Wednesday, April 16, 2008

America Haters for America

Conservatives hate America. I know, they give all that huff and bother about how much they love it, but all they really mean by that is that they hate us for hating it. For them, love of country doesn't go much deeper than loyalty tests, meaningless phrases, and other symbolic gestures. Like Obama being attacked for not wearing a lapel pin that his attackers don't wear. But when it comes to actions, they sure have a funny way of showing their love.

Take, for example, someone with a son they feared for so much that if anyone called him a “loser” that they thought it would destroy him. Who insist that their son has the right to bully everyone; lest he show weakness and develop a wimp complex. Or what if that son did something so terrible that they refused to even acknowledge that the kid had done it, even though they saw it with their own eyes? Moreover, that they’d loudly denounce anyone who even wanted to discuss their child's behavior problems, and insisted that any such person hated their son.

Does that sound like normal behavior to you? Would we consider such people to be good, loving parents who were only doing what was best for their son? Or would we go so far in the opposite direction that we’d consider this behavior to be somewhat pathological in nature? And in fact, we’d assume that this wasn’t really about their son at all, but about themselves. That they themselves are so deeply ashamed of their own activities in raising their child that they consider it a personal affront for anyone to even suggest that their son wasn’t anything but a model child. Indeed we would.

And that’s really what we’re talking about. They say we hate America because we notice its flaws. Because we remember the wrong things its citizens and government have done. They say we hate America because we suggest there are imperfections with it; because we suggest ways it should be better. And most of all, they say we hate America because we refuse to allow them to use our country for their own sordid purposes. But as usual, they’ve got it all backwards.

Unconditional Love

I love my country. Not because I imagine we’ve made no mistakes, but because of all the great things we’ve done in spite of those mistakes. That we have all this wealth and power and have done great things with it. And that we have good people who spend their lives righting wrongs and bringing justice to a naturally unjust world. And to have seen the great progress our country has made since its inception. But to understand how far we've come, we've got to acknowledge where we were before. You can't understand how great it is that a black man can become president if you don't remember that he wasn't considered human by millions of Americans when our country was founded. And to see how much safer our government has made life requires us to remember how unsafe it was, as well as acknowledging unsafeness that still exists.

Seeing America, the good and the bad, is part of love. To want to improve America is love. To want America's image to be one of true freedom, fairness, and strength; rather than of cowering fear and bully tantrums. This is how people who love their country act. This isn't about loyalty pledges or lapel pins; this is about actions.

And the ones who hate their country are the ones who think our mistakes were so horribly grievous that they can't even be mentioned. To complain about slavery is to hate America. To state the obvious about our misadventures in Iraq and Vietnam is to attack our troops and spew hatred against freedom. Or in other words, to complain about the bad things that their ilk does against our country is to somehow hurt the country.

America v. Americans

And when you put it like that, you realize this isn’t about America at all. This is about us taking a stand against their greed and hatred. About having the guts to stand up for our country against what these selfish fools want to do against it. When liberals complain about what “America” has done wrong, they’re not complaining about the actual country itself. No, we’re complaining about the misdeeds that these people perpetrated on us. What these people did that hurt America.

And getting back to my earlier analogy, it's obvious that it isn't really accurate. It's much worse than that. These aren’t misguided parents who turn a blind eye to the misdeeds of their child. No, this is the child himself denouncing the parents and insisting that laying any blame at his feet is an act of hatred towards his parents. As if it's somehow America's fault that Bush and Cheney screwed everything up. But that’s just not how this works. It’s not America that people have a problem with. It’s Americans; specific Americans.

And the people who complain the loudest about liberal hatred against America are generally those with the most to blame for what’s wrong with this country. Not necessarily because they're doing these bad actions, but for insisting that we allow it all. For insisting that history classes should be whitewashed, and for insisting that government oversight should be abolished. No, they won't be trying to reinstitute slavery, but they'll try their best to make sure we forget about why things are the way they are. For them, people are to be blamed for their own misfortune and anyone who can steal a fortune deserves to. Steal a radio from a car and they'll insist it's ok to shoot you; but if you steal millions of taxpayer money in Iraq, they won't even bother hearing about it. Because that's their kind of theft.

They'll say you're bashing America when you complain about the fraud, corruption, and evils they perpetrate. But this has nothing to do with America. This is just them finding a way to rationalize their misdeeds. They don't care if you love or hate America. They just hate you for remembering that they've done anything wrong. They hate you because you cared.

2 comments:

Fade said...

that was a great post. Too true.

Buffy said...

Very well stated. They want us to close our eyes, plug our ears and sing "America the Beautiful" while it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Sorry, some of us have too much intelligence and conscience for that.