By Larry Greenfield
Superman, the character created in 1938 whose deeds inspired generations of young Americans, renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011, for the 900th issue of Action Comics. The fictional patriotic warrior for American values stated: “Truth, justice, and the American way — it’s not enough anymore.” Further: “I intend to speak before the United Nations and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship. I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.”
Superman is not alone: today, UN mandates seek to regulate individual free speech and gun ownership rights — Agenda 21 pushes global regulation over private property rights.
Also, global governance advocates assert international legal authority over American national interests. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry ran for president in 2004 promising “a global test” for U.S. foreign policy; running for president in 2008, Barack Obama declared himself “a citizen of the world.” The post-WWII bipartisan security consensus endorsed by Truman, JFK, and “Scoop” Jackson has been replaced with a foreign policy that rejects American exceptionalism and seeks to engage enemies and to lead from behind.
Only two modern presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, never wore the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States. Sixteen million Americans served abroad in World War II, and millions more served on the home front.
The Boston Tea Party of 1773 challenged British rule and taxation without representation, and established the American belief in individual rights, limited government, and local control over our lives. The Civil War tax was temporary and set at 3%, and the initial low federal income tax was not constitutionally authorized until 1913 and applied to only the top 1% of the citizenry.
Today, the Internal Revenue Code is 17,000 pages long, and mandates the highest corporate tax rate among Western economies. Many Americans bear an astonishing 50%- plus tax burden from federal and state income, estate, social security, Medicare, workman’s compensation, real property, excise, and fuel taxes, among many other assessments, duties fees, fines, and imposed costs. And now, the Obamacare health care insurance mandates are justified by the Supreme Court as a previously unconstitutional un-apportioned direct tax on every American.
Federalism has collapsed under an unlimited Commerce Clause and an expanding imperial judiciary. The U.S Constitution was ratified as the “supreme law of the land” to be changed only by amendment, until progressives like Woodrow Wilson asserted a living Constitution that evolves over time. Today, Justice Ginsburg denigrates the U.S. Constitution, which she was sworn to protect and defend. Judges now cite foreign law in their rulings, and Georgetown University Law Center Professor Louis Seidman suggests Americans should now disobey the “bondage” of a Constitution that President Obama has called “fatally flawed.”
The American founding was rooted in Judeo-Christian civilization. Americans knew the Hebrew Bible and were deeply rooted in Christian faith. Even as the framers protected religious liberty, they overwhelmingly agreed with President George Washington’s repeated assertions that “religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
Today, polls reveal a growing minority of Americans are disaffiliated from organized religion, with many claiming to be agnostic or atheistic. Citizens take offense to religious voices in the public square, and litigate against graduation prayers, Christmas holiday displays, the Pledge of Allegiance’s “Under God,” and our currency’s “In God We Trust.”
Traditional legal norms of family, including limiting marriage to male-female unions and restricting adoption to married couples, are collapsing. Waves of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century were implored by President Theodore Roosevelt to join together, as he deplored “hyphenated Americanism.” Today, multiculturalists reject the positive assimilation implied by e pluribus unum, and balkanize our society with racial preferences.
Among the past heroes of American life were corporate citizens. The mobilization of American industry, technology, and materiel production over the course of WWII benefited from the greatest generation of business leaders, engineers, production managers, and workers, who lifted the United States out of the Great Depression and powered the Allies to victory. Today, corporate America is denigrated, even while many U.S.- based corporations can no longer be said to be American patriots; their workforce and sales are international.
American innovation both promoted and benefited from the space race. Today, Mr. Obama has lowered his sights, cut NASA spending, and opposed lunar exploration and continued human spaceflight.
Policymakers previously sought to incentivize both work and charity through welfare reform and tax cuts. Today, Mr. Obama promotes dependency and demoralizes taxpayers by taunting: “You didn’t build that.”
The American people reelected a president mentored by anti-American radicals and who has no business background. He advocates economic redistributive change — stealing our children’s future by building a national debt even he once claimed was “unpatriotic.”
American arts once examined and critiqued society in a patriotic way: think Mark Twain and Will Rogers. Norman Rockwell and Irving Berlin celebrated our nation. 1940s Hollywood rallied to the troops. Today, filmmakers like Oliver Stone  simply fantasize historical events in their movies and television documentaries to diminish an America long admired by dissidents and freedom fighters around the globe. Recent Iraq war films were deeply unsupportive of the war effort. Hollywood is not just culturally left wing; it now tells stories primarily for international audiences and profits.
Academic scholars were once proudly diverse and intellectually unpredictable. Today, academic bias is notorious, and social science leftism is monolithic on university campuses. The most widely used U.S. high school history textbook, by Howard Zinn, deconstructs American goodness.
American leadership, liberty, prosperity, security, and virtue are all challenged by those who wish to denounce, deconstruct, and redefine America. The first lady famously stated she had never been proud of her country until her husband’s election. The Obama administration’s campaign to “fundamentally transform” the United States has many allies, and is winning.