Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Remarks on H. Res. 489 - Trump Racism Resolution

July 16, 2019
Congressman McClintock today delivered the following remarks on the House floor.  The Congressman voted NO on H. Res. 489.
H. Res. 489
July 16, 2019
Mr. Speaker:
We have unfortunately entered a period of our history when our political rhetoric has become hyperbolic, while our political views are becoming increasingly irreconcilable.  We would all be well advised not to continue down this path.
“America, love it or leave it” is not a new sentiment or a radical sentiment and it is certainly not a racist sentiment.  It should remind us of commonly held and enduring founding principles that ought to unite us as Americans: respect for the rule of law, and the uniquely American principles of individual liberty, constitutionally limited government and personal responsibility that have produced the happiest, most productive and most powerful nation in the history of the world.
Every nation has a right to protect its culture, traditions, institutions and principles.  This fundamental consensus is what binds us together and unites us as a free people – and it is what makes possible all the compromises and accommodations required by democratic self-government.   We have entered an era when that consensus is breaking down.  We have seen a growing hostility to our American founders, our American founding principles, and our proud American heritage.  
LEGAL immigration – immigrants who come to our country by obeying our laws, respecting our nation’s sovereignty and bringing with them a sincere desire to embrace our Constitution and the principles of liberty that animate and inform our form of government -- is integral to that process.  Some of the most patriotic Americans I know are LEGAL immigrants who obeyed our laws, who waited patiently in line and who did everything our country asked of them.  Some of the most UNpatriotic Americans I know were born here and have enjoyed all the blessings of liberty without ever appreciating or even understanding the principles that produced our nation’s greatness and its goodness.
Socialism and slavery spring from the same principle – in Lincoln’s words,  “the same spirit that says, ‘you work and toil and make bread, and I will eat it.’”  He reminded us that a “House divided against itself cannot stand.”  He said, “I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect that it will cease to be divided.  It must become all one thing or all the other.”  
He understood that freedom and slavery were antithetical, and though they may be held together in a temporary accommodation, they could not coexist for long.  Today we face the same conflict between freedom and socialism.  It is time to choose.  
I wish the President were more temperate in the words he sometimes uses, and I agree that the tone of his recent remarks was unnecessarily provocative.  But his central point is irrefutable: there is no requirement for those who hate our country to remain here, when there are so many other countries with different principles and values to choose from, that have, in turn, produced very different results.  
That is as true of those born here as those who have come here from abroad.  The President spoke not of race, but of patriotism.  American patriotism.  To call that racist fundamentally misunderstands and misrepresents the question before our country today.