So what should be done about this? A few progressives—the real radicals, the ones who are not afraid to speak their inner mind—do not hesitate to say it: America should be destroyed.
For my America film I interviewed the radical activist Ward Churchill. I asked him where today is the “evil empire.” He said, “You’re in it.” He added that the world would be better off if America, like Nazi Germany, were destroyed. I asked him bluntly if he would be satisfied if a bomb could be detonated that would wipe out America. In a calm tone, he replied, “Yes.” So this is the extreme progressive view.
But there is also a rival view, which we can call the mainstream progressive or Obama view. This view agrees with the diagnosis of America but provides a different remedy. The mainstream progressive remedy is guilt and atonement. Americans, in this view, should feel guilty about what they have done and continue to do. Moreover, Americans—especially those who are productive and successful—must realize that their wealth is illegitimate and must be returned to its rightful owners. Obama clearly believes this.
Why do the media give him a perpetual honeymoon? There is a one-word answer: slavery. America’s national guilt over slavery continues to benefit Obama, who ironically is not himself descended from slaves.
Obama insists these inequalities are undeserved; as he famously told a crowd of supporters, “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Obama seems convinced that wealth is at best appropriated or at worst stolen rather than earned. He seeks to use his power to take it back. He intends to redistribute the money in America and around the world.
Obama’s approach is supported by a theme in philosophy that goes under the name of “stolen goods.” The basic idea is simple: if you are in possession of stolen goods, you have to return them. If you have acquired wealth by stealing, or if you inherit goods that your ancestors stole from others, it’s not enough to say sorry or to provide token compensation. No, you must return what isn’t yours, and if you’ve used the wealth to accumulate more, then you must return that too.17 So if it is true that America was built on stealing, and that America’s abundance is the product of theft, then America as a nation is indefensible, inexcusable, and under obligation to undo the crimes she has committed and continues to perpetrate on her own citizens and on the rest of the world. Undoing America’s crimes—and if necessary undoing America in the process: this is a summary of the progressive agenda. This is the progressive case for American suicide.