I was thinking about how much the media members like CNN’s Jim Acosta depend on Americans being ignorant of their own history.
Acosta accused the Trump administration of “violating” the tenets of the sonnet posted on the Statue of Liberty, “The New Colossus”, even though the sonnet does not equal actual policy. I also noted, as others have since, what the immigration policies were at the time on Ellis Island and how they mirror what the administration proposes to do today.
Acosta’s position is the position of the progressive left. The Washington Post opined that the proposed new policy was a shot in the ideological war between the racist, Islamophobic, bigoted alt-right and the purer than the driven snow, open border progressives who love fluffy kitties and just want us all to get along.
I happen to agree with Charles Krauthammer – the current immigration policy is like randomly selecting names out of the Karachi phone book to allow in. This is a 1965 policy that is begging to be changed.
But I digress – back to the press room kerfuffle of this week.
In order to accept the position of Mr. Acosta, one must be willfully ignorant of what the immigration policy of the United States actually was in 1903 when the plaque containing the “New Colossus” sonnet was hung on the Statue of Liberty…and it wasn’t the open border, let anyone in policy Acosta proposed was “American”. What he proposed was what Jim Acosta needed to think in order to indict the Trump policy as “un-American.”
As I thought about Acosta, I remembered the 2013 Peggy Noonan column (linked here) and what she wrote about the people in the Obama administration. She accurately sums up what I saw in the exchange between Stephen Miller and Acosta by saying:
“From what I have seen the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book. They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view.”
Noonan strikes an important chord here – we do live in a society where government schools have either stopped teaching history in favor of current events or have adopted a Howard Zinn/Noam Chomsky revisionist curriculum. We live in an age when most think a 2 hour theatrical production of historical events that unfolded over decades are complete and accurate.
Rather than research the facts and the context of true historical events, today’s progressives create an ahistorical context supporting whatever opinion they need to attack a particular opponent. That’s what Acosta did, that’s what they all do. I can remember how they proposed everything that happened to President Obama was unique in history, had never happened before to any president and could only every happen to him – except that every situation Obama faced had happened to a president before, most of which happened to his predecessor, George W. Bush, at the hands of the same amnesiac progressives who now claim historical uniqueness of events.
Noonan’s stinging criticism of former President Obama seems to apply to all of today’s Helen Thomas wanna be’s in the progressive media:
“I think part of the reason he wasn’t careful is because he sort of lives in words. That’s been his whole professional life—books, speeches. Say something and it magically exists as something said, and if it’s been said and publicized it must be real.”
Never forget that Marx wrote:
“In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”
But I don’t expect that Mr. Acosta and his ilk know this because they have only seen the movie. They haven’t read the book.