Ilhan Omar: Model American

By John Zmirak Published on February 5, 2024

Now you might think the title here is sarcastic, as you might think it sarcasm when a pundit writes something like “I’d ballot harvest for Ilhan Omar to keep Nikki Haley out of the White House!”

But in both cases you’d be mistaken. There’s a serious case to be made that Haley would deliver 99.99% of the abortion, transgender madness, and open borders Omar and the Squad promote, but also start World War III. Certainly that’s what we take away from Haley’s pro-choice-with-exceptions talk on the campaign trail, her parroting of LGBTQMYNAMEISLEGION talking points on “gender,” and her War Party obsession with prolonging the deadly quagmire in Ukraine.

There’s also much to be admired, if you look at the whole thing sideways, about Ilhan Omar’s fervent loyalty to her country and her religion. In fact, she displays the same kind of faith-infused patriotism that built our country, the United States of America. And her country, which is Somalia.

See the clip of Omar speaking and translation below:

We Could Use Some Omar Energy on America’s Side

We’re appalled by Omar’s choice of loyalties and understandably so. We’re outraged that someone who took the U.S. citizenship oath, and went on to become a member of Congress, publicly and shamelessly champions Somali nationalism and political Islam. There’s a strong case to be made that she has violated that oath, and her oath of office. Given the manifest fraud that attended her naturalization, some argue that she should be stripped of citizenship and expelled from U.S. soil.

And that would be hilarious. Let’s hope it happens.

The GOP Members of Congress Who Aren’t Loyal to America

But let’s be clear about what we want from politicians who are actually Americans: The same kind of loyalty to America’s national interests, and the well-being of Americans. And that’s not what most Republican politicians have been talking about or seeking for far too long.

Instead of asking how a given foreign intervention, or trade deal, or immigration policy would affect the people who live here, who pay the taxes and spill the blood and suffer the consequences of what our government does, the pre-Trump and anti-Trump GOP ask a very different set of questions. They are loyal to something else, quite distinct from real-world America and Americans.

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See this 2003 piece, America the Abstraction, for a detailed analysis of what it is that politicians such as George W. Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Nikki Haley consider important: an arid ideology, a narrow and ahistorical set of Cliff’s Notes from the Cold War. In that sophomoric summary, the only important thing about the U.S. is the set of political principles we can draw from the Declaration of Independence. These principles are universal, and we should be loyal to them at any cost to our neighbors or our children. From that essay:

If you are trying to boil down citizenship to its philosophically respectable components, and if ideology is all you are interested in, then it does not really matter where you were born. Or who your parents were. Or whom you love. Or the hymns you know by heart, the folk tales you treasure, the God you worship. None of these merely human matters measures up, ideologically speaking. None of them can be enshrined in a manifesto, or beamed across the world via Voice of America, or exported in music videos. They do not raise the GDP, or lower the interest rate, or increase our command of oil reserves. They cannot be harnessed to drive the engine of globalization. Therefore, to some people, these things do not matter. Such pieties can be harnessed in the run-up to a war, can form part of the Army recruitment ads and propaganda campaigns, and may even find their way into presidential speeches. But essentially there is no difference between a fourth-generation American and an Afghan refugee who just landed at JFK—so long as they both accept the same ideology.

So we must defend Ukraine’s borders, but leave our own unguarded. We must keep troops in Syria, Yemen, and every conflict zone on earth. But it’s “xenophobic” and “radical” to suggest using our military to stop a mass invasion of fake refugees who are overwhelming our country.

American Neoconservatives Imitated the Soviets

That’s the kind of ideological fanaticism that the Soviet Union expected of its citizens. It willingly sacrificed their well-being and even their lives to export the Revolution around the world. And during the Cold War, too many conservatives and Christians decided that the best answer was to remake American patriotism as a mirror image of the Soviet creed. We weren’t “selfish” and “narrow,” seeking the best lives for Americans, and being a friend of liberty worldwide.

No, we must remake our country on the Soviet model, as a mere vehicle for abstract propositions about human nature, which we’d seek to impose around the world, by force if necessary. That was the message of George W. Bush’s infamous second inaugural speech, in which he claimed that every human being — if given the chance — wanted to live under an American-style secular mass democracy. And he would use our fighting men to help give them that chance.

The result of this foreign policy grounded in fantasy and wishful thinking? Our failed decades-long effort to transform Afghanistan into Switzerland. Our destruction of Iraq, which enabled a genocide of that country’s Christian communities, and left Iraq an Iranian puppet. And when Barack Obama applied this very same policy, our intervention in Libya, which reduced the country to chaos and brought back its African slave trade.

This is the same creed preached by Senate Republicans who want to leave U.S. borders open, if they can’t get billions to defend Ukraine’s borders much more energetically. Surely Ilhan Omar is laughing contemptuously at these her colleagues in Congress, and she is right.

They need to be zealots like her, zealots for their countrymen and their neighbors.


John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. His upcoming book is No Second Amendment, No First.

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