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Tags: 90 day fiance | democrats | america | patriotism

Democrats Wrong to Slam America — '90 Day Fiancé' Proves It's Great

Democrats Wrong to Slam America — '90 Day Fiancé' Proves It's Great
In this July 23, 2019 photo, Pedro Jimeno, left, and Chantel Everett pose for a portrait to promote the "90 Day Fiance" show in Los Angeles. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Dennis Kneale By Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:45 PM Current | Bio | Archive

If you have been watching the Democrat debates across the summer, you have heard an unending stream of dark and despairing descriptions of America from enough liberals to field an entire football team. All of them vowing to rescue us from the horrors of President Trump.

They described a government that wants to lock up women and children, take away our healthcare, beat up on immigrants and, as Cory Booker put it, “truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country.” After all, America was built on slavery, and that legacy continues (Beto O’Rourke). We endure “environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, healthcare racism” (Elizabeth Warren).

So depressing — so I switched to TLC for a better and brighter view of America, as a shining city on a hill where we know we are the envy of the world. A land of milk and honey where foreigners want to win entry so badly they might be willing to fake a romantic flame and marry a virtual stranger just to get here.

That is to say, I started binge-watching TLC’s epic reality-TV franchise, “90 Day Fiancé.”

The series, which dawned in 2014 and spawned six spinoffs, all of them still on-air, is based on a simple premise: an American meets a foreigner, in person or online, and they want to marry. Maybe. The American files a K1 visa application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If it is approved, the foreigner comes to the U.S. and must close the deal and marry his or her betrothed Yankee within 90 days. Or go back home.

Going back home is a bitter setback when you hail from a country where jobs are scarce, pay is puny, your parents dominate your life decisions, and your home lacks running water or air-conditioning or even screens on the windows, conditions we see on “90 Day Fiancé.” Americans of various stripes woo dates from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Moldova, and a village in Brazil reachable only by a three-day boat trip up the Amazon.

But does she (or he) really love me — or does she just love America? Therein lies the central conflict in the whorl of emotions on “90 Day Fiancé”: hope and fear, love and deception, loyalty and betrayal, and — always — an abiding faith by both the American and the overseas squeeze that this is the place to be.

In a recent episode of “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90,” we see Angela, a 52-year-old grandma in Hazlehurst, Georgia, agonizing over whether to marry Michael, a 30-year-old man in Nigeria who displays a framed photo of President Trump (“my business mentor”) at home. She’s upset that he has a thousand women in his Instagram feed and a case of foot-in-mouth disease: he has said “she’s fat” and that she is “my elder.”

Angela visits Michael in Nigeria and, at a final meeting, reaches into her blouse and pulls out a small, folded cloth and hands it to him. “What is that?” he asks. It is a miniature flag wrapped around a wedding band. Angela: “That’s the American flag. It means you’re going to America!” He hugs her and weeps (and so did I). Then he goes on bended knee and proposes: “Will you be my woman?” She accepts.

Later Michael beams: “USA here I come! Donald Trump, I’m coming to see you!”

Meanwhile, Rebecca, a 47-year-old redhead in Canton, Georgia, wants a K1 for 26-year-old Zied in Tunisia, but her son cautions her that “people are paying to get married to come here.” Out of earshot, her daughter-in-law tells viewers: “As of right now, I wouldn’t trust Zied as far as I can throw him.”

Likewise, on “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90,” Tarik, 43, a rapper in Virginia Beach, Virginia, falls for a Filipino woman who is 25. He wants to apply for the K1, but his younger brother Dean warns him: “She wants to come to America. A con artist is a con artist!” Later, it’s Dean who falls for a different Filipino lass — and now it is Tarik’s turn to worry that she’s just in it for the green card.

The best illustration of this version of America the Beautiful may be the newest “90 Day” spinoff, “The Family Chantel.” Chantel, 25, is, as they used to say, a great catch: resourceful and strong-willed, a nursing student in Atlanta who also works in a doctor’s office. Endowed with good looks, she is so devoted to her husband, Pedro, age 26 and from “the D-R” (Dominican Republic) that she also studies Spanish to communicate better with him. His flamboyantly broken English gave the new show its title.

Yet the family Chantel still suspects, three years in, that Pedro and his family are using her “to get their hands on the American dollar,” as her mom puts it. The mom hired a private detective to investigate. As for Pedro, with his puppy-dog eyes, ripped biceps, and six-pack abs, he is deeply offended that his in-laws think “that I do a scam to Chantel.”

At the same time, he admits to the camera that, yes, he hopes to bring his mom and sister here to live with him and Chantel, though they are her bitter enemies. “I no have tell Chantel yet. I’m scared,” Pedro reveals. Why do it then?

“Because,” Pedro says, “being in the United States is a dream. It’s the American Dream.” His mom agrees, noting she wants to come here “to go shopping, see the big buildings and see the malls.” In the U.S. “big doors could open” for her daughter (Pedro’s sister), the mother notes. She paraphrases an old Dominican saying: “He who dies without seeing the U.S., dies blind.” Ah yes, America the Beautiful. Loving that.

Dennis Kneale is a writer and media strategist in New York. Previously he was an anchor at CNBC and at Fox Business Network, after serving as a senior editor at The Wall Street Journal and managing editor of Forbes. He helped write “Wealth Mismanagement: A Wall Street Insider on the Dirty Secrets of Financial Advisers and How to Protect Your Portfolio,” by Ed Butowsky, published in August 2019 by Post Hill Press. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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If you have been watching the Democrat debates across the summer, you have heard an unending stream of dark and despairing descriptions of America from enough liberals to field an entire football team.
90 day fiance, democrats, america, patriotism
Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:45 PM
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