It is well understood on the right and the left, in America and abroad, that the people of the United States are ignorant of their history. This is not a new problem; Lewis Lapham, writing in 1996, gave a summary of this problem in his famous essay "Time Lines."
The government's examiners questioned 22,000 schoolchildren in fifty states about their knowledge of the nation's past, and after arranging the answers as a set of charts, they returned to a finding of mortal ignorance: more than 50 percent of all high school seniors unaware of the Cold War, nearly six in ten bereft of even a primitive understanding of where America came from, only one in every hundred capable of placing General Custer's last stand on the hill in Montana on the same geographical horizon with Colonel Roosevelt's assault, twenty years later, on the hill in Cuba.
Anyone who has interacted with public school students understands that this problem has not gone away; in fact, I would suggest that it has gotten worse. But why is this essay being written about America? Why am I not writing about Germany, or Israel, or any other nation in the world? For one, it is because I am an American. The significant reason, however, is that ignorance of history is a mortal wound to modern American nationalism, whereas it is not a mortal wound to the nationalism of any other country.
Allow me to explain. Other countries are bound together by ethnicity, language, and culture. The Poles are almost universally Catholic, their culture Polish, and their language Polish as well. Americans, meanwhile, are a population of mutts. We are not bound together by ethnicity, language, or culture. That being said, what are Americans bound together by? The answer is: ideas.
The United States of America, as it exists today, is a country whose diverse population is bound together by nothing more than the founding principles of our country. The extent to which we can relate to our founders is the extent to which we can relate to our founding and to the principles and doctrines of our nation. The average American, to love his country, must be able to relate to those who founded it and bled for it to be conceived. He must be able to see himself there, in the harsh winter of 1776, marching bravely through the blizzard, shoe less, toward death or glory at Trenton under Washington’s gallant command. For an American to believe in the spirit of '76 he must see himself in the shoes (or bare feet, perhaps) of the founders.
That is where we messed up. I remember a few years back I was talking to an Asian-American friend of mine about time travel. He asked me where I would go if I could travel back in time, and I responded "the signing of the Declaration of Independence." He smirked. "I couldn't do that," he said, "they'd kick me out." That made me think. How can someone relate to the founding of our country, the basis of our nation, if they would have been scorned and hated by those who founded our country? My friend, who is very left-wing, votes for the leaders of a country the founding principles of which he cannot even relate to!
The Left believes that minorities don't care about the Constitution. They are correct. Minorities overwhelmingly support gun control, anti-discrimination laws, and economic controls that are contrary to the stipulations of the Tenth Amendment.
Even though our nation was not specifically founded for one particular people, the only way it can be held together cohesively is if we are united as a people. Those who cannot relate to the founding stock of a country do not have an investment in the perpetuation of that country's values. They will regard the founders as nothing but "old, racist, dead White guys" and it is understandable that they do. But they ought not to do so here. We should not be forced to abide people who benefit from our society without understanding how it came about.
My proposition for our nation is the mass-deportation of illegal immigrants and Muslims, who are overwhelmingly hostile toward our values. My proposition for our nation is to allow only those whose families have been in the United States for five generations to hold public office, to restrict franchise to those who have ties to our country’s founding stock and those of good character. My proposition for our nation is to utilize the state to promote our cultures, values, and, yes, our race.
My proposition for our nation is to make America a nation once again.