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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Ilhan Omar Hates America. Why Doesn’t She Leave?

 

The national media, both the liberal and squishy NeverTrump varieties, are all aghast that President Trump tweeted recently that if certain unnamed Progressive Democrat Congresswomen dislike America so much then why don’t they leave. And then he said they should come back and tell us how to fix America, if they’re such experts. But most people are ignoring that part of the tweet because it doesn’t match their prejudices. No, instead, all we hear about is how racist Donald Trump. Racist, racist, racist. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m an immigrant to my small, rural town in New Hampshire. That is, I was born about 90 miles away, in Maine. (This is just how things are in New England. I’ll always be “from away.”) A couple of years ago I attended a hearing held by the town zoning board on whether to allow a self-storage facility to be built on a property previously zoned residential. The particulars aren’t important, but I spoke out against the special exception to the zoning ordinance that the property owner was seeking. During a break, the property owner’s brother-in-law approached me and loudly informed me that I “should wait until [I’d] lived here longer before opening [my] [expletive] mouth.”

I replied that I was a taxpayer and I had an equal right to voice my opinion, and perhaps he’d like to get bent. The chairman of the board asked if we wouldn’t mind stopping yelling at each other so he could restart the meeting.

My profane interlocutor and I fumed but sat down. Now we smile and wave at each other whenever we meet around town. This is, I think, how normal people react to such matters. He was mad that I was new to town and had an opinion about zoning that he didn’t share, and I didn’t appreciate getting yelled at. And also, maybe I was wrong about the particulars of the zoning ordinance and whether an exception was allowed. In any case, the self-storage facility got built, and it’s super ugly.

The point is, we got over it and I don’t mind that he swore at me. I don’t call him a xenophobe or racist for having a different opinion about the application of local ordinances. He probably doesn’t even know that I’m a member of an ethnic minority here in New England. (As my name suggests, I am Franco-American.)

In National Review, David French (not a Franco-American, as far as I’m aware!) wrote Tuesday that native-born Americans should be more grateful than Naturalized Americans, because those of us — David and myself — who were born here “did exactly nothing to become citizens of the greatest nation in the history of the earth” whereas Naturalized Americans have “done more to become citizens than I have.”

David mentions that his National Review colleague, Charlie Cooke, is an immigrant from England who “left his home and family, built an impressive professional life here in the United States, passed his citizenship test with flying colors, and swore an oath most Americans haven’t sworn.”

Citizenship is a privilege, asserts David (I agree), “but somewhat-earned privilege is different from unearned privilege, and I think it’s worth acknowledging that reality.”

David concludes:

Nothing I’ve said excuses anything that Ilhan Omar has said or believes. Many of her views are repugnant. But they’re not especially repugnant because she’s an immigrant. And we should not hold immigrants to a higher standard of gratitude than we apply to the people who did nothing to earn their place in this land.

Why? Why are Omar’s views not more repugnant given the fact that she was born in Somalia, a completely failed state, spent a few years as a child in a refugee camp, and then was rescued by the magnanimity of Americans? Why are her views not more disgusting? She should be grateful. She might well be dead right now if her family hadn’t escaped Somalia. She certainly wouldn’t be one of the 535 most powerful people in the world.

David says that “we should not hold immigrants to a higher standard of gratitude than we apply to the people who did nothing to earn their place in this land.” (Emphasis added.) How is this attitude different from Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren saying “you didn’t build that” to hard-working Americans (both Natural Born and Naturalized)? But fine, let’s say for the sake of argument that immigrants shouldn’t be held to a higher standard of gratitude, and that native-born Americans are a bunch of “ingrates,” as David’s post title labels us. How about an equal measure of gratitude? How about a little bit of gratitude?

We all know the expression, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Omar’s not just looking at America’s teeth, but lecturing the rest of us about how awful and racist we are for not buying toothpaste for illegal aliens. She compared ICE agents to Nazi concentration camp guards, refused to condemn an Antifa terrorist attack on an ICE facility over the weekend, infamously said that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack by al-Qaeda was merely “some people did something.” Her dismissal of 9/11 was by way of accusing Americans of being horrible, racist Islamophobes, by the way. She also wondered why people are afraid of al-Qaeda but not the US Army.

“If you don’t like it, then get out,” is more popular with ordinary Americans than the national media are willing to admit. It’s a concept that people understand, viscerally. People are proud, want to be proud, of where they’re from and where they choose to live, whether that pride is for their country, their state, or their town. And they don’t appreciate other people, particularly outsiders or newcomers, denigrating their country, state, or town. 

Ilhan Omar seems to daily remind us how low her opinion of America is. So if America is so awful, why doesn’t she leave? Seriously. Goodbye, Ilhan.


N.B. My wife is an associate editor at National Review. Also, Ricochet has a close relationship with National Review, particularly in the podcast department. I hope your reading of my disagreement with David was as mild and professional as I intended it to be. Charlie also had some disagreement with David’s overall “gratitude” argument, although Charlie was responding to a different post of David’s than I am.

Published in Culture, General
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There are 32 comments.

  1. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    I completely agree with you, and I’m betting it makes sense to a majority of Americans. Ilhan Omar’s remarks have been extremely offensive, particularly when one takes into account the failed country from which she came. Most annoyingly has been the press’s repetition of Trump’s response without referencing her insults which came first. Thank you for making it clear Max.

    • #1
    • July 17, 2019, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Leaving America would mean tolerating America. One doesn’t tolerate things one hates. If one truly hates something, one works to destroy it.

    As the old saying goes, you do way more damage p**sing inside a tent than p**sing on it. A hypothetical person who wants to destroy America can do way more damage inside America’s borders than outside, particularly if that hypothetical person gets themselves elected to the highest legislative body in the land.

    Why the heck wouldn’t such a hypothetical person stay in the country? Leaving the country would reduce their ability to damage it.

    • #2
    • July 17, 2019, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    With you man!

    • #3
    • July 17, 2019, at 1:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Basil Fawlty Member

    To paraphrase Mark Steyn, a nation is more than the sum of the people who happen to reside within its borders on any particular day.

    • #4
    • July 17, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Annefy Member

    There’s a cartoon that my mother often spoke of. Printed in a Detroit paper in 1960 or 1961. Racial tensions were high. 

    First panel: White man and black man standing under bus stop shelter. It’s poring rain.

    Second panel: White man says: Why don’t you go back to where you came from?

    Third panel: White man says: And take me with you.

    • #5
    • July 17, 2019, at 3:04 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    The irony is Omar’s is a position of privilege

    I also don’t think she wants to destroy America, but much to Charlie’s gratitude argument, not being thankful for rights you have make you think that other systems grant such things.

    • #6
    • July 17, 2019, at 3:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Guruforhire Member

    Why did Hank Reardon’s family stick around?

    • #7
    • July 17, 2019, at 3:57 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Franco Member

    I wonder if Mr. French would be for eliminating inheritance by taxing it at 100%. Should he be allowed to leave his wealth to his children or relatives, or should the government put his funds to good use?

    I believe children have a right to their parents legacy, or more, that parents have a right to will their lifelong efforts to their children.

    And that goes for the work, sacrifice and years of taxes that built and defended this country. We build and fight for this country for our children as much as anything.

    Obviously, there are different levels of contributions and I’m not advocating for citizenship grades, but there is an inherent legacy that natural born Americans can claim, and they deserve respect.

    Yesterdays new citizen is every bit an equal citizen as I am, but don’t arrive lecturing me. My parents and grandparents gave much of themselves to this country including my father enduring 18 months in a Nipponese prison camp. I don’t think any of them wanted their legacy diluted with hundreds of thousands of ingrates.

    David French is out-of-line claiming those born here did nothing. Our ancestors sure did, and we are entitled to preserve our nation as we see fit.

    • #8
    • July 17, 2019, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 23 likes
  9. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    If any here are still on the fence about Omar, this compendium of her beliefs and behavior is most informative:

     

    https://threader.app/thread/1150880188957364224

     

    ####

    • #9
    • July 17, 2019, at 6:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Manny Member

    Excellent post Max. Well said.

    • #10
    • July 17, 2019, at 7:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Manny Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    I wonder if Mr. French would be for eliminating inheritance by taxing it at 100%. Should he be allowed to leave his wealth to his children or relatives, or should the government put his funds to good use?

    I believe children have a right to their parents legacy, or more, that parents have a right to will their lifelong efforts to their children.

    And that goes for the work, sacrifice and years of taxes that built and defended this country. We build and fight for this country for our children as much as anything.

    Obviously, there are different levels of contributions and I’m not advocating for citizenship grades, but there is an inherent legacy that natural born Americans can claim, and they deserve respect.

    Yesterdays new citizen is every bit an equal citizen as I am, but don’t arrive lecturing me. My parents and grandparents gave much of themselves to this country including my father enduring 18 months in a Nipponese prison camp. I don’t think any of them wanted their legacy diluted with hundreds of thousands of ingrates.

    David French is out-of-line claiming those born here did nothing. Our ancestors sure did, and we are entitled to preserve our nation as we see fit.

    Also well said. And I’m a child of immigrants. I’m completely grateful for this country.

    • #11
    • July 17, 2019, at 7:15 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. Henry Castaigne Member

    America has always let people leave whenever they liked because of our love of liberty. We have to build walls to keep people from coming in; not going out.

    • #12
    • July 17, 2019, at 8:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Manny (View Comment):
    Also well said. And I’m a child of immigrants. I’m completely grateful for this country.

    Me too. 

    When I was a kid a common phrase in political discourse was, “America. Love it or leave it.” 

    A sports analogy would be good for David French. Say there is a basketball team making a playoff run. There are some veterans and other players that worked their way up through through the D-leagues. At the deadline, they pick a free agent to fill out a roster spot. Now that player proceeds to complain about the offense and defense schemes. That player insults the other players and calls the coach a racist, because he won’t change the lineup. Is it wrong to criticize the new guy for joining the team and then rocking the boat? 

    • #13
    • July 17, 2019, at 9:20 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Max Ledoux:

    In National Review, David French (not a Franco-American, as far as I’m aware!) wrote Tuesday that native-born Americans should be more grateful than Naturalized Americans, because those of us — David and myself — who were born here “did exactly nothing to become citizens of the greatest nation in the history of the earth” whereas Naturalized Americans have “done more to become citizens than I have.”

    David mentions that his National Review colleague, Charlie Cooke, is an immigrant from England who “left his home and family, built an impressive professional life here in the United States, passed his citizenship test with flying colors, and swore an oath most Americans haven’t sworn.”

     

    Interestingly, if you listen to this week’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen podcast elsewhere on Ricochet with Cooke and Kevin Williamson, Charlie talks about French’s column and basically says “What are you talking about?” — i.e., he believes that people who make an effort to immigrate to the United States do have a little more reason to support what it has stood for over the past 244 years, as opposed to attempting to remake it into what they want it to be, because of the fact they made the effort to move here in the first place because of what the U.S. could offer them.

    Omar potentially could get a Mulligan here, since she was a minor and was brought to America along with her family. But she also was old enough to know what Somalia was like in the early 1990s vs. her life in the U.S., and that was the point Cooke was making, which French blows past on why Trump’s inartfully-stated comment still resonated, and why he keeps repeating it.

    • #14
    • July 17, 2019, at 11:14 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Kozak Member

    • #15
    • July 18, 2019, at 6:01 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  16. Bishop Wash Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux:

    In National Review, David French (not a Franco-American, as far as I’m aware!) wrote Tuesday that native-born Americans should be more grateful than Naturalized Americans, because those of us — David and myself — who were born here “did exactly nothing to become citizens of the greatest nation in the history of the earth” whereas Naturalized Americans have “done more to become citizens than I have.”

    David mentions that his National Review colleague, Charlie Cooke, is an immigrant from England who “left his home and family, built an impressive professional life here in the United States, passed his citizenship test with flying colors, and swore an oath most Americans haven’t sworn.”

     

    Interestingly, if you listen to this week’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen podcast elsewhere on Ricochet with Cooke and Kevin Williamson, Charlie talks about French’s column and basically says “What are you talking about?” 

    Also interesting from that episode is Charlie’s mention that he gets a lot of ‘go home’ tweets on Twitter. So many are claiming that ‘go home’ is a racist phrase yet Charlie gets told that too. 

    • #16
    • July 18, 2019, at 6:01 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    American: “In America, we are allowed to criticize our government.” 

    Soviet: “It’s no different than in Soviet Union. We too are allowed to criticize your government.” 

    • #17
    • July 18, 2019, at 7:26 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    What if the president had specified that she should go home to Minnesota? 

    ;-) 

    • #18
    • July 18, 2019, at 7:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux Post author

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    What if the president had specified that she should go home to Minnesota?

    ;-)

    That would be racist.

    • #19
    • July 18, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  20. Kozak Member

    From the Daily Mail….

    • #20
    • July 18, 2019, at 10:15 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  21. Annefy Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    From the Daily Mail….

    ‘I am legally married to one and culturally to another’: How Ilhan Omar desperately tried to shut down accusations of bigamy amid claims she was briefly married to her BROTHER to ‘commit immigration fraud’ while she was still with her current husband

    Just living her “cultural reality”, which is big on murder, theft, violence, misogyny and fraud.

    Ain’t multiculturalism grand?

    She’s speaking “her truth”.

    • #21
    • July 18, 2019, at 10:27 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    How is she still a Representative? 

    How is Minnesota still a state? 

    • #22
    • July 18, 2019, at 2:18 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Bishop Wash Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    How is she still a Representative?

    How is Minnesota still a state?

    Yeah, when was the last time Minnesota voted for a Republican president? They were the one in Reagan’s 49-1 drubbing of Mondale, who was their native son. I think Trump did the best for a Republican since Reagan. Maybe we can do a trade with Canada for one of their provinces.

    • #23
    • July 18, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    How is Minnesota still a state? 

    I’ve been asking that for years. Never got a satisfactory answer.

    • #24
    • July 18, 2019, at 2:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux Post author

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    How is she still a Representative?

    How is Minnesota still a state?

    Yeah, when was the last time Minnesota voted for a Republican president? They were the one in Reagan’s 49-1 drubbing of Mondale, who was their native son. I think Trump did the best for a Republican since Reagan. Maybe we can do a trade with Canada for one of their provinces.

    Prince Edward Island?

    • #25
    • July 18, 2019, at 4:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Gary Robbins Reagan

    A great post. I disagree with much of it, but a great post none the less. And it has 30 likes!

    Gary

    • #26
    • July 18, 2019, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    A “like” is not enough. Well said, Max.

    • #27
    • July 18, 2019, at 8:07 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Kozak Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    How is she still a Representative?

    How is Minnesota still a state?

    Yeah, when was the last time Minnesota voted for a Republican president? They were the one in Reagan’s 49-1 drubbing of Mondale, who was their native son. I think Trump did the best for a Republican since Reagan. Maybe we can do a trade with Canada for one of their provinces.

    Prince Edward Island?

    I’d prefer Alberta or Saskatchewan…

    • #28
    • July 19, 2019, at 3:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    How is Minnesota still a state?

    It has a lot of iron ore.

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Yeah, when was the last time Minnesota voted for a Republican president? They were the one in Reagan’s 49-1 drubbing of Mondale, who was their native son. I think Trump did the best for a Republican since Reagan. Maybe we can do a trade with Canada for one of their provinces.

    Prince Edward Island?

    PEI’s potatoes for Minnesota’s iron. Now that’s a good deal!

    • #29
    • July 19, 2019, at 10:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    How is she still a Representative?

    How is Minnesota still a state?

    Yeah, when was the last time Minnesota voted for a Republican president? They were the one in Reagan’s 49-1 drubbing of Mondale, who was their native son. I think Trump did the best for a Republican since Reagan. Maybe we can do a trade with Canada for one of their provinces.

    Prince Edward Island?

    I’d prefer Alberta or Saskatchewan…

    The Trudeaupians might be amenable to that trade. The Canadian public, maybe less so.

    • #30
    • July 19, 2019, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 2 likes

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