-cut black-tar heroin-fascism of good ol’ you-know-who. “Blood and soil” isn’t just coming from comments-section trolls, either. It was chanted in Charlottesville; it is referenced favorably by mainstream sites like The American Conservative. The concept stains everything recently written by NY Post op-ed chief Sohrab Ahmari, who, like many MAGA converts, loves nothing more than being on the winning side. Deplorable voters are just that done with tolerating no-good liberals sharing space in their country.
And what has provoked this roiling hatred, this utter spite among a third of our population towards anyone and everyone left of center, that makes them want to end democracy altogether and hand total power to Donald Trump? Has a socialist country attacked us? Have California and New York seceded from the union and taken up arms? Are lefty terrorists going on shooting and bombing rampages, as they did in the late ’60s and early ’70s?
No. It’s just that some liberal politicians, pundits, and college students sometimes say stupid or offensive things. But more importantly: talk radio, FoxNews, and the internet are here to tell these voters how much they have to hate these people.
Because liberal politicians, pundits, and college students have been saying stupid or offensive things forever. As have their conservative counterparts. So what? We are in a period of remarkable stability and prosperity. Crime is way, way down from the 1980s. Economic numbers are way up. And while our endless military actions continue, they have leveled off quite a bit since the height of the Iraq occupation. The Boomer Republicans who make up the core of #MAGA have never had it better. Yet they hate their fellow Americans who vote blue with such an intensity that they fantasize about breaking up the country by Article V Convention. They so believe that literally any and everything must be on the table when dealing with Democrats, that come this time next year, they will be calling for their beloved Leader to directly intervene in the electoral process and stuff the ballot boxes. Set your watch to it.
Four years after that, they will call for him to “run” for a third term. Or else, perhaps, hand the regime to his successor, Donald Jr. Because that is what they want. They do not want to be citizens of a republic. They want to be subjects of the Trump Dynasty.
Williamson correctly observes the parallels to the end of the Roman Republic. But at least the Romans allowed one of the greatest statesmen and leaders of all time to take over, one that, at least while he lived, brought stability, order, and economic success to the strife-riven former Republic. Sure, the bill eventually came due when the empire fell into the hands of the Neros and Caligulas, as all empires, monarchies and dictatorships must. But at least they had the short-term wisdom to hand power to Augustus Caesar.
We’re handing power to the only buffoon who could lose at the casino business during Atlantic City’s boom years.
Every 80 years, America faces an existential crisis. Around 1780, it was the Revolution itself. Just after 1860, we had another one, and then again just after 1940. It is now almost 2020. It’s going to get a whole lot worse, as this time, we don’t have a president trying to save the union.