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Ashamed to be American? You bet your ass!

Posted by Rick · July 7th, 2003 · 5 Comments

Tonight, on that bastion of intellectual thought, Hannity & Colmes, I learned that I’m unpatriotic because I embrace some liberal ideals, such as participatory democracy. This is a terrible thing because some liberals attempting to engage conservatives in a debate over contemporary issues have also used provocative language, claiming to be embarrassed to be Americans. And this—this claim to embarrassment—this is, well, just un-American.

But why shouldn’t we be embarrassed? We have a President who admits to things that would land most people in a looney-bin!

According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: “G-d told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

How dare we parade our lack of patriotism by refusing to stand by our President? After all, he knows what needs to be done if we’re to free the oi…er, smite the evil-doers as G-d hath commanded (no, actually, G-d really only “told” him to do it).

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Those of you who are incapable of hearing alternative points of view (that seems these days to mean “Conservative”) and those of you who are ignorant (but I’m being redundant) or unable to think about something before pronouncing judgment (oops, there I go again) can click on over to something that makes more sense to you right now.

For those remaining, let me address the question: Am I ashamed to be an American? You bet your ass! But not for the reasons some of you might think.

I’m ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that one may not question the President of the United States.

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. —Theodore Roosevelt


I’m ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that those who believe in a participatory democracy rather than follow like so many sheep are unpatriotic.

“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty. Now we bleat like sheep for security.” —Norman Vincent Peale

I’m ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that it is okay to sacrifice our rights and our personal liberties because, after all, “if you have nothing to hide, there is no reason to be afraid.”

“In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me… and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone.” —Martin Niemoeller, Pastor, German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church

I am ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that those who say they are ashamed are threatened with death.

“The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty.” —Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

I am ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that the threat of terrorism requires harsh measures and sacrifice not for freedom, but of freedom.

A people may prefer a free government, but if by momentary discouragement or temporary panic, or a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or trust him with powers to subvert their institutions, in all these cases they are unfit for liberty. —John Stuart Mill

I am ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that there is nothing wrong with war as a way of life.

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. —James Madison

I am ashamed to be an American because to be an American today means to insist that it’s not the economy, it’s the terror.

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. —James Madison

What will it take to overcome this shame? What will it take to be proud of America? Just one thing.


Categories: The Decline of America


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lourdes cuadra // Aug 10, 2003 at 8:07 pm

    We have to vote for someone other than Bush. These last couple of years have been the worst I have seen in this country. How did America become so mean spirited? I am so weary and shocked at how people do not care what is happening and what they stand to lose.

  • 2 Winkola // Aug 10, 2003 at 8:51 pm

    What can I say? I totally agree.

    I’ve been asking people WHY and HOW Bush continues to be so popular. He hasn’t done anything FOR us.

    Some people feel better about the World Trade Center after he attacked Iraq. But isn’t that just like feeling better after someone in your family is killed because the police framed someone from another country and then “got the guy”? (Seriously, oh-you-unconvinced, THINK about it! Isn’t it just like that?)

    And what else has he done for us. We went from budget surplus to budget deficit virtually the day he took over.

    He lied about the weapons of mass destruction.

    REALLY. Can someone post ONE REAL THING he’s done for us?

  • 3 Justin // Dec 2, 2003 at 5:44 pm

    Keep in mind they received bad information. Suppose they didn’t act on it, and then something did happen? It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

    That being said, I can’t believe Bush calls himself a Republican after passing the Patriot Act, and the extension of the Patriot Act that extends the Government’s powers and impairs our freedoms and liberties.

  • 4 Mike // Jan 31, 2004 at 5:54 am

    Reading this article and comments made me feel good about America and about the fact that sensible, intelligent americans speak out. I am a Belgian and totally agree with you and share your ideals and values.

    As a European I have encountered fierce comments whenever I would try to give my opinions about the Bush policy. Often as basic as “we saved you from the nazies and that’s what we get”… Generally such reaction would emanate from someone not intelligent or mature enough to have a sensible debate. Eluding important questions with slurs and the almighty “anti-american” verdict thrown towards the European that I am.
    How much more ridiculous can it get than the “freedom fries” at the heart of the White House itself…

    We in Europe on the whole loved Bill Clinton and our image of the US was so positive and full of hope for the future under his presidency. We now have the feeling things are going backwards. Unlike G.W. Bush, Bill Clinton was a gatherer. It seems everyone has forgotten his tremendous efforts and achievements on the israeli-palestinian peace process. I don’t know how he would have managed the Iraki crisis, but I am certain he would have done it in a more sensible and researched way.

    As for patriotism there is a major difference between being patriotic and loving your country but respecting other countries and cultures, and being a nationalist. A nationalist puts other countries and people down, in addition to felllow citizens who don’t think like them. On a personal level nationalists are generally people who compensate for a strong inferiority complex, identifying themselves to a flag and nation in contrast to other “inferior” races, religions or cultures. Not thinking like them threatens their weak identity.

    That is the real root of evil. These kind of nationalist americans are the true anti-americans in my eyes. And the Patriotic act seems tinted with such concepts.

    I have great american friends whom I dearly love, I have traveled extensively in the US and I so much love your country. But if I were to live there, even though I would love to, I am afraid I would have a very hard time dealing with these prejudiced and nationalistic people. I would try to hide my origins as much as I can. I don’t dare think of what life must be for moderate, good arab americans or muslims nowadays in the “land of the free”.

  • 5 Baz // Apr 9, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I think the wars have disgusted me. I think saying support our troops and letting them live on the streets when they come back is just too much. The government and the corporations are at war with the people and democracy, freedom of information and speech…It’s horrible what’s happening, just horrible.

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