By Ray Seilie
A recent Gallup Poll confirms what conservatives have long suspected, and what liberals knew but concealed: liberals are less patriotic than conservatives.
The poll, published July 3, asked 1,002 adults if they were "extremely proud" to be American. Self-described conservatives were 71 % likely to be extremely proud, whereas only 40 % of liberals described themselves as such.
This disparity comes as no surprise amid a plethora of offensive statements by liberals, statements that strongly suggest a willingness to prioritize international opinion and partisan politics over American interests. For years, liberals have issued a parade of these statements, all the while excoriating Republicans for allegedly questioning their levels of patriotism.
In June 2005, for instance, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) compared the American military to some rather unsavory historical figures: "If I read this [testimony] to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime – Pol Pot or others – that had no concern for human beings."
Senator Durbin's comparison might have been accurate if American forces were indiscriminately rounding up peaceful civilians, separating men from women and children, slaughtering them in gas chambers and burying them in mass graves. Instead, Durbin's statement amounts to nothing more than anti-American hyperbole. Embarrassed by the subsequent outcry, Senator Durbin tearfully corrected himself days later.
Reinforcing Senator Durbin's words later that year, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) accused American troops in Iraq of "going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women."
More recently, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rushed to praise the Supreme Court's application of Geneva Convention protections to al Qaeda operatives: "Today's Supreme Court decision [Hamdan v. Rumsfeld] reaffirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system." In other words, Pelosi applauded the Supreme Court for siding with international opinion and granting terrorists the same legal protections to which American citizens are entitled.
Perhaps the Supreme Court's decision conformed to French ideals of American policy, but, contrary to Pelosi's statement, it was not an "American ideal."
Politicians are not the only liberals who blindly and overzealously denounce American interests. The New York Times recently ignored the boundaries of journalistic responsibility by exposing the government's program of monitoring terrorist banking transactions internationally. Despite appeals from politicians of both parties, the publication opted to blatantly undermine American interests by exposing national security practices.
If the Times' actions successfully allow international terrorists to escape the purview of intelligence officials, the newspaper will undoubtedly waste no time criticizing the administration for failing to effectively combat terrorism. By leveling indiscriminate partisan criticism at the Bush administration, the Times undermines its own alleged goals of providing an objective news service and prioritizes its liberal political agenda over genuine national interests.
Of course, whenever liberals' loyalties are exposed to criticism, they feign offense and zealously defend their patriotism.
During his presidential campaign, for instance, John Kerry responded to criticisms against his own shameful record of denouncing American troops by gratuitously asserting his patriotism: "The Republicans need to answer to the American people for their craven tactics that degrade our democracy and question the patriotism of those who stand up and ask questions about the direction of our country."
Apparently, despite Kerry's "reporting for duty" as a candidate who openly flaunted his own alleged patriotic credentials, the Republicans were employing "craven tactics" and "questioning his patriotism" when they questioned his historic condemnation of American military action.
Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland resorted to a similar strategy when Saxby Chambliss criticized his voting record against Homeland Security provisions. Cleland dismissed Chambliss' negative campaign advertisements as simplistic and unwarranted attacks on his patriotism, and his fellow liberals eagerly rushed to his defense. Kerry defended his party comrade against "the most craven moment I've ever seen in politics, when the Republican Party challenged this man's patriotism." Again, according to liberals, pointing out problems with Cleland's voting record was off-limits during an election campaign.
In this way, liberals nervously defend their patriotic commitments with fiery rhetoric. After all, voters would never elect a candidate who was expressly against America. However, the liberal track record of indiscriminately parroting other countries' rhetoric often belies substantive commitment to American interests.
The Gallup Poll simply reveals this truth more starkly.
Ray Seilie is a Research Associate at the Center for Individual Freedom and is entering his senior year at Stanford University, where he is majoring in political science and philosophy.July 14, 2006