Cyrano (1000+ posts) Mon Jun-06-11 10:50 AM
Original messageProud to be an American? Edited on Mon Jun-06-11 10:56 AM by Cyrano
I heard the song “Proud to be an American” this morning on my car radio. And then I turned off the radio and thought about that concept.
There were times when Americans had every right to be proud of our country. In the 18th century our Founding Fathers stood up to Great Britain, and risked everything they owned, including their lives, to fight for American freedom. That was something to be proud of.
When WWII came along, Germany and Japan had conquered half the world. Then America got involved. Your parents, or grandparents, or great grandparents, went into high gear, and quickly built the most powerful war machine in history. And it’s hard to dispute that “The Greatest Generation,” saved the world. It was the ultimate moment to be proud to be an American.
And then, the Marshall Plan rebuilt Germany and Japan which today, are among the world’s most solid democracies. That’s something of which to be tremendously proud.
But there’s a big difference between true pride in actual accomplishments, and mindless jingoism. Today, people who wave flags, shout “USA, USA,” or “We’re number one. We’re number one,” make me sick. The only thing at which we are number one is using our military might to try to make the rest of the world do what we want them to do. In effect, we have become the world’s biggest bully.
From the day Ronald Reagan became president, America has been on a downhill curve. And after eight years of Bush Jr., we've hit rock bottom. Exactly what is it we’re supposed to be proud of today? Our educational system? Our health care system? Our social safety net for the elderly, sick and poor? Our despicable record of caring for our veterans? Our ability to provide a job for anyone who wants one?
Most of us have no control over most of these things. Our country, our politicians, our media, and all the rest of us have become wholly owned subsidiaries of that very small percentage of people who run Wall Street and corporate America.
So what about you? Are you proud to be an American today? I’m not.