The Spirit Lives Underneath

It often seems that there is nothing more to be said about immigration to those who have understood its existential threat to our nationhood. Do we need to read the Koran in Arabic, do we need anthropological studies of the Hmong, do we need to “prove” that the presence of millions of Mexicans is harmful to our country, before we can convince those running our society to stop it? In this blog, I generally try to focus on other issues.

But it was dejecting to read at Debbie Schlussel’s website what I knew would happen before long. The flood of Iraqi refugees the media has been agitating for has started to arrive in earnest in the United States. There are supposed to be 30,000 refugees by the end of this year alone, and eventually 60,000 or more. Most of them are expected to settle here in Michigan, many in formerly “non-diverse” places like Warren and Shelby Township.

The American people are no longer in control of the country and the flood of useless information we have access to conceals the truth from us. When was this project ever presented to the people of Michigan? Did it ever even occur to the bureaucrats and visa-stampers and “religious charity” workers that they had no right to make this decision? Could there be any irony more obscene than for Americans to be mass-murdered by Arabs, for this atrocity to convince them to approve of a war to depose an enemy Arab dictator, and for them finally to be rewarded by having their own society invaded by tens of thousands of these same Arabs?

These people do not belong in Michigan. They do not belong in America. The Arab American National Museum notwithstanding.

Meanwhile, as if my interest in the propaganda-fest for Chinese world domination and the deracination of the West could decline any more, I see that a nationalized Sudanese is our flag-bearer. How utterly typical of the kind of decision our “managers” make! Lacking any capacity to oppose China in meaningful ways, they remain compelled to make their little demonstrations for their beloved global democracy. As if the Chinese will be impressed that America sends an African to represent it!

Yet not all is lost. Not by a long shot.

It is best not to pay too much attention to the mass media and the news. Because there are other realities not picked up by those sectors. 

A personal experience I wanted to share. The other day my work took me on a drive to northern Ohio. I was able to take a local highway rather than the interstate. It was one of those sunny, late summer afternoons. I passed through the rolling fields of corn and thought how beautiful this country is. Just as what it is – much of America is not the Swiss Alps or anything so dramatic as that, but how comforting are the farms and the trees and the lovely old houses and the small towns with their Main Streets, churches, and fine shop buildings. I took a few photos on the way, but they could not capture what I felt….

As if I were seeing mystical signs everywhere, I felt the spirit of the old America. A shed painted in the form of an American flag with a Mexican flag in the corner, and the inscription “Remember the Alamo,” with the word Alamo crossed out and replaced by “NAFTA.” A handwritten sign saying “Be still and know that I am God.” American flags lining the streets of several small towns. A banner announcing a historic reenactment. Some spontaneous humor from a woman who looked at me with my camera and said in her (distinctly regional) accent, “I’ll get out of the way, I’m gonna break your camera.” (Which I briefly thought was a threat!)

No, not all was well. In one of the towns the sprawl had taken root; there was a Wal-Mart and Taco Bells and car dealers and billboards with the usual overrepresented minorities. No part of our heartland is safe from the invasion. But, the towns are still there, with their old English or new American names, with the streets still following the paths of 100 years ago, with the descendents of the same people still living there.

That day, I could feel that we are still the people of this country. The cities are not everything. The media is not everything. There is so much life left in America that is there if you look for it. If we learn to give ourselves to our nation again, the invaders will be as nothing to us. They will dry up and blow away. They have no roots here.  

Updates: In the Comments section, a reader gives details on the meaning of the Sudanese flag-bearer: “He is part of that southern Sudanese group that has been persecuted by the northern Sudanese, who (the north) are getting military aid from China.” Also, Judy of Refugee Resettlement Watch disagrees with Debbie Schlussel’s analysis of the Iraqi resettlement. Resettlement doesn’t mean we’ve lost the war in Iraq, but that we’ve lost the war against resettling Iraqis. The refugees will come regardless of how good or bad conditions are in Iraq. 


7 Responses to The Spirit Lives Underneath

  1. Another great piece.
    I can look out my window and see a scene very much lik that first picture you posted, and not very far away, a similar Main Street picture. Small town America is still very much alive, but just as you mention, those refugees are headed our way. I don’t know that any are slated to come to my town, but sooner or later, we will be in the cross-hairs if we aren’t at this exact moment. And that makes the view outside my window even more poignant, as I realize how fragile our position is.

    And yet I also agree with you that the heart of old America is still beating, if a little less strongly, and I believe the connection with the land is still there, though more tenuous. I am not ready to give up on the American people, or at least the remnant of us, just yet and I am glad to see that you aren’t either, and that you are offering some needed exhortation among the doomsaying voices.

  2. Saw your blog featured over at Vanishing American…what a lovely piece on small town America, a place I sorely miss and wish I could experience once again.

    May I link to your blog over at Natural Consequences?

    God bless,

  3. Anonymous says:


    This nationalized/naturalized Sudanese is another under-handed, half-hearted jab by the American elites to the Chinese. He is part of that southern Sudanese group that has been persecuted by the northern Sudanese, who (the north) are getting military aid from China.

    So, no-one can come up and denounce the Chinese outright, but they pretend instead to show how kind and humanitarian it is to send the Sudanese who found “refuge” in the US, away from the evil north and equally evil (we won’t say it to their face, we “need” them too much) Chinese.

  4. Sir,

    Have you seen this recent article by Pat Boone, singer and descendant of Daniel Boone on the subject of illegal immigration.

  5. stephenhopewell says:

    VA – thank you for the compliment, and even more, for adding me to the blogroll, which will ensure me the very best readers!

    As long as the spirit of America lives somewhere it can rise again, so I wanted to share with my readers an experience of seeing it.

    Laurel – thank you! I would be honored if you would link my blog at Natural Consequences.

    Anonymous – yes, a half-hearted jab at the Chinese, but one that acts against us, because it displays our lack of nationhood and weakness for them to see. (We don’t support America, we support the liberal idea that a Sudanese represents our country and think this makes us superior to China.)

    Colonial Boy – I had seen Pat Boone’s website but not that particular article. He is an interesting symbol – in post-rock’n’roll America the media forgot about him, but now we can see how solid his values are. Thank you for the tip.

  6. […] year I wrote about driving through some Midwestern small towns and having a somewhat mystical feeling that the […]

  7. […] and colleagues to their accustomed political beliefs, I hold at core a firm belief that “the spirit – of nation, of freedom, of social restoration –  lives underneath” the dismal surface of […]

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