08/09/2009 10:03 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is America A Joke?

It is time for some perspective. We have just elected a President who embodies what we might call true American values. These relate to fairness, opportunity, respect and allegiance to law and the Constitution. These values conflict with the following:



The cultivation of hatred.

We elected the President because we knew we were emerging from a government that was skirting the laws and most certainly making a joke of our country.

Now we confront what is a precise big lie effort to bury the above in a stench-laden collection of nativist and palpably ignorant allegations.

Is America a joke?


Is this big lie effort a joke? No.

Read the following:

(1) Repeal of all Naturalization Laws.

(2) None but Americans for office.

(3) A pure American Common School system.

(4) War to the hilt, on political Romanism.

(5) Opposition to the formation of Military Companies, composed of Foreigners.

(6) The advocacy of a sound, healthy and safe Nationality.

(7) Hostility to all Papal influences, when brought to bear against the Republic.

(8) American Constitutions & American sentiments.

(9) More stringent & effective Emigration Laws.

(10) The amplest protection to Protestant Interests.

(11) The doctrines of the revered Washington.

(12) The sending back of all foreign paupers.

(13) Formation of societies to protect American interests.

(14) Eternal enmity to all those who attempt to carry out the principles of a foreign Church or State.

(15) Our Country, our whole Country, and nothing but our Country.

(16) Finally,-American Laws, and American Legislation, and Death to all foreign influences, whether in high places or low

"Copied from the "Know Nothing" newspaper, for the special benefit of my honorable colleague, Miss R In haste----S"

It is a summary of the 1856 Know Nothing platform. SOURCE

It wasn't a joke then, either. (Ironicaly, the movement began as the Republican Party before it became the American Party.)

Almost always the extremist and absurd efforts of fringes, on either end of the spectrum, reflect serious conflicts that are allowed to flare up in what seems a confusing and depressing wall of noise, anger and sometimes outright violence.

The enemy then was Irish Catholic immigration. The enemy now is the impending dominance of a multi-racial state replacing a white-dominated state.

The Know Nothing conflict erupted in huge draft riots during the Civil War and perhaps ended with the election of JFK.

The present conflict has a longer arc. It began with the first slave ships and it will not end until our prison society is a distant memory and poverty is eliminated because it is no longer necessary with a technology that can produce abundance without requiring the subjugation of workers.

America is not a joke. It is as ever a bold experiment in moving humanity a bit more to the good side of the spectrum of life. It is a test of the possibilities of immanence and the staying power of proselytizing religion.

For thought in a similar vein: