This year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia would have seemed like a pipe dream to many conservatives just a few years ago. Speech after speech emphasized the greatness of America, and for that we have one man to thank, Donald J. Trump.
Conservatives have long known Democrats and liberals to disdain America and want to “fundamentally transform” her. It could be said that only Donald Trump could get liberals to openly declare that America is great.
Chants of “U.S.A.!” & flags waving. Raucous applause for a sheriff and a retired general. Pro-business speeches. Tonight’s DNC.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 29, 2016
Declare it they did, and with much fanfare. This proved particularly stunning, coming from the nation’s Apologizer in Chief, whose pastor once preached “God damn America,” and who famously declared h was intent on “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Newt Gingrich even called Obama “the first anti-American president.” Conservatives who have insisted that America is great or the greatest country on earth are usually met with typical liberal rejoinders: Indian removal, slavery, segregation, mistreating the poor, et cetera. Not at this year’s DNC.
Here is the list of eight prominent Democrats or Clinton backers at the DNC who went out of their way to say that America is great.
8. Michael Bloomberg.
Yes, Bloomberg is technically an independent (really an everything-to-everyone), but he’s backing Hillary. “America is the greatest country on Earth, and when people vote with their feet, they come here,” declared former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his remarks endorsing Hillary Clinton.
Bloomberg: “America is the greatest country on earth, and when people vote with their feet they come here” https://t.co/UD5t54iqxF — ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 28, 2016
7. Eric Holder.
In his DNC speech, former Attorney General Eric Holder referred to “this already great nation — Donald, did you hear me? — this already great nation.”
Eric Holder: ‘Donald, did you hear me? — this *already* great nation.’ https://t.co/IeVX7B8pvr
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 27, 2016
Yes, this is the same Eric Holder who called America “a nation of cowards” on the topic of race. “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” he declared in his first speech after taking office in 2009.
Next Page: Good old Uncle Joe.
6. Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden did not explicitly contradict Trump, but he did attack The Donald as being unaware of what America’s greatness is. “He has no clue about what makes America great,” the vice president declared. Biden does not have a history of disparaging America, exactly. Instead, he’s well-known for his horrible gaffes. In particular, during the 2012 race, he told black people that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and then-Congressman Paul Ryan would “put y’all back in chains.” Go home, Joe, you’re drunk.
5. Tim Kaine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1scCwsnwIs “Our nation, it is just too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew,” Virginia Senator and Clinton running-mate Tim Kaine told the DNC.
Next Page: The first lady changes her tune.
4. Michelle Obama.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZNWYqDU948 First Lady Michelle Obama gave a powerful speech at the DNC. But her declaration of America’s greatness seemed rather jarring, given her history on the issue. “So don’t let anyone every tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth,” Mrs. Obama declared. Yes, this is the same woman who said this in 2008, as her husband’s presidential race really took shape: “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.” Question for Michelle: When, exactly, did America become “the greatest country on earth?”
3. Bill Clinton.
Former President Bill Clinton continued the theme in arguing why Americans should vote for his wife. “The reason you should elect her is that in the greatest country on Earth, we have always been about tomorrow.”
Next Page: The Apologizer in Chief himself, and his proclaimed successor.
2. Barack Obama.
“America is already great. America is already strong,” President Obama declared at the DNC. “And I promise you our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. In fact it doesn’t depend on any one person.”
President Obama: “America is already great. America is already strong” https://t.co/QR3pdmq9Lm #DemsInPhilly https://t.co/19rZK1Ohz2 — CNN (@CNN) July 28, 2016
Yes, this is the same Obama whose pastor declared, “God damn America,” and who aimed to “fundamentally transform” America. Interesting.
1. Hillary Clinton.
Former secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton declared, “It comes down to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: America is great because America is good.”
Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump doesn’t get that “America is great because America is good” https://t.co/F4kez4e7gK https://t.co/zlj5hJ9OMs
— CNN (@CNN) July 29, 2016
These declarations may not have been out of character for most of the Democrats at the convention. Tim Kaine, Bill Clinton, and Her Democratic Majesty herself might have said them naturally.
But the key difference was the emphasis on American greatness which pervaded the entire convention — an emphasis arguably foreign to the Obama administration and entirely aimed at attacking Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, as The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York pointed out, the Democrats have a different conception of American greatness than The Donald. “The contrast is stark: Once concept of American greatness celebrates soaring, world-historical accomplishments of days gone by. The other celebrates identity.”
This distinction is important to keep in mind, as it helps explain how the Democrats transformed from critics to fanboys seemingly overnight. Even Michelle Obama, who declared that this “is the greatest nation on earth,” emphasized “right now” — that is, with a Democratic president who embodies American pluralism.
When Trump says he wants to make America great again, he means he wants to beef up the military, secure great jobs for Americans, and achieve feats like defeating Britain or landing a man on the moon. By contrast, Democratic shouts that “America is already great!” sound hollow, coming as they do from the party that adopted many radical proposals from Bernie Sanders.
Nevertheless, Democrats’ newfound patriotism is heartening — let’s pray they keep it once Donald Trump is no longer running for president.
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