Skip to comments.God bless America
Posted on 07/31/2004 2:02:49 AM PDT by Clive
Shortly after the mass murder of September 11, 2001, I wrote a column about the United States. I said then that I'd never been a particular fan of many of the foreign and domestic policies of the U.S., and I have no reason to change my mind now.
But I have now written an updated version of that column because, frankly, I am sick of the smugness, the hypocrisy and the sheer hatred evinced by so many people towards the United States.
I've had enough of certain risible Canadians inflating themselves by claiming superiority over their southern neighbours.
I'm tired of the America-bashing from mediocrities the world over, and the blaming of every conceivable problem on Washington.
The last straw was, in itself, not particularly significant. It was when cyclist Lance Armstrong was spat at during the Tour de France. Spat at because he is an American.
Politics didn't matter
We do not know his politics, but his girlfriend, Sheryl Crow, is an opponent of George Bush. That didn't matter. The man was American and thus worthy of disdain.
So, almost three years later, I say it again: God bless America.
For leaving half a million men on the battlefields of Africa, Asia and Europe during the Second World War, a conflict the United States could easily have sat out. For effectively forcing Japan to declare war and thus joining the alliance of light against the gang of darkness. God bless America.
For that farm boy from Nebraska who had never even heard of Normandy or Sicily, who wanted so much to walk back from the hill but continued on, the bullets flying over and around him. For his not turning back. For his determination to do his duty and for his dedication to freedom. God bless America.
For being prepared to rip the country apart in a bloody spasm of civil war because, however delayed and reluctant in some quarters, the leaders and people knew that slavery was wrong. For seeing the future dawn when others could only see the enveloping night. God Bless America.
For Lincoln and Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Truman, Kennedy and Franklin, Jefferson and Adams. For Mark Twain and John Steinbeck, Henry James and Scott Fitzgerald, Melville and Whitman. God bless America.
For the legion of Nobel Prizes won with grace, for the medical breakthroughs celebrated with decorum, for the sporting records, the intellectual triumphs, the moral victories, the glory. For embracing "yes" rather than hiding behind "no." God bless America.
For the vibrant pastures and forests, for the mountains and valleys that startle, for the cities and the towns, the highways and back roads. God bless America.
For jazz and pluralism, baseball and religious tolerance, burgers and equality. For inventing and pursuing an ideal that, though not always achieved, is still glorious in the making and pristine in the chasing. God bless America.
For the billions in foreign aid, greater per capita than any other country in the world. For the food, clean water, medicine, machinery given to every continent on Earth. For the Marshall Plan and Marshall Dillon, for Tom Sawyer and Tom Hanks, for New York and for the New Deal. God bless America.
For inviting Irish, Jew, Italian, Pole, German, Hispanic, black, Asian, man and woman, all and every into the highest levels of government. For being the first nation in the world to treat the outsider as a guest rather than a problem. For being a melting pot rather than a melting society. God bless America.
For allowing God and prayer and faith to enter public life and for not running scared of gratitude to the Almighty for all that He has given us. For not lauding the religion of secularism whilst lambasting the religions of the church and synagogue. God bless America.
For being right more often than being wrong. For being the nation that still leads the way in so many ways, still lights the path on so many days. For being you. For being. God bless America.
Now there's one wise Canadian with character!
Bump! with thanks.
/wiping tears from eyes
I think all this hate going around is going to have actual consequences for all of us some time in the not too distant future. If Iraq becomes a success, it will only get worse. Shame and hate are a bad combination...
Why should it be any different during Pax Americana?
But there is a logic of empire that requires the pre-eminent world power to press on regardless.
Hopefully, Michael will also soon see the wisdom of keeping
the likes of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, et al, out of his
Correction: "our countries policies" should have been written, "our country's policies."
But we Americans do not like "empire," and that, I suspect, is why so many anti-American writers use the phrase, "Pax Americana."
All others who read this, search and see information on "Pax Americana."
"The last straw was, in itself, not particularly significant."
I hate to nit-pick with the author (really the editor should have caught it) but, by definition, the last straw is insignificant.
Other than that, great piece, thanks from this American. And I hope that silly Sheryl Crow learns a lesson; although she probably thinks that if Jean Francois Kerry were pres. it never would have happened. In fairness I must add that I'm not 100% sure the French don't just hate Armstrong because he's won their race so many times.
I use the term "logic of empire" and "Pax Britannica" because I was born and raised at the twilight of Pax Britannica.
As to "Pax Americana". Someone has said tha "war is mankind's natural state. Peace is a condition to be inferred by the fact that there have been intevals between wars." Imaging the chaos that would be extant in the world but for the existence of the US as the pre-eminent world power.
Thank You for an inspiring post.
And know that many of us were comforted by envisioning the French spittle landing on their own cyclists who were trailing Lance Armstrong...
I understand, to a small extent, and thanks for the explanation.
To understand conservative Americans a little more, one might look for a speck of the anti-materialistic principles (but not enough, IMO) in us, of those who opposed Charles I in the 1600s. ..."liberal" in the older sense (i.e., not socialist). ...this, despite what Hollywood portrays in generalization of us all. Generally, we are immoral in many ways but maybe more moral than many would expect in other ways.
I very much hope that the Iraqis continue a great and independent government that they will enjoy. And it is a near certainty, given the history of trade regarding the USA to date, that we will not take more from them than we will give or exercise any control over Iraq's leaders by threat of force, overt or covert. Germany is an example, as most Germans show animosity against us, yet we do not exercise any control over their government leaders to change that. Canada is another example. We even continue a trade deficit with Canada despite so much contempt for us there.
Trying to pick myself up off of the floor.
We have just as much America-hating and America-bashing from the dims in our own country.
I'd like to say you were wrong about the prevailing majority sentiment in Canada in regards to the US, but I've seen it too often myself. It's a festering problem in Canada brought on by our fears of being overwhelmed and feelings of inferiority that we must deal with.
On the subject of the trade deficit between our countries, I wonder how much of that is made up by necessary imports by the US of electricity, gas and oil? Certainly Canada is one of the biggest consumers of American products of all types, as a look around any Canadian home would reveal. Since the FTA even many Canadian brands and company names with a long history in this country have been bought up or merged with US corporations. Although sometimes a little sad to see the passing of an era, I don't really mind this - I think the FTA has been good for both of our countries.
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