Three weeks ago, I and another Deerfield student sat in front of the Capitol building, 100 feet from the podium, to witness the historic inauguration of Donald John Trump. My personal opinions about him aside (I am not a particular fan), I think it is important to examine one of what I believe to be the reasons for his undeniably stunning election to the Presidency.
On that chilly morning of January 20, 2017, the air was abuzz with anticipation, as hundreds of thousands of people crowded the national mall to see their champion, now-President Trump, give his inaugural address. The American flag flew high and strong above the Capitol that day, as it did the day before, the day after, and will for every day to come, regardless of who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
To some, the flag is (unfortunately) little more than a national standard. But to millions of other Americans, the Stars and Stripes are sacred, reminding them that no matter who they are — the Kentucky coal miner who works long hours underground to power the gears of his nation, the Iowa corn farmer who toils to feed his country, the Michigan steelworker, arms scarred from a lifetime of smelting, who kisses his baby daughter on the head when he leaves for work at four-thirty in morning, and returns home when she is again fast asleep that night, so that we may build buildings he will never walk in — they live in a truly exceptional country. A country like no other in human history, that, even with its nasty blemishes, has, through its commitment to the ideals of liberty and freedom, established its place as the single greatest country on the face of the Earth.
The American left has, over the last half-decade or so, committed itself to pushing the once-good idea of internationalism so far that it has devolved into the now common “no human being is illegal, borders are immoral, and anyone who believes in the very concept of borders is an evil ultra-nationalist” left wing inanity. This cancer on American leftism is not a movement that spans the entire spectrum of the country. Rather, it is one centralized in highly urban areas, college campuses and international boarding schools where moneyed foreigners come to “learn” from ultra-liberal professors and get to know their American counterparts who will in a decade or so begin their entrance into the world of the controlling elite. But I digress.
In no place is it more apparent why patriotic middle Americans despise the “liberal elite” than on our own campus. In our rush towards internationalism, the American left, and its footsoldiers — teachers and professors — forgot about the importance of the country in which they reside. If you are so interested, take a look one morning at the memorial in front of the Hess Center for the Deerfield boys who died in the Second World War. You will find a cracked, neglected stone base, and at the top, a weather-beaten, tattered and torn, American flag (which, I demand, after the publication of this article, be retired with all of the rules and regulations ascribed in 4 U.S.C. § 8, and there be a new one subsequently raised.)
The obsession with internationalism has initiated an assault on American nationalism. I always like to say that nationalism is good in small doses; a little bit of patriotism goes a long way. However, here in our “Deerfield bubble,” in our ignorance of its effect, we have contributed — and are continuing to contribute — to the conditions that allowed someone like Donald Trump to become president.
So to the flag-burners, to the Colin Kaepernicks, to those who proudly trample The Stars and Stripes, to the professors whose Bible was written by Howard Zinn, and to those who chant “America was never great,” you are all well within your rights to do as you wish. As a Libertarian, by God, I will defend your rights to do so, but I wish to tell you this: you are only hurting yourselves. By displaying disdain for the American flag, you are displaying disdain for everything it stands for. In doing so, you are waging an assault on the only thing of value that many people in this country have: their patriotism.
Therefore, do not be surprised when we turn out to bury you at the ballot box. Do not weep in anguish because you can’t believe it. For your sakes, please heed my words because we true American patriots, the American nationalists, are indifferent to your tears — our tears are those of joy. Our great republic will outlast you and your flawed sense of self-righteousness for millennia to come. Our intrepid American flag will continue to fly as it has for over two centuries. It will bring light to the darkest corners of the world and in the words of President Woodrow Wilson, make the world “safe for democracy.”