It’s an oft-noted irony that no one seems to criticize America more than Americans. As many of us geared up to celebrate the birth of our great country and enjoy our time with friends and family, others among us just couldn’t resist taking a swipe at Old Glory.

And these others who decided to attack and criticize America on Independence Day weren’t just random nobodies. They were people and institutions who sat at the very heights of American power. One of these institutions was the Old Gray Lady herself — The New York Times.

There’s something surreal about a country’s most powerful and prominent institutions working overtime to subvert that country, but this is now the world that we live in.

Attack the Flag, Divide the Country

On July 3, The New York Times decided to tweet the following from its official Twitter account: “Today, flying the American flag from the back of a pickup truck or over a lawn is increasingly seen as a clue, albeit an imperfect one, to a person’s political affiliation in a deeply divided nation.”

There are two different levels from which this tweet can be analyzed, both of which are accurate.

The first is to look at the tweet as a cynical move to divide the country and stir the pot even further. After all, the American flag is the most basic and foundational symbol of our country.

If it doesn’t unite us as Americans, what does? The Times is just fanning the flames of division even further and trying to draw in clicks.

On another level, though, there’s something disturbingly accurate about this tweet. Like it or not, the basic framework of American values is coming apart. Americans can’t seem to agree on much of anything anymore. Increasing numbers of young people no longer think that freedom of speech is an important value and believe that socialism is attractive. Millions have already been indoctrinated to believe that America is “systemically racist” — a meaningless term that, in practice, only thinly veils the anti-white racism of those who use it. Tens of millions of people believed — and some presumably still do believe — that Donald Trump is a Russian agent.

It’s true that the media bears the lion’s share of the blame for this division, but it’s undeniable that the division does exist. By stoking the flames of division, The New York Times has helped create the “deeply divided nation” that it talks about.

That brings up a disturbing question that will have increasing relevance in the coming years: If about half of a nation believes that that nation’s most basic symbols — its flag, its national anthem, its founders and founding documents — are fundamentally evil and illegitimate, then is that nation really even a nation anymore?