Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint Thinks 57 Percent Of Americans Are Un-American
Randa Morris o9/03/2013
In a town hall meeting on August 28, 2013, Jim DeMint told his audience that he could not think of anything more “un-American” than national healthcare.
DeMint is a former US senator from South Carolina, who resigned his position to become President of the Heritage Foundation. According to Sourcewatch, the Heritage Foundation is a well funded right wing think tank, which is currently spearheading the effort to push Congress into defunding Obamacare (otherwise known as Affordable Care Act).
If taking care of our own citizens is “un-American,” as DeMint suggests, maybe being un-American isn’t such a bad thing. Chinese food is un-American right? Plenty of Americans enjoy it just the same… with egg rolls, too.
How dare they?
The whole idea of claiming that the Affordable Healthcare Act is un-American or anti-American is just as absurd as claiming that if you enjoy eating egg rolls or chicken chop suey, it’s somehow a betrayal of hot dogs and apple pie.
That brings me to the question of what it is exactly, that makes something “American” as opposed to “un-American” or “anti-American”. How did baseball or hot dogs or apple pie become synonymous with American life? More importantly, were Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation around to OK it before hand?
Things become American when a majority of American citizens like them and decide to adopt them as part of their lifestyle. It’s never been up to a politician or some right-wing think tank to determine what will or won’t become a part of the American way of life. The people of the United States determine what they like, what they don’t like, what they want and what they don’t want. That’s a big part of what makes this country great. America is a melting pot of people, of cultures, of lifestyles and ideas. We make our own rules. We decide for ourselves what will and won’t be a part of the greater society we call the United States.
At one time a majority of American citizens decided that they liked baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. At other times the majority decided that they liked Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, Disability, the SNAP program, caring for the poor…
All of those things became a part of the American way of life, in spite of the fact that Republicans called them (and continue to call them) un-American and anti-American and Socialist and Communist and whatever other words they can think of, meant to try to convince us that those things are bad for the country.
And so it goes with the Affordable Care Act. The majority of Americans have already said that they like the provisions in Obamacare. Looking at in that light, Obamacare already is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. It became that way the moment a majority of American citizens said that they like it, and again when they made it clear that they do not want to defund it.
Now, it seems to me that anti-American policies are those that contradict what the American people like and want, since the American people are what makes up America. Those would be the kinds of policies DeMint and his cohorts at the Heritage Foundation are trying to force upon an unwilling public. At this point, trying to defund Obamacare is about as American as trying to outlaw baseball or hot dogs or apple pie. To be certain not everyone likes those things, but a majority of people do. 57 percent of the American people oppose defunding Obamacare. So is DeMint saying that nearly 60 percent of Americans are un-American now?
According to his logic, the Affordable Care Act, a program that has the support of the American public, is anti-American. On the other hand, his idea of defunding it, which is clearly in opposition to what the American people like or want, is all-American. I think the right wing has gone so far off the deep end that they’ve even succeeded in confusing themselves.
While DeMint and his Republican colleagues continue to try to prevent the ACA from taking it’s rightful place in American society, the majority of American voters strongly believe that some things truly are un-American. Most believe that un-American is sabotaging a program that they approve of, for your own selfish purposes. Also that un-American is plotting against the President of the United States. Certainly that un-American is refusing to cooperate with the leader of the country, during a time of national crisis.
The majority of Americans think that what’s un-American is turning your back on children, on the poor, on the sick and the elderly. Those are not things that Americans have ever done or that the majority has ever expressed a desire to do. It’s why they consistently vote for programs that help people in hard times. It’s why they support education, public food and housing assistance programs, medicare, medicaid and many other programs that demonstrate that what is American is to have concern for your fellow citizens and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Maybe more than anything, the people believe that what’s un-American is undermining United States elections and working to overthrow our system of representative democracy. But Americans have seen this kind of thing before and they’ve overcome it before. Voting is one thing that certainly is American. It’s during elections that the people of the United States send a message to their representatives about what is and what is not going to be accepted as American. The Heritage Foundation consistently backs candidates that oppose the will of the American people. Even as the current Congress has earned the reputation of being the worst Congress in US history, right-wing think tanks continue to promote more candidates that will push policies that Americans do not like or want. In 2014 the people will certainly rise up to send a message about what being an American means to them.