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Odysseus
11-10-2010, 04:53 PM
Rather apropos after the thread that asked our resident liberals if they considered America exceptional:

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The Bashing of American Exceptionalism
Liberals believe in holding America back.
Jonah Goldberg
November 10, 2010 12:00 A.M.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/252906/bashing-american-exceptionalism-jonah-goldberg

In 2008, when asked if he believed in American exceptionalism, President Obama responded, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

This reminded me of the wonderful scene in Pixar’s The Incredibles in which the mom says, “Everyone’s special,” and her son replies, “Which is another way of saying no one is.”

But at least the president made room for the sentiment that America is a special place, even if he chalked it up to a kind of benign provincialism. Not so Michael Kinsley, who recently penned an essay for Politico titled “U.S. is not greatest country ever,” in which he mocked those who traffic in this exceptionalism nonsense.

Not to be outdone, Daily Beast columnist Peter Beinart railed against the GOP’s “lunatic notion” of America’s exceptionalism. In particular, Beinart was infuriated by Senator-elect Marco Rubio’s claim that “America is the single greatest nation in all of human history.” Doesn’t the Florida politician know, Beinart wonders, that China and Brazil are opening opportunities to their citizens too? According to Beinart, Rubio — the son of Cuban exiles — is too ideologically blinkered to know that “the American dream of upward mobility is alive and well, just not in America.”

What’s bizarre about Beinart and Kinsley’s rendition of American exceptionalism is that it hinges on the premise that the idea of American exceptionalism is an artifact of right-wing jingoism, xenophobia, or ignorance. Even Obama flirts with this sort of thing every time he chalks up opposition to his agenda to the fear, bigotry, or small-mindedness of the “bitter” souls “clinging” to their antiquarian beliefs.

Forget that every Fourth of July we celebrate the fact that we fought the Revolutionary War to become an exceptional nation. From their dismissive condescension, you’d think these three educated men didn’t know that American exceptionalism has been a well-established notion among scholars for more than a century.

“The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America, “and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.” Ever since, historians have argued that America’s lack of a feudal past, its Puritan roots, the realism of its revolutionary ambitions, and many other ingredients contributed to America’s status as the “first new nation,” to borrow a phrase from Seymour Martin Lipset, who spent his life writing about American exceptionalism.

E. L. Godkin, the Irish-born editor of The Nation, observed in 1867 that the lack of a class-based system, the existence of an open frontier, and an optimism that comes with political and economic liberty marked the U.S. as a very different land from Britain, never mind the European continent. In 1906, German sociologist Werner Sombart released his book Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? in which he pointed to similar factors.

Ever since, left-leaning intellectuals have been taking dead aim at American exceptionalism. The notion that America has its own way of doing things — separate and distinct from Europe’s — has been one of the greatest impediments to Europeanizing America’s political and economic institutions.

Now that Europe has turned its back — at least temporarily — on lavish Keynesian spending, folks like Beinart must turn to developing countries such as China and Brazil for inspiration. Countries that pay millions of workers pennies a day are not normally role models for the Left. But, hey, if it makes Republicans appear backward, they’ll give it a shot.

Ultimately, it’s not that liberals don’t believe in American exceptionalism so much as they believe it is holding America back, which might explain why they’re lashing out at the people who want to keep it exceptional. But that too is nothing new. “The Coolidge myth has been created by amazingly skillful propaganda,” editorialized The Nation in 1924 about the unfathomable popularity of Calvin Coolidge. “The American people dearly love to be fooled.”

For the record, I’m with Rubio. America is the greatest country in the world. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. But it is, and remains, the last best hope of Earth.

But, by all means, Democrats, listen to the sophisticates who chortle at the idea that there’s anything especially good about America. That will solve Obama’s “communication problem.”

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

wilbur
11-10-2010, 05:22 PM
Meh... again, here it is. Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and their irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame. Say America is #1... or else.

No thanks, I'll abstain from participating in the circle jerk... I don't like fascism.

AmPat
11-10-2010, 05:28 PM
Meh... again, here it is. Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and their irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame. Say America is #1... or else.

No thanks, I'll abstain from participating in the circle jerk... I don't like fascism.

Yes you do, it's America you hate.:rolleyes:

KhrushchevsShoe
11-10-2010, 08:21 PM
Americans ruined America.

obx
11-10-2010, 08:33 PM
Poor Shoe.

Rockntractor
11-10-2010, 08:33 PM
Americans ruined America.

Sorry foot fetish, it isn't ruined yet despite all the attacks from you socialists!

Lager
11-10-2010, 08:34 PM
America is not ruined.

Kay
11-10-2010, 09:05 PM
Americans ruined America.

That has to go down as the most ignorant thing I've ever read in this forum.

Odysseus
11-10-2010, 09:24 PM
Meh... again, here it is. Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and their irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame. Say America is #1... or else.

No thanks, I'll abstain from participating in the circle jerk... I don't like fascism.
Of course you do. You just want it under you and people like you, and since your fellow Americans stand in the way, you tar us as "pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies [with] irrational sentiments" (as opposed to your utterly rational disdain for the nation that nurtured you, provided you with opportunities and otherwise protected you from the horrors that people in other nations take for granted). You support every group, every policy, every agenda that has, as its ultimate aim, the erosion of America as a nation. As for being tarred and feathered in shame, you need to be able to feel shame first, so you've nothing to fear there. You've already said your piece, while pretending not to, so that we'd know just how superior you consider yourself to the rest of us. You can now go bask in your glow of elitist disdain and congratulate yourself for having put us in our place. :rolleyes:

Americans ruined America.
We certainly ruined it for tyrants, and will continue to do so.

You would probably be happier elsewhere. Well, maybe not, since leftists seem pathologically incapable of happiness, but at least we'd be happier without you.

That has to go down as the most ignorant thing I've ever read in this forum.
It's up there, but remember that there have been some truly ignorant tools here. Eyelids used to say things like that regularly, and Wei is capable of some astonishingly ignorant tripe, and don't get me stated on Gator's rants. But, it's certainly worth remembering, especially when KS denies his political affiliations and claims to be anything other than a blame-America-first leftist.

wilbur
11-10-2010, 09:49 PM
Of course you do. You just want it under you and people like you, and since your fellow Americans stand in the way, you tar us as "pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies [with] irrational sentiments" (as opposed to your utterly rational disdain for the nation that nurtured you, provided you with opportunities and otherwise protected you from the horrors that people in other nations take for granted). You support every group, every policy, every agenda that has, as its ultimate aim, the erosion of America as a nation.

As for being tarred and feathered in shame, you need to be able to feel shame first, so you've nothing to fear there. You've already said your piece, while pretending not to, so that we'd know just how superior you consider yourself to the rest of us. You can now go bask in your glow of elitist disdain and congratulate yourself for having put us in our place. :rolleyes:


Well, whether my beliefs "erode America", as you say, is something you're simply not in a position to say. You've only seen a tiny sliver of what my beliefs are, the few I've chosen to share here.

I do believe I repeatedly said, in the thread to which you pay homage in the OP, that I really love the US and its where my loyalties lie. But you ignore that and then presume to know the contents of my own mind better than I do, while you make all kinds of wild assumptions about me and my beliefs based on your right-extremist-media cultivated caricature of a liberal (I am not even a liberal)... all because I called your question out for the vapid bullshit that it was.

Of course, there's the always classy move where you interpret any disagreement with the wise opinions of the super-patriot Odysseus as hatred and disdain for America, yet you have the balls to call me snobby elitist!! Un-fucking-believable!!

BadCat
11-10-2010, 10:03 PM
You've only seen a tiny sliver of what my beliefs are, the few I've chosen to share here.

I've seen enough of them to REALLY DISLIKE you.

wilbur
11-10-2010, 10:08 PM
I've seen enough of them to REALLY DISLIKE you.

Oh darn!!!

MrsSmith
11-10-2010, 10:40 PM
Meh... again, here it is. Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and their irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame. Say America is #1... or else.

No thanks, I'll abstain from participating in the circle jerk... I don't like fascism.
It is definitely still the best country for people that want freedom. It's way below #1 for those that want Uncle Sam to hold their hands when the cross the street and change their diapers when they "have an accident." So I guess your perspective depends far more on your attitude to life than anything else.

wilbur
11-10-2010, 11:05 PM
It is definitely still the best country for people that want freedom.

Specifics?

MrsSmith
11-10-2010, 11:12 PM
Specifics?

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Zathras
11-10-2010, 11:18 PM
That has to go down as the most ignorant thing I've ever read in this forum.

Just wait...I'm sure Wee Wee, wilbur or KS will surpass this amount of ignorance in a later post. They can't help it, they're liberals.

Odysseus
11-11-2010, 12:31 AM
Well, whether my beliefs "erode America", as you say, is something you're simply not in a position to say. You've only seen a tiny sliver of what my beliefs are, the few I've chosen to share here.
On the contrary, you've shown more than enough for all of us to judge your beliefs and character. For one thing, you're incredibly narcissistic. A person who considered this thread a "circle jerk" wouldn't have bothered to weigh in, but you made it a point to tell all of us "Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and [our] irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame," and yet, here you are, a dancing fool, because you can't let anything go by without imposing your disdain on it.

I do believe I repeatedly said, in the thread to which you pay homage in the OP, that I really love the US and its where my loyalties lie. But you ignore that and then presume to know the contents of my own mind better than I do, while you make all kinds of wild assumptions about me and my beliefs based on your right-extremist-media cultivated caricature of a liberal (I am not even a liberal)... all because I called your question out for the vapid bullshit that it was.
You can believe what you want to, but that isn't what you said. In fact, if you go back to that thread, the one word that you didn't use to describe your feelings towards America was "love." In between your tap-dancing and evasions, these were the sentiments that you expressed:


I will say, that as much as I love other parts of the world (even other western democratic countries) I am glad to have been born here. Sweden might have been cool though.


Well, if one had asked me if I was loyal to my country, I would have said "yes". I'm quite fond of this place, and I like it a lot. I would like to make sure it sticks around for a very long time. They didn't ask that though, did they?


Is there another spot on this Earth outside the US borders where I could live a more enjoyable life, where there exists more of the things I value, and less of the things I find detrimental? I'd be a little surprised if there wasn't. I don't know quite where that would be, though.

These aren't exactly passionate sentiments. Your ambivalence shines through in every sentence, and this doesn't include the verbal gymnastics and contortions that you used to try to avoid addressing the question at all. Even Arroyo, who is hardly anyone's idea of a hyper-patriot, called you on your blatant evasiveness:


It is not merely a question of loyalty like being asked who the best baseball team in the major leagues is (the Rangers). It also shows where your cultural and ethical center lies. Some may feel China is the greatest nation due to their tight and successful control over their economy or that Sweden is because ABBA rocks the mullet. You could even say Israel because of the long and documented cultural tradition found in the Jewish tribe and that it represents their homeland. Or how about Canada for .... well .... Canadian things?
So, even when presented with the obvious, that the question asks, not for a definition of greatness, or exceptionalism, but a simple declaration of where your cultural and ethical center lies, you couldn't bring yourself to simply say, "I love America" or words to that effect. The best that you could come up with was that you "like" it. Your only passion is for your dispassion. Your only expression of commitment was to being non-committal. You can fling vicious slurs at people who disagree with you on issues of legitimate controversy, but on something that you shouldn't even have to think twice about, you bobbed and weaved like Muhammed Ali, because you can't bring yourself to admit to a simple emotion like patriotism, and when you do refer to it, it's with a sneer. I don't think that you're a flag-burning commie, as you put it. That would require some emotional investment in something outside of yourself. And the proof? Read on, MacDuff!


Of course, there's the always classy move where you interpret any disagreement with the wise opinions of the super-patriot Odysseus as hatred and disdain for America, yet you have the balls to call me snobby elitist!! Un-fucking-believable!!
In that sentence, you have distilled the difference between us. I'm a Soldier. I'm sworn to support and defend the Constitution, which is the highest ideal of our nation. Of course I'm a patriot. I couldn't do what I do if I wasn't, and calling me one isn't an insult, unless you think that patriotism is somehow distasteful. And you do, don't you? I don't think that you hate America. I think that you're indifferent to America. As you said above, you'd probably be just as happy somewhere else. Oh, you like some things about it, and you'd miss it if it were gone (although you have no idea how much you'd miss it), but ultimately, you don't think that it's anything to write home about, assuming that you considered anyplace your home. You're a "citizen of the world." You look down on those of us who feel something as primitive as love of country as bumpkins, and that is what colors your view of every issue that comes up on this board. You want us to believe that you are as smart as you like to think you are, and the one thing that pisses you off is that we all see through you.

Specifics?
How about the fact that we can have this discussion without fearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night? Think about how many countries in the world there are where you could call a representative of the nation's military out and express your disdain for his patriotism and not be punished for it. That's freedom.

Just wait...I'm sure Wee Wee, wilbur or KS will surpass this amount of ignorance in a later post. They can't help it, they're liberals.
Wilbur is a liberal, in the modern (as opposed to classical) sense of the term, someone who is more concerned with the appearance of holding the right opinions than he is with the consequences of his opinions. Wei and Shoe are Marxists.

Wei Wu Wei
11-11-2010, 02:23 AM
lots of big boys with big feelings in this thread.

AmPat
11-11-2010, 05:52 AM
Let's break this down:


I do believe I repeatedly said, in the thread to which you pay homage in the OP, that I really love the US and its where my loyalties lie.
An easy way out if we were as stupid and shallow as liberals. We go beyond your cheap and false claims that you "love the US and are loyal," and look to your posts, the slant you take, your slights against Conservatives, your knee jerk reflex to take contrarian (read liberal) views, and your open disdain for all things patriotic. Our judgment is you don't love the US as much as you claim.


But you ignore that and then presume to know the contents of my own mind better than I do, while you make all kinds of wild assumptions about me and my beliefs based on
Let's hold you up here for a minute. Our observations/assessments on you are fairly close on this forum. Those judgments are based entirely on what you post here. Why do you suppose we all have roughly the same opinion of you?

your right-extremist-media cultivated caricature of a liberal (I am not even a liberal)...Yet here you are labeling him using liberal labels. Where did such a devout Conservative like you learn the liberal language so well?:rolleyes:

Zathras
11-11-2010, 08:50 AM
lots of big boys with big feelings in this thread.

Yeah, so go sit in the corner with your picture book and have a juice box little one. The adults are having a conversation here and have no time for the ramblings of a child.

Odysseus
11-11-2010, 09:09 AM
lots of big boys with big feelings in this thread.
The term is "men." Some day, when you have matured a bit, you will hopefully understand what it means to become one. Until then, try to behave yourself.

Let's break this down:


An easy way out if we were as stupid and shallow as liberals. We go beyond your cheap and false claims that you "love the US and are loyal," and look to your posts, the slant you take, your slights against Conservatives, your knee jerk reflex to take contrarian (read liberal) views, and your open disdain for all things patriotic. Our judgment is you don't love the US as much as you claim.


Let's hold you up here for a minute. Our observations/assessments on you are fairly close on this forum. Those judgments are based entirely on what you post here. Why do you suppose we all have roughly the same opinion of you?
Yet here you are labeling him using liberal labels. Where did such a devout Conservative like you learn the liberal language so well?:rolleyes:
In Wiilbur's mind, we share the same opinion of him because we are all like-minded rabid right-wingers, a characterization that conveniently insults us and flatters him.

Yeah, so go sit in the corner with your picture book and have a juice box little one. The adults are having a conversation here and have no time for the ramblings of a child.

The frustrating thing about the Weis of the world is that they consider being called childlike a compliment. They go through life in a state of perpetual adolescent rebellion, and then wonder why, when they aren't taken seriously by people who approach the world as adults.

BadCat
11-11-2010, 09:51 AM
Oh darn!!!

Hey, we're neighbors now.

How about I come visit you?

wilbur
11-11-2010, 10:02 AM
On the contrary, you've shown more than enough for all of us to judge your beliefs and character. For one thing, you're incredibly narcissistic. A person who considered this thread a "circle jerk" wouldn't have bothered to weigh in, but you made it a point to tell all of us "Refuse to dance to the vapid, empty tune of the pathologically hyper-nationalist loonies and [our] irrational sentiments, or stand-by to be tarred and feathered in shame," and yet, here you are, a dancing fool, because you can't let anything go by without imposing your disdain on it.


Once again, we see that holding a view contrary to Odysseus - and making it known - is narcissism. Oh the irony.



You can believe what you want to, but that isn't what you said. In fact, if you go back to that thread, the one word that you didn't use to describe your feelings towards America was "love." In between your tap-dancing and evasions, these were the sentiments that you expressed:

These aren't exactly passionate sentiments. Your ambivalence shines through in every sentence, and this doesn't include the verbal gymnastics and contortions that you used to try to avoid addressing the question at all. Even Arroyo, who is hardly anyone's idea of a hyper-patriot, called you on your blatant evasiveness:

So, even when presented with the obvious, that the question asks, not for a definition of greatness, or exceptionalism, but a simple declaration of where your cultural and ethical center lies, you couldn't bring yourself to simply say, "I love America" or words to that effect.


Heh, sorry... The phrase "the US is the greatest country on earth", tells me (or you) exactly nothing about where anyone's ethical center lies. If you think it does, mores the pity.



Your only passion is for your dispassion.


Members of the armed forces should especially appreciate dispassion. A populace all dosed up on the highs of irrational patriotism and nationalism are more likely to send them to needless deaths for bad reasons. Politicians love both, because it works like a religion - its easy to fake, and it works wonders when you want to manipulate the people. Anyone remember Hitler, one of the most striking examples of nationalism gone awry.



In that sentence, you have distilled the difference between us. I'm a Soldier. I'm sworn to support and defend the Constitution, which is the highest ideal of our nation. Of course I'm a patriot. I couldn't do what I do if I wasn't, and calling me one isn't an insult, unless you think that patriotism is somehow distasteful. And you do, don't you? I don't think that you hate America. I think that you're indifferent to America. As you said above, you'd probably be just as happy somewhere else. Oh, you like some things about it, and you'd miss it if it were gone (although you have no idea how much you'd miss it), but ultimately, you don't think that it's anything to write home about, assuming that you considered anyplace your home. You're a "citizen of the world." You look down on those of us who feel something as primitive as love of country as bumpkins, and that is what colors your view of every issue that comes up on this board. You want us to believe that you are as smart as you like to think you are, and the one thing that pisses you off is that we all see through you.


And if anyone thought about it dispassionately for a second or two, they'd probably come to the same conclusions. Are you telling me, it simply cannot possibly be that there is any place on earth, where you might have a higher quality of life or a more satisfying existence? Really? Not even the slightest chance?

Its not that I look "down upon" anyone who expresses irrational patriotism or nationalism - its that its dangerous. Save your blind devotion for sports teams, not nations.



How about the fact that we can have this discussion without fearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night? Think about how many countries in the world there are where you could call a representative of the nation's military out and express your disdain for his patriotism and not be punished for it. That's freedom.


But you're supposed to be talking about "American Exceptionalism". There is nothing exceptional about either of those scenarios anymore, as they are norms of the western world. Sure, our founders get the credit for being the first to institutionalize such ideals, but please... The US isn't the only country with guaranteed freedoms anymore.

BadCat
11-11-2010, 10:07 AM
blah blah blah...I hate America...blah blah blah

Hey really, faggot. I and many of my friends here would really like you to "explain" your views to us in person.

wilbur
11-11-2010, 10:11 AM
Hey really, faggot. I and many of my friends here would really like you to "explain" your views to us in person.

Oh good, BadCat threatens to become a stalker again....

BadCat
11-11-2010, 10:13 AM
Oh good, BadCat threatens to become a stalker again....

I want to know if you're willing to say that shit to our faces.

I'm betting that you're a typical chicken shit coward liberal and would pee your pants and start crying instead.

wilbur
11-11-2010, 10:23 AM
I want to know if you're willing to say that shit to our faces.

I'm betting that you're a typical chicken shit coward liberal and would pee your pants and start crying instead.

Oh, I love having conversations with new people who have interesting things to say, even when we have heated and intense disagreements - however, I don't think anything you have typed has ever actually been that interesting.... so sorry :)

BadCat
11-11-2010, 10:39 AM
Oh, I love having conversations with new people who have interesting things to say, even when we have heated and intense disagreements - however, I don't think anything you have typed has ever actually been that interesting.... so sorry :)

Sure you do.

You're a lying coward, like ALL liberals are.

Bailey
11-11-2010, 10:42 AM
Once again, we see that holding a view contrary to Odysseus - and making it known - is narcissism. Oh the irony.



Heh, sorry... The phrase "the US is the greatest country on earth", tells me (or you) exactly nothing about where anyone's ethical center lies. If you think it does, mores the pity.



Members of the armed forces should especially appreciate dispassion. A populace all dosed up on the highs of irrational patriotism and nationalism are more likely to send them to needless deaths for bad reasons. Politicians love both, because it works like a religion - its easy to fake, and it works wonders when you want to manipulate the people. Anyone remember Hitler, one of the most striking examples of nationalism gone awry.



And if anyone thought about it dispassionately for a second or two, they'd probably come to the same conclusions. Are you telling me, it simply cannot possibly be that there is any place on earth, where you might have a higher quality of life or a more satisfying existence? Really? Not even the slightest chance?

Its not that I look "down upon" anyone who expresses irrational patriotism or nationalism - its that its dangerous. Save your blind devotion for sports teams, not nations.



But you're supposed to be talking about "American Exceptionalism". There is nothing exceptional about either of those scenarios anymore, as they are norms of the western world. Sure, our founders get the credit for being the first to institutionalize such ideals, but please... The US isn't the only country with guaranteed freedoms anymore.


You sure about that? Canada,UK and Germany for starters have laws that are against the tenants of the 1st amendment.

Wei Wu Wei
11-11-2010, 11:28 AM
I want to know if you're willing to say that shit to our faces.

I'm betting that you're a typical chicken shit coward liberal and would pee your pants and start crying instead.

http://www.gtfo.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Internet-Tough-Guys-550x439.jpg

I absolutely love how meaningless words on an internet forum makes this guy get his fur all ruffled up. Also that he thinks that fantasizing about hypothetical situations involving internet strangers is somehow....what? intimidating? cool? manly?



Well not to derail this too much, you can be proud of your homeland without being a moron about it.

Wei Wu Wei
11-11-2010, 11:32 AM
You sure about that? Canada,UK and Germany for starters have laws that are against the tenants of the 1st amendment.

They have the same basic rights, sometimes a little less (guns in some places, free speech) sometimes it's a little more (health care, education, guns in some places).

Yeah you can't walk around Germany with a swastika on your arm screaming about the Jews, sorry, and while I can see from a purely idealistic standpoint how this might be an assault on freedoms but I'm okay with not being able to do that

Some counties don't let you carry guns, for their own reasons. Some countries require you to have a gun (a good one at that).


Overall, in terms of how people live their day-to-day lives without trying to push the envelope constantly, there is just as much "freedom" (a very loose concept) in most Western Democratic nations.

AmPat
11-11-2010, 11:37 AM
Well not to derail this too much, you can be proud of your homeland without being a moron about it.Sauce for the Goose?

AmPat
11-11-2010, 11:38 AM
They have the same basic rights, sometimes a little less (guns in some places, free speech) sometimes it's a little more (health care, education, guns in some places).

Yeah you can't walk around Germany with a swastika on your arm screaming about the Jews, sorry, and while I can see from a purely idealistic standpoint how this might be an assault on freedoms but I'm okay with not being able to do that

Some counties don't let you carry guns, for their own reasons. Some countries require you to have a gun (a good one at that).


Overall, in terms of how people live their day-to-day lives without trying to push the envelope constantly, there is just as much "freedom" (a very loose concept) in most Western Democratic nations.

Nice try, health care is not a right.

Wei Wu Wei
11-11-2010, 11:42 AM
lol yes let's define freedom as exactly what we have and BOOM we are the most free. just like that easy peasy.

Odysseus
11-11-2010, 11:53 AM
Once again, we see that holding a view contrary to Odysseus - and making it known - is narcissism. Oh the irony.

No, the narcissism is your claiming to disdain this whole topic, even as you wallow in it. You can't help it, can you?


Heh, sorry... The phrase "the US is the greatest country on earth", tells me (or you) exactly nothing about where anyone's ethical center lies. If you think it does, mores the pity.
Clever parsing there. The question also referred to whether you believed that America was exceptional. Again, you did everything that you could to avoid answering the question, but you wrote how many replies about why you thought that it was a stupid thread? Here's a hint: When I think that a thread is stupid, I don't participate in it. Nobody held a gun to your head and demanded that you respond, you just did, over and over again, about how sad and pathetic we were to expect someone to feel love of country.


Members of the armed forces should especially appreciate dispassion. A populace all dosed up on the highs of irrational patriotism and nationalism are more likely to send them to needless deaths for bad reasons. Politicians love both, because it works like a religion - its easy to fake, and it works wonders when you want to manipulate the people. Anyone remember Hitler, one of the most striking examples of nationalism gone awry.
Ah, so patriotism and nationalism equal Nazism in your mind? I guess that makes those of us who profess love of country little more than brownshirt wannabes, but no condescension there, right? But what about rational patriotism? Does that exist in your world view? Is it possible to love America for legitimate reasons? I guess you wouldn't have that answer, would you? Again, an arrogant and elitist view of the rest of us. That's why I call you an elitist.

And if anyone thought about it dispassionately for a second or two, they'd probably come to the same conclusions. Are you telling me, it simply cannot possibly be that there is any place on earth, where you might have a higher quality of life or a more satisfying existence? Really? Not even the slightest chance?
Ah, the dispassion of the outsider, who prides himself on his oh-so-rational disdain of us lesser emotional types. Okay, let's look at quality of life. That's the point of it all, isn't it? How much you can take from a country, rather than what it means to you? I know that I would probably have a higher quality of life in some third world country with an American salary. I spent some time in Panama, where a major's pay goes a lot farther than it does here. I could have lived like a king, but that's not the point. I didn't love Panama. It was just a nice place, with pleasant people and an economy where I could have really cut loose if I'd wanted to, but there's more to life than that. It wasn't the country that provided me with the opportunites that put me in a place that my great-grandfather couldn't have imagined. Think about that last point. My great-grandfather was a Jew from Russia, where he was able, through his own talents, to own a small plot of land, which he lost on a pogrom. Throughout Europe, we were despised and perpetually threatened, which is why he left. But could he have foreseen that his sons would become accountants, lawyers, salesmen and even a judge, that his grandsons would include a doctor and my father, who owned his own home and business, and that his great grandson would be a field grade officer in the army, something impossible for a non-aristocrat in the Russia that he escaped. Part of my love for America is based on my gratitude to a people whose only demand of newcomers was that they become a part of what was already here. It's more than just my home, it's national ideals were the ideals that had inspired me in my life and career. It's the country that allowed me to become who I am. That is the basis of my patriotism, Wilbur. Gratitude and recognition of the spirit of a nation that is generous to those who seek to work and improve themselves, and asks only loyalty in return. Tell me that that's not rational.


Its not that I look "down upon" anyone who expresses irrational patriotism or nationalism - its that its dangerous. Save your blind devotion for sports teams, not nations.
You have that exactly backwards, in every way. In fact, by calling patriotism irrational, you are deriding anyone who expresses it as, well, irrational. You are also calling yourself "rational" by implication. So, not only are you looking down on us, but you are flattering yourself. Sounds narcissistic to me. Anyone else see it that way? And I find it funny that you think that blind devotion to a corporate athletic franchise doesn't bother you, but rational devotion to a nation's ideals, history, accomplishments and ethos is dangerous. America isn't Nazi Germany, Wilbur. Devotion to our founding ideals means devotion to individual liberty, not racial solidarity, the rule of law, not the vision of a fuhrer and the commitment to limited government, not an all-powerful, single-party state that exists to advance a warped ideal of racial purity. American patriotism nurtures liberty, not tyranny.


But you're supposed to be talking about "American Exceptionalism". There is nothing exceptional about either of those scenarios anymore, as they are norms of the western world. Sure, our founders get the credit for being the first to institutionalize such ideals, but please... The US isn't the only country with guaranteed freedoms anymore.
The operative word there is "anymore." Why do you think those other nations have guaranteed freedoms? Where do you think that they got the idea? And for that matter, how many of them have been able to keep their ideals? France's revolution devolved into terror and anarchy and was followed by an empire that almost swallowed Europe. The symbol of America's fight for freedom is the Constitution. The symbol of France's is the guillotine. German democracy only exists because Americans fought the tyranny that preceded it, and then contained the tyranny that locked half of it in thrall. Britain exists today because America stood by her in two world wars. Australia? The same. Japan and Italy? Who rebuilt them after vanquishing their previous regimes? The western European democracies? Who drove the Nazis out and protected them after the war from Stalin? Who rebuilt their economies and guided them through the reconstruction? Who, after only a century and a half, led the world out of darkness when older, stabler regimes folded like a house of cards? Don't you get it? The freedoms that you take for granted, that you think that other nations just happen to have, exist because we, as in America, fought for them. Every democracy in the world owes America a debt of gratitude for showing the way, for leading them, for protecting them in times of peril and for showing them what could be done in times of peace, in short, for being that shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan spoke of.

There is a word for a nation that leads when others fall out, weaken or collapse, that provides an example of what can be when others are in thrall to their pasts, that welcomes newcomers when others cling to tribal loyalties, that remakes the world in its own image, not through force of arms, but by force of example, and that word, the word that you cannot bring yourself to utter, much less believe, is exceptional.

BadCat
11-11-2010, 11:55 AM
I absolutely love how meaningless words on an internet forum makes this guy get his fur all ruffled up. Also that he thinks that fantasizing about hypothetical situations involving internet strangers is somehow....what? intimidating? cool? manly?



Well not to derail this too much, you can be proud of your homeland without being a moron about it.

Wilbur, like you, is nothing more than a lying coward.

I really hate people like you, whether your words are in person or on the internet.

Odysseus
11-11-2010, 12:09 PM
http://www.gtfo.ro/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Internet-Tough-Guys-550x439.jpg

I absolutely love how meaningless words on an internet forum makes this guy get his fur all ruffled up. Also that he thinks that fantasizing about hypothetical situations involving internet strangers is somehow....what? intimidating? cool? manly?

I realize that we're not as gutsy as your idols, but perhaps if we sent a few million people to the gulags to slowly starve to death, you'd hold us in higher esteem?

Well not to derail this too much, you can be proud of your homeland without being a moron about it.
Except that you've never expressed any pride in your homeland that I can see. In fact, you make it a point to deride and belittle it whenever possible.

They have the same basic rights, sometimes a little less (guns in some places, free speech) sometimes it's a little more (health care, education, guns in some places).

Yeah you can't walk around Germany with a swastika on your arm screaming about the Jews, sorry, and while I can see from a purely idealistic standpoint how this might be an assault on freedoms but I'm okay with not being able to do that
Sure you can. You just have to be a Muslim.


Some counties don't let you carry guns, for their own reasons. Some countries require you to have a gun (a good one at that).
Here's where you miss the point. America doesn't "let" us carry guns. We make our own laws. We choose whether or not to carry them, and under what conditions.


Overall, in terms of how people live their day-to-day lives without trying to push the envelope constantly, there is just as much "freedom" (a very loose concept) in most Western Democratic nations.

As I said above, why do you think that is? Who protected those nations, fought to free them and then to keep them free? Who nurtured their democracies after they'd been terrorized and raped by totalitarian thugs? Name one nation that has taken up arms and sacrificed lives and treasure and, efter conquering massive swathes of territory, gave every inch of it back, except for the places where we've buried our dead. Name one nation that had the military advantages that we did at the end of WWII that would have given up as much as we did. How can you look at the past two centuries and not see just how much America has changed the world for the better?

MrsSmith
11-11-2010, 08:12 PM
As I said above, why do you think that is? Who protected those nations, fought to free them and then to keep them free? Who nurtured their democracies after they'd been terrorized and raped by totalitarian thugs? Name one nation that has taken up arms and sacrificed lives and treasure and, efter conquering massive swathes of territory, gave every inch of it back, except for the places where we've buried our dead. Name one nation that had the military advantages that we did at the end of WWII that would have given up as much as we did.



**crickets**

:D:D

MrsSmith
11-11-2010, 08:12 PM
As I said above, why do you think that is? Who protected those nations, fought to free them and then to keep them free? Who nurtured their democracies after they'd been terrorized and raped by totalitarian thugs? Name one nation that has taken up arms and sacrificed lives and treasure and, efter conquering massive swathes of territory, gave every inch of it back, except for the places where we've buried our dead. Name one nation that had the military advantages that we did at the end of WWII that would have given up as much as we did.


WeeWee: **crickets** /quote

:D:D

Odysseus
11-12-2010, 09:22 AM
:D:D

I seem to have rendered Wilbur speechless, as well. I don't think that he can wrap his brain around the idea that there is such a thing as rational patriotism.

wilbur
11-12-2010, 11:28 AM
I seem to have rendered Wilbur speechless, as well. I don't think that he can wrap his brain around the idea that there is such a thing as rational patriotism.

Speechless?! No, sorry... I just don't post according to your schedule...

And sure, there is such a thing as rational patriotism, but you haven't veered anywhere near it in this thread or others.

According to you, rational patriotism is the utterance of certain meaningless, but catchy, phrases in the manner that you deem appropriate. All else is disdain and hatred for America. Again, just gotta point out the irony in you calling others narcissist.

Rockntractor
11-12-2010, 11:36 AM
Speechless?! No, sorry... I just don't post according to your schedule...

And sure, there is such a thing as rational patriotism, but you haven't veered anywhere near it in this thread or others.

According to you, rational patriotism is the utterance of certain meaningless, but catchy, phrases in the manner that you deem appropriate. All else is disdain and hatred for America. Again, just gotta point out the irony in you calling others narcissist.

What country do you feel patriotic toward?:confused:

Odysseus
11-12-2010, 12:14 PM
Speechless?! No, sorry... I just don't post according to your schedule...

And sure, there is such a thing as rational patriotism, but you haven't veered anywhere near it in this thread or others.
No? Here, again, is my explanation of my patriotism. What, exactly, do you find irrational about it, besides my signature?

Ah, the dispassion of the outsider, who prides himself on his oh-so-rational disdain of us lesser emotional types. Okay, let's look at quality of life. That's the point of it all, isn't it? How much you can take from a country, rather than what it means to you? I know that I would probably have a higher quality of life in some third world country with an American salary. I spent some time in Panama, where a major's pay goes a lot farther than it does here. I could have lived like a king, but that's not the point. I didn't love Panama. It was just a nice place, with pleasant people and an economy where I could have really cut loose if I'd wanted to, but there's more to life than that. It wasn't the country that provided me with the opportunites that put me in a place that my great-grandfather couldn't have imagined. Think about that last point. My great-grandfather was a Jew from Russia, where he was able, through his own talents, to own a small plot of land, which he lost on a pogrom. Throughout Europe, we were despised and perpetually threatened, which is why he left. But could he have foreseen that his sons would become accountants, lawyers, salesmen and even a judge, that his grandsons would include a doctor and my father, who owned his own home and business, and that his great grandson would be a field grade officer in the army, something impossible for a non-aristocrat in the Russia that he escaped. Part of my love for America is based on my gratitude to a people whose only demand of newcomers was that they become a part of what was already here. It's more than just my home, it's national ideals were the ideals that had inspired me in my life and career. It's the country that allowed me to become who I am. That is the basis of my patriotism, Wilbur. Gratitude and recognition of the spirit of a nation that is generous to those who seek to work and improve themselves, and asks only loyalty in return. Tell me that that's not rational.
So, exactly what is irrational about that? Please answer that, if nothing else. I know, I know, you don't post on my schedule, so take your time, formulate a response with the same care that you spent spinning your responses to the American Exceptionalism question. I wouldn't want you to complain that I rushed you into saying something silly or thoughtless or, >gasp< emotional.

According to you, rational patriotism is the utterance of certain meaningless, but catchy, phrases in the manner that you deem appropriate. All else is disdain and hatred for America. Again, just gotta point out the irony in you calling others narcissist.
No, rational patriotism is simply being able to articulate why you love your country, something that you have been unable to do. You can't bring yourself to answer a simple question (and, despite your protests, it is simple), and complain mightily about being asked. You evade, tap dance, spin and obfuscate, giving increasingly outlandish reasons for not being able to say whether you consider America a great nation and an exceptional one. Your hemming and hawing speaks volumes, and though you try to hide it, your ambivalence (at best) about America comes through in every post, as does your arrogance and condescension. As I said before (and you really must read my posts if you're going to reply to them, since I actually do break down my arguments):


...by calling patriotism irrational, you are deriding anyone who expresses it as, well, irrational. You are also calling yourself "rational" by implication. So, not only are you looking down on us, but you are flattering yourself. Sounds narcissistic to me. Anyone else see it that way?

Your compulsive need to prove your superiority over us is a classic symptom of narcissism.

You are far more intolerant of diverging opinions than I am, although you pretend otherwise, and dismiss anyone who has the temerity to hold opinions that you dislike as over-emotional primitives who haven't achieved your level of rationality, but you are perfectly capable of flying off the handle, aren't you? Your comparison of American patriots and Nazis was the kind of hysterical hyperbole and sloppy analogy that we've come to expect from you. Once again, America isn't Nazi Germany. Devotion to our founding ideals means devotion to individual liberty, not racial solidarity, the rule of law, not the vision of a fuhrer and the commitment to limited government, not an all-powerful, single-party state that exists to advance a warped ideal of racial purity. American patriotism nurtures liberty, not tyranny..

What country do you feel patriotic toward?:confused:

He doesn't. That's the point. He considers patriotism embarassing. Something that red-state, mouth-breathing, low-brow types express with a straight face, at best, an atavistic tribal thing, at worst , a potential revival of Nazi-style politics (not that there's not much distance between the two). Wilbur is a sophisticated fellow whose hip, ironic detachment puts him above us in all things, a "citizen of the world" who loves all humanity, but does have much use for individuals who don't think just like he does.

Zathras
11-12-2010, 01:07 PM
And once again the Major takes little wilbur to the woodshed and beats the crap out of his weak assed arguments. Bravo sir, bravo.

wilbur
11-12-2010, 01:12 PM
No? Here, again, is my explanation of my patriotism. What, exactly, do you find irrational about it, besides my signature?

So, exactly what is irrational about that? Please answer that, if nothing else. I know, I know, you don't post on my schedule, so take your time, formulate a response with the same care that you spent spinning your responses to the American Exceptionalism question. I wouldn't want you to complain that I rushed you into saying something silly or thoughtless or, >gasp< emotional.


I'm happy to say that America has some exceptional qualities - I have a problem with it becoming an irrational "-ism".



No, rational patriotism is simply being able to articulate why you love your country, something that you have been unable to do. You can't bring yourself to answer a simple question (and, despite your protests, it is simple), and complain mightily about being asked.


The original question was "Do you think America is the greatest country on Earth". My objection was to the bullshit way the question was formulated, not to naming positive things about one's country. If you, or anyone else had asked me what things I love or like about my country of birth, I could have easily provided examples. As a matter of fact, I did volunteer a quick list in the old thread, which you promptly trashed and said that it wasn't good enough.

My list included things like:


I like the security a strong and loyal military provides.
I like our continued (but lapsing) spot as the worlds technological leader and all the opportunities that come with it.
I do like our founding documents, though I think many nations now have more desirable constitutions (most of which were drafted by us) than our own.
I like the amazing variety of scenery.
I like that I am able to have a decent quality of life here.


Apparently it was too shallow to satisfy your uber-patriotism, so you marched forward with your condescending, holier-than-thou diatribes about how I just think everyone is dumb, and how I hate America.



You evade, tap dance, spin and obfuscate, giving increasingly outlandish reasons for not being able to say whether you consider America a great nation and an exceptional one. Your hemming and hawing speaks volumes, and though you try to hide it, your ambivalence (at best) about America comes through in every post, as does your arrogance and condescension. As I said before (and you really must read my posts if you're going to reply to them, since I actually do break down my arguments):


You don't break down shit - you scatter shot a million different dubious claims as fast as you can type them - either pulled out your ass, or parroted from some revisionist history book - and make dozens of unwarranted causal inferences as if they are fact (such as that all male-on-male sex crime in the military was caused by homosexuals, dubious claims about the impacts of various philosophies on the world), or paint horrendously one-sided pictures of the world in nearly every post. In short, your approach to knowledge gathering is reckless and polemical, not rational or careful.



You are far more intolerant of diverging opinions than I am, although you pretend otherwise, and dismiss anyone who has the temerity to hold opinions that you dislike as over-emotional primitives who haven't achieved your level of rationality, but you are perfectly capable of flying off the handle, aren't you? Your comparison of American patriots and Nazis was the kind of hysterical hyperbole and sloppy analogy that we've come to expect from you.

Funny, the king of unwarranted assumptions calls me sloppy.... even more ironic than your charges of narcissism. In nearly every reply I make to you, I have to shovel off mountains of wild assumptions that you have about my beliefs that you have foisted upon me, without cause. Its so tiring that I hardly bother anymore. King Ody can peer into the minds of others across the internet, and tell them what they believe!



Once again, America isn't Nazi Germany. Devotion to our founding ideals means devotion to individual liberty, not racial solidarity, the rule of law, not the vision of a fuhrer and the commitment to limited government, not an all-powerful, single-party state that exists to advance a warped ideal of racial purity. American patriotism nurtures liberty, not tyranny..


Southerners in the civil war thought they were being patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. People opposing the civil rights movement of the 60's thought they were being patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. People shoving Indians down the trail of tears thought they were patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. You, with your xenophobia towards Islam and your continual marginalization of homosexuality, believe that you are being a patriot, devoted to the founding ideals of this country.

So, it should be obvious that "American patriotism nurtures liberty" is another one of those stupid platitudinous phrases that make for a good cheer, but is so elastic that it means everything and nothing at the same time. Yet nothing seems to set you off more than failing to go along with that littler cheer, to join in on your ecstatic patriot-gasm.

This was one of my first posts in the old thread:



On the flip side, its interesting how these little meaningless questions get used as tests. Despite the meaninglessness of the question, if one doesn't answer in a way that matches the questioners sentiments, they feel justified to pickup the pitchforks and torches and lynch away. It certainly seems that's where you are dying to go, based on that last reply.

Its like a little club with a password - pretend this means something and you pass... call out the inanity of the question, and you'll be banished. Such is the way of the mob.


You have proven my thesis even better than I could have imagined.

noonwitch
11-12-2010, 02:36 PM
I love my country. I'm not one to fly flags, or put on a big display of my patriotism, but I pay my taxes and I vote in every election. I'm extemely grateful for the second of those things.

What I hate is word games. Saying that someone hates his country because he states that people in other countries probably think that their country is the best does not mean that person is somehow disloyal to his own nation. I don't determine a person's patriotism by whether he or she wears a flag pin or not.

Molon Labe
11-12-2010, 04:27 PM
I love my country. I'm not one to fly flags, or put on a big display of my patriotism, but I pay my taxes and I vote in every election. I'm extemely grateful for the second of those things.

What I hate is word games. Saying that someone hates his country because he states that people in other countries probably think that their country is the best does not mean that person is somehow disloyal to his own nation. I don't determine a person's patriotism by whether he or she wears a flag pin or not.

Amen to that statement.

but about taxes. I think one of the more amusing misconceptions people hold is the belief that paying taxes is "patriotic" and being a "good American".

Odysseus
11-12-2010, 04:38 PM
I'm happy to say that America has some exceptional qualities - I have a problem with it becoming an irrational "-ism".

Every nation has exceptional qualities. Zimbabwe has some lovely parts, I'm sure. That wasn't the question, now was it?


The original question was "Do you think America is the greatest country on Earth". My objection was to the bullshit way the question was formulated, not to naming positive things about one's country. If you, or anyone else had asked me what things I love or like about my country of birth, I could have easily provided examples. As a matter of fact, I did volunteer a quick list in the old thread, which you promptly trashed and said that it wasn't good enough.

The question was not "Do you think America is the greatest country on Earth". That was only half of it. The question, which I quote below, because apparently you have a reading comprehension issue, was "Do you believe America is the greatest country on earth? Do you believe in American exceptionalism?" You keep leaving that part out.

Do you believe America is the greatest country on earth? Do you believe in American exceptionalism?
Instead, you equivocate, saying that since nobody defined "greatness," you obviously can't answer because you don't know what greatness means (seriously?), and while America has some exceptional qualities, so do other places. This is a lie, by omission. The question pertains to a specific, easily defined term, "American Exceptionalism." Wikipedia even defines the term under its own entry:


American exceptionalism refers to the opinion that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations. Its exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming "the first new nation",[1] and developing a unique American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire".

So, to restate the blindingly obvious, do you, Wilbur, believe that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations; that its exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming "the first new nation", and developing a unique American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire"? This is not an essay question, it's a simple yes or no, true or false.


My list included things like:


I like the security a strong and loyal military provides.
I like our continued (but lapsing) spot as the worlds technological leader and all the opportunities that come with it.
I do like our founding documents, though I think many nations now have more desirable constitutions (most of which were drafted by us) than our own.
I like the amazing variety of scenery.
I like that I am able to have a decent quality of life here.


Apparently it was too shallow to satisfy your uber-patriotism, so you marched forward with your condescending, holier-than-thou diatribes about how I just think everyone is dumb, and how I hate America.

Gee, Wilbur, I like many of those things, too. I also like puppies, sunsets and long walks on the beach. But that isn't exactly an explanation of my feelings for my country, it's the back of a Playboy Playmate's centerfold, under "turn ons". So, yes, I'd say that your answer was shallow, but it's not my patriotism that it failed to satisfy, it's my common sense. Because right after you listed the things that you like, you provided this list of things that you don't like, and then added another caveat:


Here are a few things I don't like...

Our crime rates suck.
Our general medical system sucks, despite all the conservative propaganda to the contrary.
The demigod status that corporations enjoy because of the strong conservative/libertarian sentiment here fosters tyranny of another kind - don't like that.
Our election system is abysmally broken.
I dislike that the majority of people use ancient texts written by ignorant primitives as their guide book for public policy, how they deal with other people, and life in general.

Neither list is exhaustive.

Is there another spot on this Earth outside the US borders where I could live a more enjoyable life, where there exists more of the things I value, and less of the things I find detrimental? I'd be a little surprised if there wasn't. I don't know quite where that would be, though.

In other words, there are things that you like, and things that you don't like, about America. But you don't want to say that you love it, or believe in it, or that you have any emotional commitment beyond your quality of life, the flora and fauna and some of the founding documents, which you found wanting compared to other countries.


You don't break down shit - you scatter shot a million different dubious claims as fast as you can type them - either pulled out your ass, or parroted from some revisionist history book - and make dozens of unwarranted causal inferences as if they are fact (such as that all male-on-male sex crime in the military was caused by homosexuals, dubious claims about the impacts of various philosophies on the world), or paint horrendously one-sided pictures of the world in nearly every post. In short, your approach to knowledge gathering is reckless and polemical, not rational or careful.

If what I write is so obviously flawed, weak or false, then you should have no trouble answering me, point for point, but you have demonstrated that you cannot do that, which is why you resort to this kind of ad hominem attack. And for someone who claims to reject the irrational and careless, this paragraph comes off as shrill and hysterical.


Funny, the king of unwarranted assumptions calls me sloppy.... even more ironic than your charges of narcissism. In nearly every reply I make to you, I have to shovel off mountains of wild assumptions that you have about my beliefs that you have foisted upon me, without cause. Its so tiring that I hardly bother anymore. King Ody can peer into the minds of others across the internet, and tell them what they believe!
I don't have to peer into your mind. You've put it out here for all of us to see. Your character flaws are obvious. One of the things that drives a narcissist nuts is being criticized, and my critiques have you spewing invective and desperately trying to score some sort of hit, and the worst part, from your perspective, is that everyone here is watching you flounder and calling you on it. Must be your worst nightmare.


Southerners in the civil war thought they were being patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. People opposing the civil rights movement of the 60's thought they were being patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. People shoving Indians down the trail of tears thought they were patriots, devoted to the founding ideals of the country. You, with your xenophobia towards Islam and your continual marginalization of homosexuality, believe that you are being a patriot, devoted to the founding ideals of this country.
Now you're equating me with slave-owners, segregationists and those who slaughtered the Indians? It's a good thing that you don't make careless, thoughtless or sweeping comments, isn't it? :rolleyes:

I have spent two decades studying Islam, after the first Gulf War, and the more that I have learned, the more frightening it gets. I've read the Qur'an, the Hadiths, the Sunna and the various schools of Islamic thought and I've come away with an understanding of the nature of the ideological threat that we face that you lack. I've cited and provided links to documents produced by the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and a host of others that demonstrate their intent, which they make no effort to hide. The question is not why I fear Islam, but why you, who has nothing good to say about any religion, are such an Islamophile.

And I don't marginalize homosexuality, nature does. Gays are a tiny subset of humanity, and while I have no problem with what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes, I do object to their demand that the rest of the culture redefine every norm to accomodate them. It's not going to happen, because 5% of the population can't dictate cultural norms to the other 95% and not expect a backlash. But you, who want to overturn centuries of law, tradition, moral and ethical teachings and experience, consider those of us who consider such actions ill-advised and dangerous to be the bigots. What a beautiful color the sky must be in your world...


So, it should be obvious that "American patriotism nurtures liberty" is another one of those stupid platitudinous phrases that make for a good cheer, but is so elastic that it means everything and nothing at the same time. Yet nothing seems to set you off more than failing to go along with that littler cheer, to join in on your ecstatic patriot-gasm.
In order to cherry-pick that phrase and ridicule it, you had to ignore everything that went before it in my post, from my expression of gratitude to America to my explanation of how our values differ from those of the Nazis. Your shrill and hysterical attack simply proves my point, which is that you are extremely uncomfortable with any expression of patriotism. You cannot even abide it in others; it offends you to be associated with a nation of boobs who don't appreciate your genius, so much so that you cannot even bring yourself to answer a simple question.

Odysseus
11-12-2010, 04:40 PM
I love my country. I'm not one to fly flags, or put on a big display of my patriotism, but I pay my taxes and I vote in every election. I'm extemely grateful for the second of those things.

What I hate is word games. Saying that someone hates his country because he states that people in other countries probably think that their country is the best does not mean that person is somehow disloyal to his own nation. I don't determine a person's patriotism by whether he or she wears a flag pin or not.

Unfortunately, words matter, and the words we use tell a lot about us. Wilbur's inability to say what you said in the first sentence of your post demonstrates where he stands. I don't think that he hates America, I just think that he sees himself as superior to those of us who choose to love it. It is the conceit of the self-absorbed intellectual, and that's Wilbur in spades.

Oh, and paying taxes isn't patriotic, any more than not running a stop sign is patriotic. It's not a bad thing, but it's something that is done under compulsion, rather than out of love of country.

Hawkgirl
11-12-2010, 05:49 PM
And once again the Major takes little wilbur to the woodshed and beats the crap out of his weak assed arguments. Bravo sir, bravo.

Odysseus' posts make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

BadCat
11-12-2010, 05:50 PM
Ody, you're trying to convince a liberal of something. It's pointless, they are as dense as mesquite wood.

Hawkgirl
11-12-2010, 06:03 PM
Unfortunately, words matter, and the words we use tell a lot about us. Wilbur's inability to say what you said in the first sentence of your post demonstrates where he stands. I don't think that he hates America, .

Libs will never acquiese to American exceptionalism. Liberals don't believe in it. Look at our current President, who basically aims to supress this country's power while advancing others. It's an ideology that we can not understand, or accept. This is why arguing with most liberals is pointless. They have a flawed sense of patriotism and believe that anyone who does hold this country in high regard are sheep.

BadCat
11-12-2010, 06:08 PM
Libs will never acquiese to American exceptionalism. Liberals don't believe in it. Look at our current President, who basically aims to supress this country's power while advancing others. It's an ideology that we can not understand, or accept. This is why arguing with most liberals is pointless. They have a flawed sense of patriotism and believe that anyone who does hold this country in high regard are sheep.

And this is why I say the only way to get the country back on track is the elimination of the liberals...whatever that may entail.

AmPat
11-12-2010, 10:02 PM
Odysseus' posts make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

According to John Horseface Kerry, the major, and to a greater extent, me, are too dumb to do anything else.

If I were Wilbur, I would be embarrassed at the regular spankings the major puts on his behind.

Odysseus
11-13-2010, 09:39 AM
Odysseus' posts make me all warm and fuzzy inside.
I love it when a woman says that. ;)

Ody, you're trying to convince a liberal of something. It's pointless, they are as dense as mesquite wood.
Yes, but at the end of the day, Wilbur makes me a better patriot for being able to defend my sentiments. Without Wilbur, I'd have nobody to make me examine what I love about America, and I'd be less articulate about it.

According to John Horseface Kerry, the major, and to a greater extent, me, are too dumb to do anything else.

If I were Wilbur, I would be embarrassed at the regular spankings the major puts on his behind.

Maybe Wilbur enjoys the spankings. Some people get off on public humiliation. It's like the joke about the bear and the hunter:

A hunter is out in the woods and takes a shot at a bear. The shot misses, and the bear catches up to the hunter, tears his pants off and sodomizes him then and there. The hunter is enraged, and comes back the next day with a bigger gun, searching for the bear. He sees him, takes the shot, and misses again. The bear roughs him up and sodomizes him again. The hunter comes out a third day, determined to avenge his humiliation, but misses a third time. This time, the bear walks up to him and says, "Okay, level with me. You don't come here for the hunting, do you?"

AmPat
11-13-2010, 12:00 PM
Maybe Wilbur enjoys the spankings. Some people get off on public humiliation. It's like the joke about the bear and the hunter:

A hunter is out in the woods and takes a shot at a bear. The shot misses, and the bear catches up to the hunter, tears his pants off and sodomizes him then and there. The hunter is enraged, and comes back the next day with a bigger gun, searching for the bear. He sees him, takes the shot, and misses again. The bear roughs him up and sodomizes him again. The hunter comes out a third day, determined to avenge his humiliation, but misses a third time. This time, the bear walks up to him and says, "Okay, level with me. You don't come here for the hunting, do you?"This is quite possibly the most disturbing post you have made. I definitely am not warm and tingly over this. More like I feel dirty and violated. Who knew Wilbur liked bears so much?

Odysseus
11-13-2010, 12:06 PM
This is quite possibly the most disturbing post you have made. I definitely am not warm and tingly over this. More like I feel dirty and violated. Who knew Wilbur liked bears so much?

Bears are the symbol of Russia, and if the Russians were willing to meet Wilbur's standard of living requirements, I'm sure that he'd be perfectly happy to abandon America. As they said in Sex and the City, he's just not that into us.

Wei Wu Wei
11-13-2010, 12:14 PM
Anyone here ever heard of an empty signifier?...because...this thread....

AmPat
11-13-2010, 12:22 PM
Anyone here ever heard of an empty signifier?...because...this thread....

We usually call it Wei Wu Wei.;)