3/3/2015 - PKT, Los Angeles, CA writes ...
America: Love It Or Leave It
I would say it's the author who doesn't love America given he doesn't seem to respect diverse opinion and different views. One can certainly look at American history objectively without "hating" America. The real perversion is trying to fit historical events into your preconceived box and even more disingenuous is twisting words to make your point. Saying Obama compared America to the Spanish inquisition isn't what Obama said. He was making the point that in the past Christianity was prone to atrocities just as bad as ISIS. This was to make the larger point that Islam as a whole doesn't support what's happening and to label ISIS as terrorists not Islamic terrorists which is more than semantics but a very careful verbal tightrope to avoid angering Muslims who support our efforts in the region.
The you "didn't build it" quote is another example of taking words out of context and missing the point of the whole statement. Obama was saying nothing is made out of whole cloth. It takes a "village" for a business to survive in the form of a stable government, infrastructure, stable markets and the whole interconnected structure that allows individual units to thrive and prosper. Obama's problem is he's too thoughtful and tries to paint the bigger picture rather than toss out the hot button sound bites that don't call for thought or consideration.
But going back to the love it or leave theme I find that whole attitude shows contempt for the American way. Lots of patriotic Americans have fought against the system going to prison and even dying for principles. The same slogan has been used by conservatives against Vietnam War protestors, civil rights marchers, environmentalists and just about anyone who has spoken out against the status quo. The protestors and marchers of the tea party or the rabid anti-abortion picketers seem to get a by on the love it or leave it meme because they're "right."
And then define "love" in the context of patriotism. Is it more loving to accept say civil rights abuses or toxic waste dumps than it is to speak out and try to change the course? Is loving America glossing over history or is it better to have frank discussions of past sins and show how we have progressed as a nation and a people. Should we only teach Custer's Last Stand or should we also include Sand Creek? Do we teach America started with the Revolution or include the 200 years of Colonial history that includes Spanish Florida and the Southwest, French Louisiana, Native-American cultures and Dutch New York? Is loving America portraying it free of blemishes or showing it warts and all and embracing that history as part of a culture that made us what we are? I love America. I'm critical of America. I love our history. I see our past errors. I love our system. I think our system can be changed and improved. I love the Founders for their genius and courage. I think modern times call for new interpretations of 200 year old thinking. Bottom line I am an American and I agree with much of what Obama said.
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