left biblioblography: HAPPY TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY, AMERICA: FROM A LIBERAL LEFTIE ATHEIST WHO LOVES YOU, WARTS AND ALL

Monday, July 03, 2006

HAPPY TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY, AMERICA: FROM A LIBERAL LEFTIE ATHEIST WHO LOVES YOU, WARTS AND ALL


Oftentimes, I carp and bitch about how this country is run: I frequently take swipes at the current administration. If I had the inclination, I would hang a dartboard and alternately drape it with various pictures of the idiots in power now, and festoon their photos with grouped thunks!

Frequently, the Neocon nincompoops use the old redirection technique: “Why do you hate America?” Criticizing the critics is just so juvenile.

Moi? I love America. Else, I’d be plotting the dismantling of this great country. Instead, I raise my voice, and if I see something that defies logic, if it runs contrary to the principles that founded my country, well, you’re gonna hear about it, you betcha.

Because, despite all my bitching, I do indeed love this country. With a passion. If I didn’t, I’d keep my big yap shut.

A small variant on a bumper-sticker/T-shirt drollery: I love my country: it’s the adminstration I hate.

But enough on the warts: I could go on all day with them. Let’s instead, play Pollyanna, and go for the warm fuzzy feeling.

I’m an American, born and bred, suckled at the teat of liberty, raised by the hands of equality, and I believe all men (and women, let’s not quibble about usage here) are created equal.

I love the ability to raise my voice in dissent. I love the hard-nosed spirit of independent thought, the bootstrap attitude, the chance to face my accuser in a fair trial, that I can (with others) present a redress of grievances, that I can worship (or not) freely, all those seemingly minor ingredients that compose perhaps the best government, the best country that ever was.

There are inequities and inequalities, to be sure: which is why any true patriot (and of course, I’m talking about thinking citizenry, not those mad-dog nationalists who would use sophistry to convince us that everything is just fine the way it is, how dare you speak up?!?!?) should voice his/her dissatisfaction, raise the clenched fist to the sky, and denounce the wart for all to see.

Because to be an American is to take a stand. To speak up. To be heard. To live by the principles that founded us, no matter how inconvenient, no matter how it rankles us: no free passes, folks, that’s the way it is.

America: who loves ya, baby?
I do.

As I’m a quote-collector, I will leave with these words, from the Founders:

It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.
George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789

Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 1824

The citizens of the United States of America have the right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were by the indulgence of one class of citizens that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, September 9, 1790

And of course, my all-time favorite, from my hero, Tom Paine:

It is the duty of the patriot to defend his country from its government.

Happy Birthday, USA.

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7 comments:

GooseHenry said...

I actually was in the US last independence day.

Marvelous fireworks.

Have a nice independence day

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, thanks, goose.

PastaLaVista said...

Happy 4th Ruluctant! I even bought a brand new flag to fly. Feeling pretty patriotic myself.

San Nakji said...

Celebrating independence is an important thing! Happy 4th of July, enjoy your BBQ! I will enjoy my living room fire... It's cold!

Krystalline Apostate said...

PLV:
Hey, thanks my friend.
San Nakji:
Celebrating independence is an important thing!
Very true.
I confess, I'm a tad confused. You're in New Zealand, moved out of Korea? Sorry.
But welcome to my little corner on the Net. The more the merrier, I always say.

say no to christ said...

Well said Ra!! I agree that it is patriotic to speak out! That is what our country was based on. THE PEOPLES VOICES! As for my husband(being in the millitary) he may not be able to speak out, but that is what we are for! So, I say if you support our troops speak out and stop sending our children to their deaths for corrupt ideaology!

Happy 4th! :)

Amy

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Well said Ra!!
Thank you, thank you, no applause please, just send money (hehehehe).
I agree that it is patriotic to speak out! That is what our country was based on.
Here, here.