Monday, May 10, 2010

What Does the Left Love About America?

Remember when President Obama said this:

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism..."


Of course, the president had no way of knowing that a year later the idea of Greece being exceptional in any way other than its residents’ ability to cook up a mean lamb dish would be laughable. But the message that Obama was trying to convey at the time was perfectly obvious. In his view, there was nothing special about America. It was just another landmass surrounded by water. Our flag was, just another piece of cloth, representing no more than any other piece of fabric that waves over a nation’s capitol building.

This should come as no surprise. Despite its protestations, the Left’s belief that patriotism is little more than an irrational love for the soil and gravel that one calls “home” is well documented. But since the Obama era began and the goal of “fundamentally transforming America” has begun to be realized, questions of how the Left really views America are being asked more frequently by those on the Right.

Under Obama’s “Greek exceptionalism” theory, America has no special purpose. It is not inherently good or evil in the grand scheme of recent history. Rather it is simply another player--a giant floating rock, whose inhabitants and government have gotten lucky both economically and militarily on a number of occasions.

But does Obama really revere America? If so, what does he love about it? He has never really explained this in terms that go beyond his own personal experiences in this country which have culminated in his ascension to the presidency. If he does love America, why is he so determined to fundamentally change so many of the things that have made us so influential and prosperous and instead lead us down a path that would make us more like Greece?

Those on the Left bristle at any implication that they lack patriotism, even though many on the Left believe that “patriotism” is a foolish concept to begin with. But it’s a fair question.

We know that many on the Left see America as a racist, homophobic place, a nation in which there is an unacceptable gap between the “haves” and the “have nots,” a nation whose elites have used their power to exploit the poor, both at home and abroad; an imperialist force that has used its military might to gain undue influence over others and gain access to their resources, indiscriminately killing innocent civilians in the process. To top it all off, these progressives see the United States as the primary culprit in the slow murder of Mother Earth.

Now, if I felt that any assertion in the previous paragraph was an accurate description of my country, I would not be a very proud citizen. If I believed any of these things, I’m pretty sure I would despise this country.

So obviously, the Left can’t have it both ways. They cannot profess to love this country, yet at the very same time hate almost everything about it. So which is it, progressives? What do you “love” about America? Do you love what we are and how we became what we are, or do you love our potential to be something that we are not?

This question helps explain the Tea Party movement and its recent battles with the Obama administration and pro-administration forces within the mainstream media. The Tea Partiers’ view the government as having made many good choices in the pre-Obama era. They believe that our avoidance of European style entitlements, high taxes and social democracy helped make the United States the most prosperous society in history with a standard of living that is second to none. They see our willingness to expend blood and treasure in our efforts to bring fundamental, natural rights to oppressed people as noble, if not always well executed, endeavors. Finally, they see Obama and his congressional allies as having a mindset and agenda that is antithetical to the successes that America has had over the last three decades. They rightfully recognize that if Obama succeeds, the American ideal fails.

To Obama’s credit is his understanding that he can only go so far in apologizing for what he views as America’s recent mistakes and excesses. He knows that political prudence dictates that he must walk a fine line in his criticism of the country he leads, lest the electorate begins to wonder if he wouldn’t be happier as the president of France or the Secretary General of the U.N.

And then there is Michelle Obama. There’s a reason why she has been relegated to White House gardening duty and is rarely permitted to speak at high profile events or comment on policy, as Hillary Clinton was permitted to do in the early 1990s. The Administration knows that Mrs. Obama is prone to speak her radical mind and could potentially make another comment along the lines of “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country.” Permitting her to speak out comes with the risk that she may actually say what she really believes and such an exposure of her true colors would once again raise red flags, causing Americans to wonder just how much of the mindset of Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers the First Family took with them to the White House.

During the Iraq War, the Left insisted that its vocal opposition to the conflict was the height of patriotic expression, even though their solution to the war was to abandon the battlefield--an act that would have led to a humiliating defeat and served no one’s interests except for al-Qaeda’s. Still, many of us on the Right gave liberals the benefit of the doubt. Yet, now that the Left is in control of the government, their intentions increasingly appear to include radical change in the way our nation runs its economy and deals with both our allies and enemies. One must ask whether there is anything that the modern progressive movement likes about what the United States has become since the end of the Vietnam era?

Being an American “patriot” does not mean that we unquestioningly support our government. It does not mean that we must agree with a war or with every decision made by an electoral majority. What it does mean is that in the grand scheme of things, we take pride in our nation’s achievements and believe that we are a force for good in the world. It’s not so much about where we’re going as a nation, but where we’ve been and what we’ve become.

If you’re the type of individual who thinks that we’ve been doing pretty much everything wrong in recent years and feel that America can only be redeemed by “fundamentally transforming” the entire country, then you may be a good and well intentioned individual. But your insistence that you love your country, should, perhaps undergo a bit more scrutiny than it has been subject to in the past.

-Dan Joseph

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Anonymous said...

You can't love this country and be aware of it's short comings at the same time? You can't love this country and also want to see it change for the better?
Typical Teabagger.

Steve said...

Typical anonymous blow hole spouting crap. America was far better off before we let mindless socialist fools such as yourself run it.

Simply Jim said...

Think Steve....think!

"...before WE let mindless socialist fools such as yourself run it."

Why in the world did YOU let US mindless socialist fools do such a thing. What were you thinking? not thinking? doing? not doing?

If a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link....where the fuck were you and rest of missing link gang? Singing Row, row, row your boat at a Beck's Mutiny Rally?