“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt (A Republican President, btw… and a damned good one too.)
Last year I had a graphic of Wonder Woman amid fireworks. She was blowing a kiss and the caption read “Happy Birthday America: YOU ROCK!”
The response for the year ahead was followed by a lot of “How dare you”, “Traitor”, “Un-American” and all sorts of fun stuff from the typical hateful right wing of the blogosphere.
I’m ashamed of a lot of things going on here these days. I’m ashamed of the direction our current administration is taking. I’m ashamed of the ugliness that my fellow countrymen have displayed for all the world to see. I’m ashamed of the fact that the only bad reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11 are by those who haven’t seen it. (Okay, well, Spiderman2 was much better, I admit it, but that’s not the point.)
… but one thing I won’t be ashamed of is being an American.
Quite frankly, I love this country very much and can’t think of a better place to be. It was the ideals signed into a declaration 228 years ago today that set this country apart from any other nation, with freedoms that came with a heavy price for generations to come.
I find myself thinking about the Declaration of Independence today, along with my fellow patriots.
I also think about the hatred and ignorance tearing that document up before our eyes. The paranoia of a faceless enemy causing us to snip out parts of the Bill of Rights “for our own good”.
Being against the war in Iraq doesn’t mean you wish ill on our troops. Disliking the President’s economic policies doesn’t mean you hate your country. And dissent certainly isn’t Un-American…
… hell, it’s about as American as you can get!
I’m all for kicking terrorist’s ass… I’m all for seeing Osama bin Laden’s charred corpse hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge. Seeing the animals beheading hostages get a taste of their own medicine (with a rusty hacksaw of course)…
But somehow, somewhere I feel we lost our focus between Afghanistan and Iraq… and I hate to see the price we’re going to pay for that.
Was ANYONE against troops going into Afghanistan and handing Osama his ass? No. So how did anyone who wanted to continue going after him and not waste our time with some tin-pot dictator like Saddam become “Antiwar hippies” and “liberals” anyway?
How can New Yorkers see the switcheroo take place, watch the man who slaughtered our loved ones walk free… and think that’s ok?
But I have faith in America, and will get through the dark times. There’s an innovation and a “can-do” attitude here like no other country’s ever had. And it’s all because of the ideals and dreams signed into reality on July 4th, 1776.
As hard as I’m trying here, I can’t say it any better than George Paine of Warblogging.Com did today:
You asked if any of my relatives were killed in the “9/11 Situation”. I am a New Yorker. I lost people I know in the World Trade Center. I spent a week — an entire week — in Union Square mourning with my fellow New Yorkers. I helped a Buddhist monk try to locate a Tibetan who was lost in the Trade Center, because if he did not determine whether he was dead or alive within 72 hours he would be unable to pray for his reincarnation. I cried with my fellow New Yorkers. I inhaled the concrete, the ash, the pulverized bone of my fellow New Yorkers. I watched the towers fall before my very eyes, not through a television screen. I inhaled people….
I am not a liberal, and I am not anti-American (not that those two things have anything to do with each other). I am, if anything, a Libertarian. I believe that everyone has the right to do whatever they want as long as it does not infringe upon anyone else’s right to do the same. I believe that the power of the state should be as limited as humanly possible. I believe that state power, necessarily, comes as a result of the reduction of your power and mine.
You have to read the rest. You really do…
Call me whatever derogatory names you wish. Let the brainwashed NeoCon sheep equate my dissent and questioning the status quo as hatred for my country. Let the bleeding heart liberal assholes call me racist or not being P.C. because I’m not “sensitive” enough to Iranian Idiots. I hate you both. You’re the same people on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
Fortunately, we live in a country where you’re free to say this things to me . But just remember that freedom goes both ways.
Our founding fathers gave King George the bird once, and I’m ready to do it again.
And if you don’t like it, or the fact that I will use my privilege to vote against your guy… I have a free hand for you too.
That’s what America is all about. Freedom. Choices. Different ideas from a lot of different people. And a constant vigilance to make sure the liberties, rights and freedoms that make us America stay there…. not taken away from us “for our own good”.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father
Happy Birthday America.