Thursday, July 7, 2011

on Patriotism

Wow! What a great 4th of July this year. We had a beautiful blue-sky day on our holiday day off. I got to listen to a terrific audio reading of the Declaration of Independence on NPR's website. (Stirring!) And I got to finish off the day with our annual tradition of taking my boys into the high school's stadium for the fireworks display set to the stirring music of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" with a grand finale to Neil Diamond's "Coming to America".

Yes, I am way patriotic. And yes, I did take that picture. And yes, that is a Tea Party "Don't Tread on Me" hat - with a flag pin.

Webster defines patriotism as "love for or devotion to one's country". Put me down for that. I'm in the category of people who believe that America has a tremendous history - despite our flaws - in our brief 235 year history and is generally a force for good in the world.

Apparently not everyone is that patriotic. Those that aren't are almost exclusively on the political left in this country.

Don't take my word for it. Ask them. Many on the left will tell you straight out that they are not that patriotic. A new friend told me exactly that in a discussion this week. My new friend was perturbed that rightists often throw the charge of "unpatriotic" at leftists as an insult. But, what if it's just an observation? What if it's just a fact, in some cases, as you will tell us if we ask?

I'm not talking about dissent as being unpatriotic. Dissent away. I dissent on King Obama's illegal war in Libya. You dissent on the Iraq War. We both do that because we want the best for our country. I accept that.

No, I'm talking about actual love for our country. Many Democrats give evidence by their words that they are more embarrased for our country than in love with it.

How many examples do you want me to list?

While I was Tweeting patriotic quotes from our founders on the 4th, I saw these Tweets typical of what the folks that I follow on the left were sending:

- "You do realize that we are celebrating rich white slaveowners who just wanted to get out of paying their taxes."  (Yes, I know it's a movie quote. The question is: why did that particular movie quote resonate with you on our nation's finest holiday?)

- The best part of being an American today is that you don't have to worry about being invaded by America. (Really? on the 4th of July? This is what you are thinking?)

Not just unpatriotic on Twitter. I checked in on Huffington Post, as I do daily. Nothing to be found on how great our country is. But, wait! There is an article on the Declaration of Indepence! Oh,'s an article by a leftist on how the Declaration is a "damaged" document because of three words that are a slight to Native Americans. By all means, focus on those three words on the day of our celebration! Grievance monger.

For some reason, the American political left sees the 4th of July as a day of angst. It's not my worldview, but is apparently theirs.

The left is not just embarrassed by our country's history on the 4th, though. All year long. Any ocassion. The list of grievances are long. The embarrassment of low-class rah-rahing deep.

I recall, for example, candidate Obama observing in 2008 that "we're just 5 days away from fundamentally changing America". Why would you want to fundamentally change something that you're proud of?

Or of his wife Michele - a child of privileged upbringing in America that included an Ivy League education - and her campaign observation that "for the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country". Really? At that age, the first time? You can believe all of the apologetic rationalizations that have been offered since, or you can accept that she was telling you her truth in the first place.

The Obama's were not particularly proud of America's history during the campaign. President Obama spent much of his overseas speeches apologizing for it. What would you expect from people who sat for 20 years under the mentorship of his hero Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright?

Bottom line: if conservatives note that some liberals are not patriotic it's not an insult. It's just an observation. A fact. Just ask them directly. You'll either get a straight up "I'm not very patriotic", or you'll get some list of grievances about why we're not a good country. Is that "love of or devotion to your country"?

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