Friday, June 1, 2007

A View of America

I've heard many people, mostly on the left, that state that blind patriotism and love for your country is apparently only for morons. Some even say that true patriotism is to exercise your right to question the government and the direction of the country. I know I certainly exercise those rights, that's a large part of why I have this blog.

However, why is it that some people refuse to have any kind of a moment where they simply stand up and say "I love America! It's the greatest country in the world!"

My mother has told me that when she came to this country (which was in 1971, during the Vietnam war), she was amazed that the straight-up, unconditional love American citizens had for their country. Now, she says, unconditional love for our nation is at an all-time low, and it wasn't even this bad during the tumultuous decade of the 1970's.

I'm inclined to agree. To have an unconditional love for America, flaws and all, is something that many people look down upon as being ignorant, or simply out-dated. Some believe that there is no place in modern America for this kind of old-fashioned patriotism.

"Why not?", I ask.

I don't subscribe to the theory the common, everyday liberal hates America. They simply have a different view of it. I do believe that there are some who hate America as she has been and as she is now, and think that rapid changes need to be made to our society...namely, adding in socialist ideologies. There are many instances that liberal ideology can be helpful in guiding America down the right path.

However, other than during the Great Depression, when has the federal government really had (or needed to have) a consistently heavy hand in our day-to-day lives? The answer is really, never. Most recessions and economic downturns have been short-lived, due to the strength of the American economy, not due to large increases in government influence in industry, commerce, and society.

Yes, our nation has it's flaws. Yes, we're not completely rid of racism, religious bigotry, homophobia, and sexism. However, one of the glorious aspects of this nation is the fact that our government is designed to allow the average citizen to live their lives without consistent governmental interference. To change that will change the entire definition of American society.

I still take pride in the fact that I am an American. I am a citizen of the United States of America, and I LOVE it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world. I do take offense when other nations attack and denigrate the country that allows me to live as free a life as possible in this world. I truly believe that in this country, we are allowed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...we might not all get that happiness, but at least we have the opportunity to pursue it.

I support our military, and the need for a strong military to defend our shores and to stop tyrants from encroaching on the established freedom of others. I believe in lower taxes, smaller government, American-style capitalism, and a certain moral standard about our society. I also believe that prejudice against religions, races, sexual orientations, and gender is wrong, but as a nation, we have always moved forward in eliminating those prejudices from our land.

In the end, though, I believe that our nation, in a general sense, does the right thing most of the time. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we aren't fully prepared, sometimes we have to admit that we messed something up, and once in a long while...we're wrong about something. However, most of the time, we are usually right.

Now I ask you, what's wrong with that?

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