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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:50 AM
Original message
Proud 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 its 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 worlds most solid democracies. Thats something of which to be tremendously proud.

But theres a big difference between true pride in actual accomplishments, and mindless jingoism. Today, people who wave flags, shout USA, USA, or Were number one. Were 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 worlds 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 were 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? Im not.
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Always have been always will be.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm proud to be an American and too often ashamed of what is done in its name. n/t
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm not sure we ever really had a right to be proud of being born here.
Sometimes I've been able to take a little pride in my personal contributions.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Exactly. Accident of birth.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not even proud to be human.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yep. I have days like that.
But then there are times where humans go all out to save each other. I'm thinking about those 33 minors who were trapped underground in Chile for two months. It's times like that which give me hope for the human species.

We humans have the capacity for both great achievments and unspeakable evils. If only our capacity for great achievments could prevail, there might be hope for us.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. I just hate that f**king song.
nt

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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. You may benefit from going back and re-reading your Zinn. N/T
Edited on Mon Jun-06-11 11:07 AM by leeroysphitz
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
9. "Patriotism is the most foolish of passions, and the passion of fools." Schopenhauer
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MatthewStLouis Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
10. I am always proud of the good things!
Edited on Mon Jun-06-11 11:39 AM by MatthewStLouis
Would you stop being proud of your kids? Stop being proud of your dad who served his country and later selflessly served his family and union? Would you take down your flag because some mouth breathing slavering pro-corporate hypocritical idiot is waving one?

That is what they want. They want you to act embarrassed and ashamed. They want to take the high patriotic ground for themselves. Well, f___ 'em!! There is still some good in this country and there is nothing wrong with being proud of it!!! Being proud of your country is not mutually exclusive with trying to change it for the better.

P.S. The ivory tower anti-jingoism makes perfect sense, if you live in an ivory tower. Unfortunately, we live with alot of low information people who only hear that liberals hate America. Sadly, this is a PR war and high minded arguments have no traction in the real world.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. Those who excoriate European socialism fail to recognise that nearly
everything they hate was built on what the US was doing in the 30s - controls on corporate power, unionization, social safety nets, all the things that made the US capable of resisting the spread of fascism and communism as happened in Europe.

Difference is, we backed away from that path while Europe embraced it.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
13. I'm thankful that I was raised in the America of the 40's, 50's and 60's
before religious wack jobs and supply side economics turned it all to shit.

I don't think my great grandkids will grow up to be proud to be Americans.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. I'm guessing you're not African American.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Ouch. Great post Ms Arugula Latte.
You cut right to the core of a great truth. One for which America should hang its collective head in shame.

Many whites went down South in that era to get involved, stand by Martin, and all those brave people around him. And those whites who did, have every right to be proud to be Americans who cared enough to risk it all. Some paid with their lives. And far too many blacks have, and still are, paying with their lives for this greatest of all of American evils.
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. And I'm guessing you're not of West African descent.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. And your point is ...?
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. West African tribes sold thousands of their African brothers and sisters into slavery ...
Are they still allowed to be proud of their West African heritage? (By the way, I vote yes, just like I feel that I can be proud to be an American.)
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. Actually, I wish I were born in a Scandinavian
Edited on Mon Jun-06-11 11:50 AM by EC
country or Canada.


Every industrialized country is just about the same in day-to-day life, except here. We work our citizens into the grave. Other countries actually give you a chance of finding happiness, not just pursuing it.


On edit: I will say that from the 50's to the 70's I was pretty proud, but after Nixon and then Reagan, not so much. We did become "Ugly Americans" and it was not pride I felt.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
15. Someone call in the white coats. We got a thinker on our hands.
+!
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xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. i'm humiliated that we continue with wars and occupation..not proud of the mechanism of profit and
Edited on Mon Jun-06-11 12:05 PM by xiamiam
greed..i am, however, very proud of many individual citizens from all including my own countries who care and think and encourage others to do the same
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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Not sure if "proud" is the correct word.
I love my country. The US, like any other country, has its faults and failures, but we've got a lot to be thankful for, as well. To claim that "most of us have no control" is a defeatist attitude. It's the cry of someone who has given up.

I have a few personal agendas that I wish could be addressed by our government. Health care will be too little too late for me, but I'm not willing to throw in the towel because it won't save my life. Instead, I think of those that will come later. Our children, gchildren and great-gchildren could benefit from the fight that we fight today. Just as we've benefited from the battles before us. I love my country and my fellow Americans enough to keep fighting. And, yes, I consider myself patriotic. Do I make you sick?

In the few "proud" moments you mentioned, you seem blind to the atrocities that our country (or soon to be country) had committed. We were no angels and saints then and we aren't now. We're a larger, more advanced society. A society that has possibly grown to quickly for its own good.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
20. I am proud to live in America...we've been going down the wrong rode
for a long time now, but that shouldn't eliminate all the good we've done in the past. America was a dream for millions...now it is a playground for the select few. I am ashamed of the people that run my country...but proud of the accomplishments of the past and hope for the future. And yeah...you can hit me with all the negative stuff from the past, it happen too. Still, I am proud of my country if not very pleased with the people the rule over it.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. No. Not at all. nt
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm proud of my ideals, not the spot of ground I was born on.
There are an awful lot of Americans I can't stand, and a lot of foreigners I like, because of their beliefs and ideals. Patriotism is a silly concept, if all it means is being forced to pretend you like millions of goobers simply because they have the same citizenship papers as yourself.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I've never heard that point of view expressed that way before.
"Patriotism is a silly concept."

It really makes sense when we're all floating around on this fairly isolated planet we call Earth.
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
24. Nope. nt
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Peacetrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
25. I am always proud to be an American..
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Okay. Perhaps you can tell us why.
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