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Opening Arguments

Real Americans

Ann Coulter thinks Gov. Nikki Haley is unqualified to deal with her state's use of the Confederate flag because "she's an immigrant."

“I’d really like to like Nikki Haley since she is a Republican, but on the other hand, she’s an immigrant and does not understand America’s history,” Coulter told host Kennedy on her Fox Business show Tuesday evening.

This aroused the ire of conservative blogger Ace of Spades:

But I am shaking my head at this claim by Coulter's. First of all, Haley is not in fact an immigrant -- she was born here. Perhaps Coulter meant to say, more accurately, that Haley is first generation, or that her parents were immigrants.

But I would still have to reject the Essentialist nature of that argument -- the implication that only "true Americans," born here, made of this blood and this soil, can understand America.

America is not chiefly about a place. Our physical location is happenstance. It is not about blood or soil. It is not about race. America is an idea -- and ideal.


The reason America is in decline is because far too many born-and-raised Americans do not understand America.

The whole lengthy post is worth reading for his expanded take on what the American ideal and for his explanation of why our nearly-open-borders policy is a bad idea:

I oppose our current nearly-open-borders immigration scam for a lot of reasons, but a major reason is this: The current temperament of the world is anti-assimilationist and anti-American.

Previous waves of immigrants came in during periods where it was widely believed that assimilation was good, because America itself was good. Now foreign immigrants are being taught -- as native-born Americans are being taught -- that America is shameful and needs to be rejected, torn down, and even, as one anti-American, communist-sympathizing foreign critic said, "fundamentally transformed."*

Immigrants are no longer being encouraged to give up their old hatreds -- their old, unsettled wars -- carried over from their former countries. Now they're being taught that Tribal Identity is the only true identity, and that any adopted identity, such as Americanism, is a sham propagated by, most likely, Jews.

[. . .]

Thus we have a country in which immigrants are now taking America further and further from itself, from the actual idea of America.

Coulter probably agrees with all that, and, as I believe all that too, I couldn't call her off-base for believing it, obviously.

But this idea that we can look at an "immigrant" (who is not an immigrant) and simply dismiss her political conclusions because she's an "immigrant (even though she's not)?

That is off-base. That's just Nativist and Essentialist -- only the native-born are truly American; only those born with the essence of America in their blood can understand America.

And frankly, that sounds a lot like the Tribal Identity Politics that I don't like in the newer classes of immigrants.