14,000 breaking down fences to enter an America that "was never that great"

The "caravan" of 14,000 who are marching through Mexico to storm the American border obviously know something that some progressives don't: America is a special place that offers freedom, security and economic stability.

For the 14,000 and the hundreds more that are reportedly forming in Central America in a second wave, they would disagree with New York Gov. Andrew Coumo, who infamously stated that America "was never that great."

Give Coumo the benefit of the doubt when he was speaking (according to a clarifying statement issued later) about how America would realize "her full greatness...when every man, woman, and child has full equality."

But Cuomo wasn't far from typical progressive sentiment that America is deeply and systemically flawed. They ridicule the idea of American Exceptionalism. They act as if anyone who believes that America is unique among nations is a hopeless bigot, troll and cruel xenophobe.

For the hundreds of people marching toward America to claim refugee status, America is opportunity and safety. Please note: they aren't marching or boating to break into Venezuela or Cuba.

 

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  • America has always been a work in progress. Slavery was protected originally by our Constitution. A Civil War was fought rid the body politic of this shameful chapter in our history. But left in its wake, Black Codes, Jim Crow, discrimination, segregation, separate but equal, lynchings, restrictive clauses on deeds, and voter suppression that continues to this day.

    America's greatness is based on its values and ideals. Its vision of equal protection under the law, of justice for all, of due process, of respect for the law,and human rights, and of what FDR called the 4 freedoms, remains a lofty goal and a continual challenge. Catchy slogans will not fulfill the vision or achieve the goal.

    Abraham Lincoln was speaking in a different crisis, but his words could still help us understand the aspirational meaning of America's greatness: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in."

  • Totally agree.

  • I'm not sure where you and the Washington Times are getting the 14,000 number. That's exactly twice most estimates. Last Thursday the New York Times reported, "The Mexican government says the caravan, once numbering 7,000 or more after it had crossed the Guatemala-Mexican border, had withered to less than 4,000 by Wednesday night."

    This should not cause either too much fear or too much pride.

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