- - Sunday, October 11, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

There are some who, after reading the above, will respond with indignation and label me an extremist. However, those who know history will recognize that these are not my words but sentiments expressed by President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to the American Defense Society in 1919. This view and attitude was reflected in early immigration policies and contributed to the development of what we define as American exceptionalism.

Americans are being asked to reject American exceptionalism and to adapt to myriad cultures and traditions, to “globalize,” to become citizens of the world. We are being invaded by a variety of “citizens of the world” who exhibit lawlessness, resist assimilation and have suspect allegiances. Is this the transformation of America we were promised?

Freedom to be different, to pursue dreams, to create and prosper while protected by the Constitution is by any criteria unique and the essence of American exceptionalism. It has created the highest standard of living on the planet. Nowhere is a government more restrained or individuals more free. Must we now abandon these principles and become “citizens of the world”?

ED KONECNIK

Flushing, N.Y.


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