Real America

by Patrick Appel

Will Wilkinson slaps down Jonah Goldberg for defending Glenn Beck:

I guess I don’t think it’s entirely preposterous for Americans to see themselves as a people. But any conception of the American creed sufficiently general to encompass most widespread American conceptions of individual freedom, equality, tolerance and so on is going to be so general that it will do very little to distinguish American identity from, say, Canadian identity. And that’s clearly not what Glenn Beck or the staff of National Review have in mind when they talk about American values, promote a conception of American identity, or encourage Americans to see themselves as a people. ...

The conservative conception of American identity is so selective and so specific that it tends to suggest to its adherents that many (maybe even most!) Americans aren’t real Americans, or are Americans who betray real American ideals.