I want to begin this post with the requisite “I Love America” disclaimer. I hate that anybody who says anything but “I Love America” is questioned on whether they love my country. So I do. I do love America and I have loved it since I was conscious of basic geography. I’m as American as apple pie which is also a dessert that I do not like to eat. I’ll take the a la mode part though with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Maybe some ground up peanuts if you have them. I got off topic because I’m craving ice cream.
I love my country, these United States of America but I’m not a flag-waving jeans commercial who unquestioningly supports the government or its people. Those people scare me. The way I see it there is nothing to gain from not thinking critically and piling behind a banner that you only have control of in two year intervals. If you are one of these people let me also say that I do not hate you. I fear you in some ways but I do not hate you. It was this hyper-patriotic line of thinking that worried me right after 9/11 and for what seemed years later. There were American flags everywhere you looked and it seemed excessive to me. It was as if everybody was suddenly afraid to be seen as unpatriotic.
That kind of influence is what leads to our leaders being able to get away with even more underhanded things than they usually do. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m in the airport and I see soldiers in full fatigues who are off duty walking around. Why? It just makes me feel like we’re under attack when we’re not. We’re doing all of the attacking these days and we’re defending ourselves just fine.
I’m one of farthest left politically in any circle of friends I’ve been in and I was often called Communist in the latter parts of high school. Some of that was that I started reading stuff like the The Communist Manifesto but I was worried about the right wing. I read such things because you should question your government. Questioning your government is not the same as rebelling against it. It’s your government, take a hold of it and make it work for you.
I leave you with a David Cross bit that parodies a lot of the scary nationalist fervor I’m talking about: