America the Pretty Nifty
By: Thomas Lindaman
I try to avoid commenting on the Dixie Chicks as much as possible these days because to do so gives them attention they really don’t deserve. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when lead singer/owner of the group’s collective brain cell Natalie Maines asked why people felt the need to be patriotic. “What is there to be patriotic about?” Ms. Maines opined in an interview with a British newspaper.
If you needed help finding an answer, Natalie, you could have just asked me.
When I look out at this great big lug of a country, I find there’s a lot to be proud of here.
Freedom: Contrary to what some on the far left tells us, we are not living in a fascist police state that stifles freedom. You want to know how I know this? Because the morons saying we’re living in a fascist police state haven’t been rounded up and thrown into prison for speaking out against the government. In spite of the war against terrorism, we’re doing pretty good in the civil rights department. And that’s definitely something to be proud of.
The economy: Sure, we’re told we have the worst economy since Oog hit Og over the head with a club and stole his dinosaur droppings, but the truth is we’re doing pretty well. Our economy has endured a mini recession at the beginning of George W. Bush’s first term as President, and since then we’ve hummed along at 3-5% growth on a quarterly basis. Record low unemployment, housing starts and sales going through the roof, Matt LeBlanc finding work after “Friends” went off the air – all signs of the most cherry economy out there. And we still manage to send millions of dollars around the world. Try doing that with a crappy economy, Natalie. Then, you’ll see that our economy is a source of pride.
Race relations: To hear some people talk, we’re just one big racist country oppressing everyone who isn’t lily white. Of course, those people are completely wrong, but we let them talk anyway. (See Freedom above.) By and large, the races get along pretty well, in my opinion. Can you remember the last time we’ve had a race riot in this country? It’s been a couple of years. Besides, we usually save our rioting for after a favorite sports team wins the championship. The fact we’re able to hold it together as a diverse nation without exploding into race riots every other day is a reason to be proud of America in my book.
National elections: For all the talk about how the 2000 election was screwed up, we’ve overlooked the fact that what happened in 2000 was a rare exception. It was the third or fourth time in our nation’s history that it’s happened in our 230 years of existence. That’s a level of stability that a lot of countries would kill for (and some have). And no matter what happens, we can vote people into and out of office or impeach them with the hopes they will be thrown out of office. Plus, our form of government has been the model for others. How can one not be proud of that?
International relations: Sure, we’re torquing off more than a few of our allies around the world because of our war on terrorism. Even so, we don’t have nations knocking at our door saying, “Come out with your hands up and don’t make any moves to let George W. Bush push ‘the Button.’” We’re doing okay on the international scene in spite of the vocal opposition because we know we’re right. If we followed the advice of the world left, we would be flat broke, blamed for everything, and incapable of doing anything about it because we’d be kissing the United Nations’ butt at every turn. And when you consider we’re the folks who the world calls on to do the heavy lifting, I think the fact we know what we’re doing is reason for pride.
We’re snappy dressers: Hey, style counts for something.
The War on Terrorism: Whether it’s in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world, we’re doing a pretty good job at waging war against the terrorists who want to kill us. We’re making mistakes (like letting Lynndie England anywhere near a leash, an Iraqi prisoner, and a camera), but as a whole we’re making real progress. Such military success on an international scale is worthy of a round of applause and a lump of pride in your throat.
At the end of the day, we’re not France.
If that isn’t a reason to be proud of our country, I don’t know what is.
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. Columns by this author can be read regularly on TheRealityCheck.org.