Lady Gaga’s halftime performance during Super Bowl 51 is evidence of the unifying power of patriotism. Despite pregame speculation that Gaga could utilize her platform to promote a political agenda, she delivered a largely nonpartisan show that satisfied and entertained a diverse group of people across the political spectrum. Perhaps Gaga’s decision to employ patriotism and inclusiveness rather than a divisive rhetoric was influenced by Beyoncé’s performance at last year’s Super Bowl that essentially alienated a considerable portion of her audience.

Patriotism is inherently unifying. But anti-patriotism seeks to divide by race, class, gender and other arbitrary distinctions. Patriotism brings people to their feet while anti-patriotism seeks to bring any and all reasoned opposition to its knees. Perhaps this explains the appeal of Gaga’s performance.

Predictable media response

The left’s reaction to Gaga’s performance is telling. Rather than appreciating her show for its genuine inclusiveness, some have criticized her for not taking the opportunity to publicly denounce Trump. This suggests that in spite of their calls for unity, progressives’ true goal is to divide. In contrast to the unifying concept of patriotism, which respects the rights of all individuals by bringing them together under a single banner and set of values, leftism seeks to split the nation into a series of voting blocs.

By politicizing things as inherently apolitical as the Super Bowl, leftists achieve nothing but further division. Of course, when your entire belief system and its continued success is predicated upon exploiting those divisions, that is the intended result.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons that so many on the political left engage in such rabid opposition to our new government. Throughout the recent election season, many Republican leaders have presented one consistent narrative: American exceptionalism. It seems that, until recently, patriotism as an ideology existed above the two-party spectrum. That both Democrats and Republicans accepted it as a precondition of life in the United States. But if this past election has proven anything, it’s that this is no longer the case. In a world in which patriotism has been associated solely with conservatism, those who espouse it without apology, irrespective of race, gender or creed, pose a threat to those who seek to divide.