Yesterday, Barack Obama took time out of his busy schedule of being tough on ISIS to speak to some new American citizens at their naturalization ceremony. In a photo op for the President, he took the opportunity to steal what should be a proud day for these new citizens and turn it into a chance to bash America and it’s current citizens.
In his typical scolding professor tone, he told Americans that we’ve forgotten where we came from.
After all, unless your family is Native American, one of the first Americans, our families — all of our families — come from someplace else. The first refugees were the Pilgrims themselves — fleeing religious persecution, crossing the stormy Atlantic to reach a new world where they might live and pray freely. Eight signers of the Declaration of Independence were immigrants. And in those first decades after independence, English, German, and Scottish immigrants came over, huddled on creaky ships, seeking what Thomas Paine called “asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty…”
No, Mr. President, the Pilgrims were not refugees, and the signers of the Declaration of Independence who were not born here were not immigrants.
The Pilgrims were not refugees
It is a common meme that the Pilgrims came here fleeing religious persecution. And while there were issues (and significant ones at that) in England, many Puritans stayed in England. And those that became Pilgrims had already been living in the Netherlands, never gave up their British citizenship, and were actually granted a charter in the New World by the King of England.
Yes, the King wanted those nasty Puritans out of his hair, and he saw their desire to start a colony a great opportunity. If he wanted them dead, he would have killed them; not asked them to populate his new colonies. (The pitch to the king was that by sending Puritans to settle, the crown would be able to grow a colony in the New World as opposed to previous expeditions that relied on men and military which offered no chance at growth without sending more troops and soldiers of fortune.)
They established economic ties with England and continued to consider themselves Englishmen until the 18th century.
Does that sound like the story of refugees to you?
Signers of the Declaration of Independence were not immigrants
What is an immigrant? An immigrant is “a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.”
At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, there was no “United States of America.” There was no sovereign country here until they all signed that document and declared themselves independent. It was that very document that they used to establish the United States of America (take some time and read it if you haven’t). The thirteen colonies were before that subject to the crown of the King of England.
The so-called immigrants who signed the Declaration of Independence came here from either Great Britain or British colonies. They were not immigrants in the sense that they were leaving their country behind to come to a new one. They were moving from the mother country or another colony to a new colony.
Are you an immigrant to Florida if you move there from Wisconsin? Not by the definition of immigrant. In both places you have the same sovereign citizenship – a citizen of the United States.
So while those nine signers who were not born here were not naturally born on this soil, they were subjects of the same sovereign as those who were born here.
Yes, the argument during the time was that they did not have representation in Parliament. But the colonies were still part of the empire. There was no sovereign nation to immigrate to.
Obamas pathetic attempt to scold us and feel bad about our history is the typical progressive approach. We’re a nation of bigots and haters, a country with a seedy past that committed atrocities.
Listen, if you hate our past so much, why stay?
I recall Michael Medved making a statement about this line of thinking several years ago. I will do my best to paraphrase:
The difference between conservatives and progressives is that conservatives love America for what she is, and progressives love America for what she could be. Try using that logic on your wife and see what happens.