I’ve heard it said that when someone loves America, they love what the idea of it stands for. They love the people in it. They love what the founders were after. But when it comes down to what the government does, these same will criticize it to the point of a nagging spouse who resents everything the offending spouse stands for. In fact, they’re ready for divorce. What gives? Why this discrepancy between ideal and actuality?
It is interesting that people do not hold this ideal/actuality distinction when referring to other countries. When these people say they wouldn’t want to live in Canada, France, Britain, Djibouti, South Africa, Japan, Laos, Australia, or Brazil, I don’t think they’re talking about what idea these countries stand for, the general populace in these countries, or what their founders were after. They say they wouldn’t want to live there because of the current laws there, the regimes in place, the underlying socio/economic/political climate is. So whence the inconsistency when talking about America? Maybe it is because this is their home. Maybe if they were from one of the aforementioned countries, they would make the distinction ideal/actuality distinction there as they do here.
If it comes down to what we have in place, I both love and despise this country. I love that there is at least the constitutional possibility of free speech, press, religion, assembly, petition, bearing of arms, against quartering troops, all that supposed legal protection (provided you’re loaded enough to defend yourself), etc. I despise the fact that there are so many laws, one is near being a criminal for existing. I despise that many constitutional guarantees are “legally” (not constitutionally of course, unless we also get to get bent over by the corruption within some judges who interpret the constitution/laws against their pretty plain meaning) run over by 3 letter agencies, because they have standing armies to justify their actions and we don’t. I love that my political enemies are generally content not to literally eviscerate my family or me. I hate that we are polarized so deeply because the people can’t realize there might be more than 2 options on the table at any time. But if we come down to it, where we judge our love for something by a government’s actions, then I can’t stand America. I can’t stand the silent slavery of the majority to the secret few. The government knows too well not to be too overt in its coercion or oppression, or people might actually wake up from their yawning stupor, their contentment with bread and circuses, and revolt. Or at least change something drastically. I’m ready for change. Not empty promises. Change. Change toward freedom.
One thought on “If You Love America, What Is It That You Love?”
Interesting insight Monte! I never really thought about this before.