- The Washington Times - Friday, July 3, 2009


No other day of the year compels us, as Americans, to reflect on the greatness of this country as does the Fourth of July.

But the trouble is that, in this age of shallow values, intellectually hollow ideas such as cultural diversity are promoted over national cohesion. So, in many areas of the country, especially in academia and news media, the Fourth of July has become a generic celebration where the great men who actually brought forth Independence are barely mentioned. In fact, some critics make little effort to hide their resentment of those great men of 1776.

Of course, there is a reason for such indifference and resentment. All the Founding Fathers were white men. So, the liberals in academia and media have a problem digesting the concept that a bunch of middle-aged white men could invent the world’s greatest democracy. Many of these liberals, who have been educated beyond their intelligence, have so deluded themselves of the equal value of all cultures that they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that a small group consisting of just one sex from one race of one civilization - men, white, Western - could devise the universally attractive system that is the American democracy.

I came to America as a Third World immigrant. Now a naturalized American, I am unabashed in my admiration of the Founding Fathers. Because of what they did, the world got a place called America, where forlorn souls like me could come and improve their lives in ways that are unimaginable in their own countries.

I have always found the tenets of liberals to be questionable, if not roundly risible. What I find particularly ridiculous is their claim that all cultures are equal, that no culture is superior to another. If that were the case, then why would immigrants need to come here to improve their lives? If there is no difference between Western and non-Western cultures, then why are non-Western cultures among the most undeveloped - nay, primitive - cultures in the world? Many non-Western cultures have existed for thousands of years - yet how come none of them ever managed to devise a system of government as fair as a democracy?

Barack Obama’s election has energized various groups that promote cultural diversity or multiculturalism. They act as if his election at long last defeated the cultural supremacy of Western civilization. They are mistaken.

In fact, Mr. Obama’s election evinced the inherent superiority of Western civilization. Let me explain. Hardly anybody would have paid attention if Mr. Obama had become president of Kenya (his father’s land). Kenya is a Third World country. If it had been a great place, his own father would not have come to America. So, Mr. Obama is famous because he became the president of the United States - the pre-eminent symbol of Western civilization. And it is one particular system - i.e., a democratic republic - that put the son of an immigrant from a dirt-poor African country into the most powerful office in the world. And that system of democracy was not invented in Kenya or anywhere else in Africa. It was invented by Western civilization and reached its historic climax in a Western city - in Philadelphia in 1776 and again in 1787 (when the Constitution was drafted).

Therefore, the superiority of Western civilization is indicated by the egalitarian society and fair elections that made Mr. Obama’s presidency possible. In contrast, the tribal loyalties and ethnic intrigues of non-Western cultures create oppressive societies with hardly any great accomplishments - i.e., societies that are inferior when compared to the Western world. No matter how loudly liberals may scream against such an observation, those are the facts.

It is troubling that even some highly educated minorities have been unable to rid themselves of tribalist thinking. An example is Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonya Sotomayor’s notorious comment that a Latina would make better decisions than a white man. It begs me to ask a blunt question: If Latinos make better decisions, why is Latin America one of the most poor and corrupt regions of the world?

It was a very good thing that the cultural diversity proponents were not around in 1776. Obsessing about ethnic identity and ignoring national cohesion, they would have produced something even lamer than today’s U.N. resolutions - instead of the gutsy, no-nonsense assertion that is the Declaration of Independence. Their document would have come to be known as the Declaration of Impotence.

Since the Founding Fathers were white men and I happen to be a brown immigrant, many critics will think my open admiration of the Founding Fathers is a bit too obsequious. But I think what the Founding Fathers did in a single year, 1776, has been a greater benefit to humanity than anything that the diversity proponents could do in a hundred years. For I know that were it not for the foresight of the Founding Fathers in the first place, I and millions of other immigrants would not have a country where we could realize the full potential of our individual talents. In that sense, every day is a Fourth of July to me.

Ian de Silva is an engineer with side interests in history and politics.

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