Last Sunday President Trump triggered off a major controversy with a series of tweets directed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). The president berated the far-left quartet for “telling the people of the United States…how our government is to be run,” and suggested that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Far from backing down in the face of media condemnation, the following day Trump told a cheering audience at the White House that “if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave... Come back if you want, don’t come back, that’s okay too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave.” He subsequently dismissed the House resolution that condemned his statements. “They try and make themselves out to be innocent,” he told The Daily Mail on Wednesday. “Take a look at their quotes from the last two years. You won’t even believe the horror — the horrible quotes that they have.”
Before considering any wider implications of the case, it is necessary to look at some of those quotes.
Last March Ocasio-Cortez described the state of America as “garbage” at the South By Southwest conference and festival in Austin. To avoid the accusation of taking her words out of context, here is the quote in question; it is long, but additionally useful as an illustration of the young Congresswoman’s verbal dexterity:
I think the thing that is really hard for people to sometimes see is that when we are on this path of a slow erosion and a slow, slow, slow, just like move away from what we’ve always been … you know, you won’t even realize that you've drifted a hundred miles. So, when someone’s talking about our core, it’s like ‘oh this is radical,’ but this isn't radical, this is what we've always been… And so I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing… And this idea of like 10 percent better from garbage, is, shouldn’t be what we settle for. It’s like this like—it feels like ‘moderate’ is not a stance, it’s just an attitude toward life of like ‘hmmm.’
Last month Ocasio-Cortez asserted that detention centers housing immigrants are “exactly” like concentration camps: “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. If that doesn’t bother you ... I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.” She subsequently responded to criticism by tweeting that the Trump administration had established “concentration camps” where immigrants are “being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.” AOC was subsequently instructed to draw a distinction between concentration and extermination camps—or may have done so on the basis of her knowledge and reading—but apparently she remains oblivious to the exact death rates, for instance in British concentration camps during the Boer War, or the Soviet ones during the 1930s collectivization drive.
Ayanna Pressley, the newcomer to “the Squad,” is more articulate and better versed in the credo of cultural Marxism than Ocasio-Cortez. Just a week ago, in a speech to the Netroots Nation convention at the UN, she presented a demand for ideological conformity from the oppressed minorities which was positively Bolshevik in its tone and implications:
If you’re going to come to [the political] table, all of you who have aspirations of running for office: If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don't need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don't want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.
This is identity politics on steroids, the exact equivalent of the early Bolshevik criterion of one’s eligibility for the ranks of the avant garde (or mere physical survival). Pressley’s House colleagues Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were present, and nodded approvingly to her remarks. Their vision of a progressive society is as “American” as the French First Republic under Robespierre or Pol Pot’s Kampuchea were inspired by the Athenian model of democracy.
As for Rep. Tlaib, last May she offered an interesting train of thought on the events in Nazi-controlled Europe in the early 1940’s:
There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors—Palestinians—who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.
Tlaib’s coreligionist Ilhan Omar started her congressional tenure last January with an interesting tweet: “May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” A month later, she referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by saying “some people did something.” Omar responded to criticism by saying that she was tired of being asked to answer for the actions of Islamic terrorists, but she has pointedly avoided any direct condemnation of al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Tlaib defended Omar’s comments by saying, “She does speak truth.”
On balance, the ongoing paroxysm of liberal rage notwithstanding, Trump’s original comments about “the Squad” and his subsequent attacks on the quartet were appropriate, morally right, and rationally based. Outside the decrepit Western world, it is hard to imagine that any person as disdainful of a country’s historic identity, as intolerant of the majority of its people, as the “progressive” quartet could play any role in public life—let alone be elected to that country’s legislature. No such thing would be possible in Japan, China (Taiwan included), both Koreas, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Russia, Subsaharan Africa, Latin America, and of course the entire Muslim world. Whether democratic, authoritarian, or despotic, whether white, yellow, brown, or black, all of these societies rightly expect that a participant in any form of public discourse—not to mention political decision-making—will share the core values, beliefs, and cultural traits that define their identity.
Trump’s comments about Omar, specifically his assertion that she hates Jews and has avoided condemning 9/11 terrorists, are fact-based. Three months ago I wrote here about the Congresswoman from Minnesota which consider in detail the values and beliefs of the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor. The conclusion still stands: Rep. Ilhan Omar and her allies at CAIR are not just community activists seeking to better the lot of their coreligionists, but political visionaries who want the U.S. to be ruled by Sharia.
As for Tlaib’s and Omar’s views on Israel and the Jews, inherent religious animosity of Muslims to Judaism is mandated by their prophet. Today it is coupled with anti-Jewish attitudes on ethnic and geopolitical grounds, but 14 centuries ago Muhammad set the tone which was reiterated in 1937 by the late King Ibn Saud to a British guest: “Verily, the word of God teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”
Pressley is a cold-blooded fanatic whose beliefs and actions are calculated to lead right into a Hobbesian mayhem of biblical proportions. Ocasio-Cortez is unable to articulate what kind of America she wants, but it is at least clear that the real, historic America is the one she hates.
On every point of recent controversy Donald Trump is right. His detractors are either deluded (liberalism is a mental disease) or mendacious. As for the “progressive” Democrat quartet, they are both—albeit not necessarily in equal measure. They should go away and stay away. It is their human right to be free from oppression and racism in this “garbage country,” and it is our necessity to be free from their agitprop mantras and monstrous designs.
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.