Ilhan Omar–Unwelcome Guest

Ilhan Omar's campaign slogan was "Send Her Back"--to Congress, of course. There is no doubt that the Congress of the United States  deserves a member as loose in her financial dealings as in her intimate life,  but it is not to Washington but to Mogadishu that she should be sent.

"Oh, but you're being racist, sexist, and everything else unawakened.  The question of expelling Omar is much simpler than considerations of race and sex or even morality.  She is a guest in our c country, a visitor who has been welcomed with open arms--and open purse.  Educated by the taxpayers and nurtured by a father with a government job, she has turned on her adopted country, which she condemns as a terrorist state.

I should never deny that America has committed many crimes or that our foreign policy throughout my lifetimes has spawned a series of criminal follies, but as a bona fide American who loves his country, I have the right--as do most of my readers--to criticize my country as I would criticize my family in the hope of steering it in the right direction or, at least, of opening a few minds.

When I have traveled as journalist, editor, and political analyst, I have frequently been asked to comment on the politics and politicians of the place I am visiting.  I try to give the clearest expression to my opinion that I can, but when asked flat out if the government of Italy is a criminal conspiracy or if the Mafia runs Sicily or whether or not Slobodan Milosevic was a brutal tyrant, I always try to answer that it is not the mark of a good guest to attack his hosts or to involve himself in their family struggles.

"Oh," you might say, "But she is a naturalized citizen."  Yes, naturalized but not natural born.  While citizenship confers certain rights and duties, the office she has sought and won requires in principle a good faith effort to work for the security and improvement of the country.  A relentless and low minded attack on the country that has given refuge to her family is a strong indication of her loathing for all things American, and her whining about schoolyard bullying is one more conventional arrow in the leftist anti-American quiver.

If the useless Republicans can do nothing else in their miserable careers, at least they might issue a condemnation of her behavior, a demand for her expulsion, and begin proceedings to have her stripped of the citizenship she does not deserve.  But they are incapable even of a futile symbolic gesture.

In one sense Ilhan Omar is correct.  This must be a rotten country.  Otherwise we should not be putting up with her for a single day.

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

20 Responses

  1. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    But don’t the Gopher-Staters get the government Gopher-Staters deserve? Are they happy? Meanwhile, our best elected official here in the Peach State is Marjorie Taylor Greene. Draw what conclusions you will.

  2. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    Minnesota has the highest population of Somalis because the government takes advantage of any organization whatsoever that gives even the slightest hint or inclination toward human decency. In a sense Omar is the exact opposite of the folks who gave her family refuge from the hell hole that is Somalia. Christians are probably one of the most exploited groups in the country today but saying so is so obvious as to be stupid.
    I always smile when Joe Biden or Pope Francis bring a load of refugees back from their travels to demonstrate by example their humanitarian love for everything and everybody. yet inwardly are ravenous wolves. Pope Francis I remember carried sera back to Rome on one of his journeys and then was slapping some poor oriental woman in Vatican square who rudely grabbed his hand and held on as if to demand his attention.
    There is a huge difference between living with the exploited masses and abstractly defending them or caring for them in the abstract. It is rather a long story about the old woman from Albania, (of all places) who actually walked the walk and only rarely talked about it or advertised it and then only when asked by her superiors to do so. What a contrast to the pretenders! One reason I believe her character and work is often culminated by the same folks who love to praise the gestures and compassion of the likes of Joe Biden and his enablers. I saw where conservative activist David Horowitz has a best seller out about the plot to degrade and destroy what’s left of the Christian faith. How appropriate that a man who has attempted marriage four or five times , who never met a war in the middle wast he didn’t like and who is not a professing Christian, yet he should write the popular pot boiler, sell it to those he is tying to save from their enemies, then on to the next act of spreading democracy and freedom throughout the world. When you think it all through there is not a helluva lot of difference between these characters because wickedness has a boring similarity.

  3. Avatar Clyde Wilson says:

    A few of us are old enough to remember when Minnesota had a 1% black population and led the way in demanding that the South with its heavy black population be reconstructed. Their current condition could not happen to a better group of people. Also, it is good to have such folks in Congress because they can say what no one else is allowed to say.

  4. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    Dr Wilson is completely right. Hubert Humphrey had one hissy fit per day over civil rights in the South. And the Congress is supposed to have its fair share of lunatics. They reflect their districts to a large degree, and one knows to steer clear of both the place and the wingnuts who live there. By the way, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district is safe, pretty, and filled mostly with solid salt of the earth people.

  5. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    I agree entirely with both Prof Wilson and with Ken the refugee. I used to see a bumper sticker in Wisconsin: “Friends don’t let friends go to Minnesota.” They brought it entirely on themselves. Minnesota–or at least the Twin Cities–are a good deal like Rockford. They were settled early by Yankees, who were followed by Germans and Scandinavians who were remade in the Yankee mold. In his not terribly good book on the history of fictional Lake Woebegone, Garrison Keillor gets that much right: It’s a deadly combination of arrogance, hypocrisy, and irreligion. Now, to be fair to Ray Olson and a million or so Minnesotans, there are many parts of the wretched state that are more like Wisconsin or the Dakotas, but if we can judge a state by its political class, whew! Harold Stassen, Happy Hubert Humphrey, Rudy “Governor Goofy” Perpich, Walter Mondale, Jesse Ventura, Paul Wellstone, Al Franken, Ilhan Omar, and that fearless champion of civil rights for Southern Blacks–Rudy Boschwitz.

    llinois by contrast is simply a place of crooks and buffoons like George Ryan, Jim Ryan, Al the Pal Dixon, Rad Blagojevic, the Daleys, and the petty crook with the ironic nickname of “Honest” Abe.

    Minnesota certainly deserves Ilhan Omar, as does the Congress, but, fair or not, I favor immediate deportation of the whining little crook.

  6. Avatar James D. says:

    I’ve encountered some decent folks and excellent fishing up around Rainy Lake. International Falls is tolerable about 60 days a year. It has a municipal bar open 24 hours a day and three happy hours to accommodate the ending of each shift at the paper mill. The jukebox in the “muni” has the entire Hank Williams box set.

  7. Avatar Roger McGrath says:

    The Somali problem in Minnesota has more to do with the Federal government and the Refugee Act of 1980 than with the Minnesotans themselves, although I wouldn’t argue with what’s been said about the Gopher State. The Refugee Act amended our Immigration and Nationality Act, which had favored refugees from behind the Iron Curtain–but that was “racist,” of course, because those refugees were white. The Refugee Act also redefined who was refugee to comport with the United Nations definition. That definition is so broad that half the world’s population is included. In 1999 the UN High Commission for Refugees declared the Somali Bantu refugees and the U.S. agreed to resettle them. They should have been resettled in their ancestral homeland, Tanzania, but instead were brought to America. Most of them were first settled in Clarkston, next-door to Atlanta, but problems developed with their American black neighbors. Most Americans didn’t hear about it because the problems were not with their white neighbors. Many Somali began moving to a new relocation settlement, Lewiston, Maine, which had been nearly 98% white. They found public housing and welfare benefits far better. More than a hundred Somalis poured into Lewiston every month until public housing and schools were overwhelmed. Mayor Laurier Raymond said Lewiston was “maxed out financially, physically and emotionally” and asked Somali leaders to discourage migration to Lewiston. He was immediately denounced as a racist, bigot, and xenophobe and the U.S. Department of Justice was called upon to launch an investigation. From there the Somalis have spread to wherever there are generous welfare benefits and public housing. Now there are tens of thousands of them here and more than 50% of them were on the dole.

  8. Avatar Raymond Olson says:

    Oh, you’re right, we Minnesotans have the congressional representation we deserve, and I, for one, am happy that we do. I’m not Rep. Omar’s constituent, of course, so maybe that’s easy for me to say. The many constituents of hers that I know and have known for decades aren’t all completely satisfied with her, and one of them, at least, publicly supported her primary opponent in 2020 after supporting her in 2018. Yet they’re not going to call her a “guest”, a “visitor” who shouldn’t criticize her tolerant host. (Does naturalization NOT confer the exercise of the privileges of citizenship?) On reading the recent comments that have induced hysteria in incredible partisans, my
    reaction was, Well, she is saying what others as highly placed as her might not say, but she is not off-base in comparing desperate U.S. military overkill to similar but more modest and easily reported actions by Israel, Hamas, and the other usual suspects in the Middle East. She didn’t call out the U.S. as an evil country that I saw. Moreover, it is only a tendentious reading of her criticisms to say that they indicate that she is NOT working “for the security and improvement of the country [by which is understood the country of her citizenship, the U.S.]”.

    I’m becoming hardened in my suspicion that these attacks on Rep. Omar and the other members of “the Squad” are less consequential than Great Aunt Letitia’s swooning spells. Quick! The smelling salts!

  9. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    Mr McGrath is correct in the legality supporting the various influxes but you still need boots on the ground to get them settled and in Minnesota it was the Lutheran Social services practicing ordinary Christian hospitality that the government exploited. In other areas like Texas or New Mexico it is Catholic social relief services that the government exploits. I like the farmers and ordinary citizens of Minnesota that I have met. Their winters are brutal, yet their people remain hospitable and cheerful, their state is gorgeous with its silver lakes in the Spring and Summer along with its inland ocean that borders but like so many places down South, once the destroyers discover it and start moving in, it overwhelms the fragile elegance and wholesome existence becomes a caricature of the original sturdy goodness and simplicity—- much like Garrison Keeler did in amassing a fortune through his mass popularizations and subtle sophistry.

  10. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    Dr McGrath is completely right about the Somalis in the Clarkston/Atlanta area. Clarkston is a big refugee resettlement suburb, and the housing prices have declined accordingly. The NGO/Catholic Charities lefties are a real pestilence there.

    Talk about your intersectionality in action, it’s there to be found. My ex-wife had a left-do-gooder friend who worked with a lot of the Bosnian Muslims, they brought over in the mid-90s. Some of the small children were getting beaten to a pulp by bigger black kids at the school bus stops, as the black mothers looked on. This do-gooder woman and a number of other NGO activists, persuaded the wealthy business folks in Atlanta to give them funding for a charter school with a Kumbaya UN tie-in. Then, of course, they conveniently never mentioned who was doing the beating. They just made a point of saying how unjust it was that now, after surviving the evil Serbs in Sarajevo, they had to put up with prejudice in the South. You were meant to draw the inference that Bubba was the beater.

    For the record, I live in the Georgia 5th district, fiefdom for many years of the late civil rights demigod John “Have I mentioned Selma in the past five minutes” Lewis. So I am looking for a place where my refugee status will be accepted for asylum.

  11. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    Dear Ken,
    When you said, “I am looking for a place where my refugee status will be accepted for asylum “ it made me think of Toms quote above “when asked flat out if the government of Italy is a criminal conspiracy or if the Mafia runs Sicily or whether or not Slobodan Milosevic was a brutal tyrant, I always try to answer that it is not the mark of a good guest to attack his hosts or to involve himself in their family struggles.”
    I am fast becoming this stranger (or guest) in my own country so if you find a place let me know. Hope to see you at the summer school otherwise known as the mini-camp for asylum seekers.

  12. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    Judge, I think we will only find our true asylum in Heaven. But I will surely let you know if I find a place. And it goes without saying that we should only move to a place if we are prepared to be content living as the natives do. That includes embracing all of the traditions they’ve had since before the Sixties.

    But I must interrupt this comment stream to wish Dr Clyde Wilson all the best on his birthday. I will only say it’s a round number milestone. Also, that he can thank his wonderful protege Dissident Mama for ratting him out. Happy Birthday, Sir!! And many more.

  13. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    Dr Wilson is one of the last of the real college professors who loved his subject, was gifted in teaching it and probably even respected his University. I hope he continues to bring frustration to all his feckless enemies and delight to all his friends with many more birthdays. ( And pithy contributions to the Fleming Foundation conversations)

  14. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    Don’t forget all the PhD candidates he directed. That’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  15. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    The question of who is a guest in a country and what one is entitled to say is, as Ray suggests, not so simple as I have made out. He asks one of the questions introduced in Latin by nonne Does naturalization NOT confer the exercise of the privileges of citizenship? To answer the question, we should begin by emending the verb “confer.” If an exercise is conferred, then presumably it is automatic, whereas the privileges of citizenship have to be used actively. I MAY choose, as a naturalized citizen or subject, to vote, hold office, serve on juries, etc., but, then again, I may not.

    So the question is does naturalization confer the right to exercise the privileges of citizenship? Mostly, but they still may not be elected President. A related question is the requirements for naturalization. In earlier periods, there were long residency requirements.

    But my statement had nothing to do with the laws on naturalization and everything to do with manners and morals. A good parallel is the position of an older child adopted, say, at the age of 10 or 12. If he is smart, he will avoid presuming to be on equal terms with natural-born children. The position is rather like that of Tom Hagen in The Godfather. In the case of Omar, she came here with a family that for one reason or another were in trouble in their homeland. Her father eventually got a federal job that might have gone to an actual American. She received all sorts of benefits, including protection from the religious persecution and sexual harassment to which she would have been subject in her homeland. She either had an incestuous marriage or lied about her relationship. Now, she feels entitled to sit in the seat of judgment on the people who were dumb enough to take her in. Doesn’t like it here, poor dear? Go back to Somalia, one of the nastiest places on earth. I might agree entirely with her critique of the US, but I have not lived my life off the sweat of the people who took in my family. It’s a bit like my position on criticizing the US military. I kept out of the military–though with physical conditions that probably would have made it impossible. Still, I chose actively not to serve and thus forfeited my right to pontificate on hazing, discipline, etc. On general policies, such as permitting women to serve, I have a right to an opinion but not on whether or not soldier X was justified in taking a particular action.

    It goes without saying that I think our immigration policy has been a disaster from the beginning. We should only take in people who are an asset to the country as a whole, not refugees, losers, criminals. Citizenship should only be granted to people who have been law-abiding, peaceful, loyal and productive tax-payers, who have not lived off welfare, received government scholarships or jobs, or joined interest groups hostile to the American interest.

    Send her back, and, since we won’t or can’t, frankly, I’d rather give the land back to the Indians.

  16. Avatar Raymond Olson says:

    Dr. Wilson–Accept my belated best wishes for your birthday. Yesterday, I wore out my relationship with my laptop responding to requests directed to me on another string of this site. I still recommend to others the book you recommended to me on the history of Reconstruction, The Story of Reconstruction by Ralph Selph Henry.

  17. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    Dr Fleming,
    I think your reasoning is sound. It is almost impossible for me to understand the present conditions or logic behind them. In the 1970s the old French missionary who had worked in Africa, Marcel Lefebvre, was telling and predicting to the French people exactly what has come to pass today —-No-go zones, Islamic mosques replacing Christian churches and the consequences of asserting every religion to be as good as every other. It is strange that moral equivalency is preached from every pulpit today except in Israel and they are of course correct in refusing it. I wish their younger brothers in faith would take notice.

  18. Avatar Clyde Wilson says:

    Ray, many thanks for your unfailing generosity. I’m at 80 now, so Dr. Fleming remains, as always, my junior.

  19. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    By a good–and I do mean good–four years. Belated birthday wishes, ancient one.

  20. Avatar Frank Brownlow says:

    I was first here on a visitor’s visa, then as a green card holder. During that time it was my rule never to volunteer an opinion about US politics. I was impressed, too, when the process of becoming a citizen required me to demonstrate a pretty good knowledge of US history & the constitution. But then when I was sitting in a cubicle being orally examined on these matters I could not help hearing the examiner in the next cubicle getting nowhere with his student, and being reduced finally to asking, “Does the name Thomas Jefferson mean anything at all to you?” Silence.
    I suspect that the squaddies, quizzed on US history and culture, would not do very well.