William F. B. O'Reilly is a consultant to Republicans.
Dear Islamic State:
Give up now.
There's not going to be a civil war in the United States between Americans of Muslim faith and the rest of us. Americans don't roll that way.
Sure, you can get inside the heads of a few lost souls. You can bring them to Saudi Arabia and convince them to shoot up a mall or a picnic or a party, but it's not going to make us turn on ourselves.
In fact, right now -- at this very moment -- tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants are happily assimilating as Americans. They're peacefully living next to Jews and Christians and Hindus, and that's just fine. See "Melting Pot" in the Dictionary of American Colloquialisms.
And while you're reading, you might look up Charles Manson, too. You'd like him. He was another psychotic killer who dreamed of starting a war in the United States. His plan was to turn black against white, with him leading African Americans, of course. But it didn't quite go that way for pasty white Manson; instead he's been decaying in a prison cell for the past 45 years with a swastika carved into his forehead.
But I digress.
This melting pot thing I mention is a pretty big deal. I don't know whether you can wrap your minds around it, but try. What it means is that you butt out of your neighbor's religious business, he butts out of yours, and everyone shares Thanksgiving together for the joy of having escaped places where grudges can last for 1,000 years or more. In other words, we all become Americans first, and whatever we were before second.
It doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes we call each other names when we're angry. Sometimes we even fight. When my father was a kid growing up in 1920s Brooklyn, the Irish and Italians boys used to rumble by filling up their mother's stockings with flour and beating one another over the head with them. But it was almost unfair: My father's Irish crew adopted a secret weapon. A big, tall Syrian fella named Nunu.
Maybe you've heard of him?
All in all, though, things have worked out really well for melting pot America. We've got great food -- you can eat Polish for breakfast, Indian for lunch and Greek for dinner -- we've got all sorts of cool looking people from generations of mixed marriages, and you should hear what we've done with music. It actually evolves.
If you think you're division tactics are going to mess up 240 years of that, think again.
All you're going to get is Americans of every conceivable hue and religion assembled against you. And when we come, I bet you don't notice what any of them used to be. You will simply cry out, "here come the Americans."
William F. B. O'Reilly is a Republican consultant.