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"I don’t believe in ‘my country right or wrong’. My country wrong needs my help.” – Peter Tork of the Monkees, as quoted in TV Guide, September 23, 1967
There is a despicable kind of hypocrisy rampant in America when it comes to patriotism. The ultra-conservative crowd (is there any other kind of conservative today?) would have everyone believe that they hold a monopoly on patriotism, and that their more progressive fellow citizens are not only opposed to, but conspiring to destroy, all that true Americans hold near and dear. This shift from the misguided patriotism of “my country, right or wrong” to the phony patriotism of “my country is always right and screw everyone else” is one of the most disturbing and dangerous trends of our time. How ironic that America’s roots were planted and nurtured by rebels, malcontents and unpatriotic criminals. At least that’s what the British said about them then. Today’s conservatives would have sent them all to Gitmo.

I am an American citizen. I love my country. I revel in its history and marvel at its achievements. I am grateful for its freedoms and cherish the values upon which it was created. I fly the flag in my front yard and have voted in every election since I turned 18, except for that one local election many years ago when I had the flu. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats and Independents, although I confess there aren’t many Republicans I could stomach voting for in today’s savagely polarized political climate.

I am proud of America’s soldiers and sailors, both past and present. I am proud that I have ancestors who have served their country in nearly every conflict in America’s history, from my many-times-great-grandfather who fought the French and their Indian allies in the dense and wild forests of colonial Connecticut to my father, an Army Air Corps radio operator in World War II and a Naval Reservist during the Korean Conflict. I am proud that my father rests for all eternity in a green and shady place maintained with care by our government, alongside his fellow servicemen and women of all races, religions and political beliefs. I am proud that I had three uncles who also saw active service. I am proud of an elderly cousin who served by tending to the sick and wounded as an Army doctor. I am proud of another cousin who never got to reach old age because his Air Force trainer exploded in a ball of fire over Red Rock, Arizona, in an adjudged act of Cold War sabotage. I am especially proud of still another cousin who serves his country today as an Army sergeant, just home from combat in the scorched desert and trip-wired villages of Afghanistan.

I am also aware that our military men and women do not hold a monopoly on service to their country. I am proud of the contributions of America’s working people. I am proud to be the descendant of builders, stonemasons, merchant seamen, coal miners, railroad workers, and shopkeepers. My father was a teacher and my mother sold children’s shoes; I am proud of all of their contributions to building the America I love.

I say all this because apparently these days it is necessary to do so. Because my definition of patriotism differs from that of some others, I am called upon to affirm it again and again to the combative, the cynical and the downright ignorant. Like the Freedom Riders, Vietnam protestors, and today’s Occupy Wall Street activists, those who raise their voices or take to their computers to express a difference of opinion can expect to be shouted down or worse by those who believe that the truest Americans are the most complacent and compliant Americans.

I agree wholeheartedly with rock musician Peter Tork, quoted at the top of this column. When my country is being steered down the wrong path, he, I, and many, many people like us, want to see it safely back on the correct course. Unlike the sweetly simple character he portrayed on television, the real Mr. Tork is a thoughtful and scholarly man. It would not surprise me if his comment had been informed, consciously or not, by the orations of one of America’s greatest politicians and patriots, albeit one who is all but forgotten today.

Carl Schurz (1829-1906) was born in Germany and as an army officer fought for liberty and democracy in the revolution of 1848. He fled to Switzerland when that revolution failed and eventually emigrated to the United States, where he became immersed in the anti-slavery movement and politics. He served as a tireless spokesman for Abraham Lincoln’s senatorial campaign in 1858 and led the Wisconsin delegation at the Republican National Convention in 1860.

Schurz was appointed ambassador to Spain by Lincoln in 1861 but returned after only five months to serve his adopted homeland as a general in the Union Army. In 1869 he was elected to represent the people of Wisconsin in the United States Senate, the first German-American to serve in that body. From 1877 to 1881 he was America’s Secretary of the Interior under Rutherford B. Hayes.

Schurz eventually moved to New York City where he became an activist against the corruption of Tammany Hall and served as president of the National Civil Service Reform League. In the closing years of the 19th century Schurz was perhaps the most prominent independent in American politics, noted for his high principles, his avoidance of political partisanship, and his moral conscience.

In an address delivered in New York City to the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York on January 2, 1896, Schurz offered as eloquent a definition of “True Americanism” (the title of his speech) as has ever been given:

“What is the rule of honor to be observed by a power so strongly and so advantageously situated as this Republic is? Of course I do not expect it meekly to pocket real insults if they should be offered to it. But, surely, it should not, as our boyish jingoes wish it to do, swagger about among the nations of the world, with a chip on its shoulder, shaking its fist in everybody’s face. Of course, it should not tamely submit to real encroachments upon its rights. But, surely, it should not, whenever its own notions of right or interest collide with the notions of others, fall into hysterics and act as if it really feared for its own security and its very independence. As a true gentleman, conscious of his strength and his dignity, it should be slow to take offense. In its dealings with other nations it should have scrupulous regard, not only for their rights, but also for their self-respect. With all its latent resources for war, it should be the great peace power of the world. It should never forget what a proud privilege and what an inestimable blessing it is not to need and not to have big armies or navies to support. It should seek to influence mankind, not by heavy artillery, but by good example and wise counsel. It should see its highest glory, not in battles won, but in wars prevented. It should be so invariably just and fair, so trustworthy, so good tempered, so conciliatory, that other nations would instinctively turn to it as their mutual friend and the natural adjuster of their differences, thus making it the greatest preserver of the world’s peace. This is not a mere idealistic fancy. It is the natural position of this great republic among the nations of the earth. It is its noblest vocation, and it will be a glorious day for the United States when the good sense and the self-respect of the American people see in this their ‘manifest destiny.’ It all rests upon peace. Is not this peace with honor? There has, of late, been much loose speech about ‘Americanism.’ Is not this good Americanism? It is surely today the Americanism of those who love their country most. And I fervently hope that it will be and ever remain the Americanism of our children and our children’s children.

In an article that appeared in Harper’s Weekly, April 16, 1898, Schurz spoke just as fluently about patriotism in general:

“The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to ‘loving and faithfully serving his country,’ at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.”

As is too often the case, Schurz’ wise words went mostly unheeded in his time and are all but forgotten in our own.

My solder cousin, upon his return from Afghanistan, had this to say about his experience: “They really hate us over there. We come in and destroy everything and then expect them to love us.” Sadly, that’s the perception of the United States in many countries today, one of a lumbering giant, quick and careless in its might, oblivious to, if not disdainful of, the rest of the world. As Bill Maher puts it so poignantly, “They hate us because we don’t even know why they hate us.”

Schurz, who opposed the Spanish-American War as a trumped-up excuse on the part of the United States for grabbing Spanish territory (an opinion since judged correct by history), expanded on his concept of patriotism in a speech delivered at the Anti-Imperialistic Conference in Chicago, October 17, 1899:

“I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves… too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.’”

“When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.” Vigilance and constructive criticism of our country and its caretakers is the duty of every thinking, feeling American. It is not a compulsion born of hatred or gloating in our nation’s failings; rather, it is a labor born of love, loyalty, and true patriotism. That is, in a nutshell, the raison d’être (the reason for being, for conservatives who can’t abide anything suggestive of wine-sipping, smelly cheese-nibbling, socialist Europeans) for this blog. It’s a get well card, if you will, to the America I love.

Originally posted to Richard Riis on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 08:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Conservatives are not patriots. (18+ / 0-)

    This country is nothing but a convenient venue to them, and they abandon it the moment the freedom of the American people becomes inconvenient to them.  They waged the bloodiest war in this nation's history because we tried to free their slaves, and to this day they still proudly fly the flag of that enemy nation and hope to reinstitute slavery through other means.

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 08:21:20 PM PDT

  •  I support my country (9+ / 0-)

    whether my government is right or wrong.

    Medic Alert: Do not resuscitate under a Republican administration.

    by happymisanthropy on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 08:26:53 PM PDT

  •  I personally like to say: (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm a patriot.  That's why I hate my government."

  •  My favorite quote on this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, bnasley, niemann, Matt Z

    “ ‘My Country, Wrong or Right’ is like saying ‘My Mother, Drunk or Sober’." -- Gilbert K. Chesterton.

    •  I've never understood that quote. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zedaker

      Did he mean to say that nobody's mother is ever drunk?  Or that a good son would never believe his mother was drunk, regardless of evidence?  Or that a good son would disown a drunk mother?

      This is not snark.  I like Chesterton, but I've never been able to make heads or tails of that quote, or figure out what he was saying about patriotism.

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:09:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Chesterton's Point Is... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zedaker, NonnyO, Only Needs a Beat

        I think that Chesterton would agree his statement about his mother is nonsensical.  His point, I think, is that the statement "My Country, Right or Wrong" is just as nonsensical.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:06:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  his point was that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Only Needs a Beat

        both statements are empty sentimentality that really don't mean anything. because they have no intrinsic meaning they can be taken to mean anything... or, everything. they are semantically equivalent statements in that both say everything and nothing.

        blink-- pale cold

        by zedaker on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:48:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're over-thinking Chesterton (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Only Needs a Beat

        'My country right or wrong' implies you would continue to support repressive and unconstitutional laws if we become a full-blown fascist theocracy (and we are headed that way, like it or not since it's the religious fanatics who are all gung-ho to repeal Roe v Wade and institute all sorts of bizarre rules and regs to limit abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, and they most certainly have started a War on Women by wanting to make laws that regulate uteruses and vaginas).  The religious fanatics are also under the delusion that the US was meant to be a "Christian" nation.  Not!  They're ignoring the First Amendment's separation of church and state (and "Jesus Christ" is not mentioned in either the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution).

        Thanks to the unconstitutional Patriot Act, MCA '06 (and the additional unconstitutional MCA '09), and FISA fiasco '08, and the extensions thereof which are still in effect, most of our rights have already been stripped away in favor of a false sense of security.

        "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
        — Benjamin Franklin
        Then there's that "little" matter of our lying war criminals who started illegal wars against a little gang of criminals who had no allegiance to any country and additionally approved torture from the Oval Office who were never impeached, never put on trial, and who are walking around free to this day.  You know there is no justice in this world when cretins like Dumbya, Dickie, Rummy, Yoo, Gonzales, et alia, continue to run around free..., not to mention the fact that Obama's DoJ has started more actions against whistleblowers than even the previous occupants of the White House.

        The 'office of faith-based initiatives' which is run out of the White House was started with an executive order under Dumbya (even he knew he'd never get Congress to approve the office since it violates the separation of church and state, so to please the reichwing fanatics who voted for him he started the office on his own) and Obama (the constitutional law prof) is still violating the First Amendment by keeping it instead of dissolving it when he entered office.

        Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.
        Benito Mussolini

        Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace.
        Benito Mussolini

        And now we're about to give insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical windfall profits that will be record-setting, thanks to the second corporate win from $COTU$ (Citizens United where money is "Free $peech," and now insurance premiums and "fines"/taxes are paid to private corporations who will join oil and mercenary corporations for making record-setting profits).

        How about "My country is headed over a cliff.  Let's fix it; restore the constitution and separation of church and state, kick corporations out of government, end the illegal and unconstitutional wars, put our war criminals on trial, and repeal the unconstitutional laws."

        No, I'm not an advocate of "My country right or wrong."  I've been ashamed of being an American since the 2000 prez "debates" when corporate media gave Dumbya the "win," followed by the SCOTUS "decision" of 12 Dec 2000, and it was pathetically obvious he was too stupid to be in the Oval Office.  When we really went off the tracks after the horrific case of thousands of murdered people by 19 criminals using box cutters (hardly weapons of "war") on 9/11 and the Patriot Acts were passed, followed by the unconstitutional AUMF, I hung my head further in shame, and I've not been able to bring myself to be proud of this nation since then.  Individual everyday heroes for various reasons, yes..., but not our Congress Critters for allowing a spoiled brat and MIC corporations to dictate policy for starting illegal and unconstitutional wars or passing unconstitutional laws that infringe on our constitutional rights, or for giving corporations money and power for wars and for medical care.

        Our government is broken.  We need to fix it.

        "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
        George Santayana

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:41:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So its not my country when its wrong? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tripodisblack, US Blues

    Sorta like my son  is not my son when he misbehaves.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:28:31 AM PDT

  •  People who say "right or wronG" (8+ / 0-)

    are the same ones who think displaying the Flag means they're patriotic, even though they leave it out in the ran, snow, and at night with no spotlight.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:00:25 AM PDT

  •  Wish I could remember who to credit for this: (12+ / 0-)

    Liberals love America as one adult loves another--if you are about to make a foolish move or do something very wrong, you would want your dear friend to object and reason with you.

    Conservatives love America as a little child loves a parent--the parent can't do anything wrong as far as the child knows.

    "...it's difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

    by Mayfly on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:13:02 AM PDT

    •  Al Franken, (6+ / 0-)

      I believe.

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

      by TracieLynn on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 06:12:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And pursuant to that, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PinHole, Mayfly

      they can't comprehend how anyone could see the relationship differently from how they see it. They have the same relationship with the Bible, I think - liberals see it as a guide, a work of moral philosophy that has endured over time that also is historically based but is still a product of its patriarchal age and its authors' biases, whereas conservatives see it concretely and literally (as we all know) and just conveniently skip the parts that are inconvenient, like love your neighbor and the camel through the needle's eye.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:01:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As an expat living in a different country (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, OrdinaryIowan, niemann, gnbhull, eyesoars

    I find that I am much more patriotic than when I lived in the country.  Being an American is a privilege.  Even when  the government sucks, we still are more fortunate than half the world.  

    That doesn't mean I can't voice my dissent against the government.

    During the Bush years, I found myself often defending THAT man.  Not agreeing to certain policies but pointing out the hypocrisy of the people doing the criticism.  They had a blind spot to the failings of their own governments.

    •  That must have been a challenge. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bunsk, NonnyO

      Going to bat for W would be like trying to defend errant children when they've smashed half the crystal in a Swarovski store. What can you say except sorry, they're a little feeble-minded?

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:17:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When I see bumperstickers saying (0+ / 0-)

      "Proud to be an American" I think to myself, "Actually, LUCKY to be an American." I'd like to be proud again, too.

      "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

      by pixxer on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:11:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Richard! (0+ / 0-)

    This is so much a complement to Robert Heinlein's Pragmatics of Patriotism that I seeded your article on my column on Newsvine.

    I hope you don't mind.  Carl Schurz needs to be remembered and heard again.

  •  Patriotism, per Ambrose Bierce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, lotlizard

    “Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.”

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:34:06 AM PDT

  •  Fantastic diary (0+ / 0-)

    Your articulation of real patriotism is clear, thoughtful and spot on. Well done.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:47:27 AM PDT

  •  Patriotism redefined (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zedaker, NonnyO

    Between the Patriot Act and the rise of the tea party, I suspect that the term "patriot" will forever carry the connotation of members of a political body who promote intolerance and oppression against anyone who has a culture, lifestyle, religion, ethnic heritage, or political ideology that differs from their own.

    Let us pause now for a moment of SCIENCE

    by labman57 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:24:42 AM PDT

  •  Today's Tea Party . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MNsmartgirl, eyesoars, Late Again

    Would be demonstrating in favor of the British East Indies Company's right to corner the market and raise the price of Tea.  They have already demonstrated that they prefer George W (III)  and the rights of royalty (the privileged) over the rights of working Americans!

    Cornwallis could go to any Tea Party Rally to recruit soldiers to battle the Washington's revolutionary army - that ragtag bunch of rebels.  Can you imagine the nerve of those guys trying to Occupy the Mall at Valley Forge!

    Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

    by NM Ray on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:56:20 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand patriotism. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, NonnyO

    That is, I don't understand the simplistic, self-centered, tribal sentiment that underlies what most people think of as patriotism:  

    "My country is the greatest country on earth! ... because ... um ... it's where I happen to live."

    I can't "pledge allegiance" to a country or government.  I don't even understand how one can love a "country" -- it's too large and abstract a concept for me to grasp.  I can love certain aspects of the culture, and certain geographic areas within the country -- and there are many aspects of American history and artistic culture and geography that I love -- but the "country" itself?  It just seems like an arbitrary division, disconnected from the rest of the world.

    I guess my deepest loyalty is to a set of values and behaviors:  compassion, a mature sense of responsibility, respect for others, respect for the environment and planet, honesty, creativity and imagination, knowledge and free-thinking ...  

    When my country is in alignment with those values, I will support my country.  When it is not, I won't.

    •  I respectfully disagree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      My country is the greatest on Earth...  to me.  Just as my religion is the only one that's true...  to me.  

      If you're French I'll happily talk smack about your country, recognizing your right to dish it right back, and your right to think that only France is civilized.

      When I was a child, my mother bought a poster with Schurz' quote on it - the whole quote - and hung it on my wall.  I am a Democrat because I believe my country needs to be put right; I am a Democrat because I am a patriot.

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:17:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only we viewed ourselves as stockholders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midgebaker

    in a great corporation, we should have a correct view of ourselves as citizens.  "The Government" is a paper entity, its incorporation our Constitution.  It is our participation, our investment, our assent which gives it power.  Our elected officials are its Board of Directors and had we any sense as citizens, we would demand reforms.

    For all its glorification of Big Business, the GOP has never viewed the ordinary people as the stockholders.  Their every effort has been to diminish the number of citizens who vote, especially poor people.

    The Board is utterly corrupt.  Citizens United has reduced our politicians to whores.  Anyone can make a poltiical donation anonymously.   But voting? Let's see your papers, buddy.

    We aren't merely Caretakers.  We're owners.  High time we started acting like it.

    People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

    by BlaiseP on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:35:29 AM PDT

  •  I'm a humanist first, patriot second /nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  You might also like (0+ / 0-)

    this page and some of the associated posts.

  •  A quote from Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gnbhull, eyesoars

    "A True US Patriot    loves what his country stands for, not necessarily what his country does, and will not shrink from holding America to her ideals."

  •  Tipped and rec'd (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this diary.

    Peace!

    Equality. It's for everybody.

    by SueM1121 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 03:20:40 PM PDT

  •  See You Later, Steve Decatur (0+ / 0-)

    As I understand it, the phrase "My Country, right or wrong" originally came from a toast given by Stephen Decatur in 1817.  The entire quote goes:

    "Our country!  In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong."
    The truncated version of the quote we usually hear loses an awful lot of the nuance.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:12:10 PM PDT

  •  I was a lemming. Not a hero. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zedaker

    I was 17, ran away from home and joined the Navy.

    I took my GED, passed, and jumped on a bus a 4:00 AM to San Diego to get my head shaved, and away I went.

    I never took the time to look into global conflict, who was a dictator, who was on our team, who was not.  I never wondered why we went to this shore, or that shore , or lifted people out of the ocean in the middle of the night to bring them here or there.    

    I do remember one moment, one that had me thinking, what the f are we doing ?  I could not believe this operation, and knew something was very wrong.  As it turned out, I was correct, and we made an error.  Up to that point, I was just a lemming, going along without asking why.

    I wish I was more interested in global affairs, and took some time to learn why we went here or there, and who we were helping out.  

    I have asked a few questions about Afghanistan, and Iraq to some of the guys I know that have served, or are currently serving, and they don't have answers, and they don't really show any concern for why or how.

    I think its time we understand why they hate us over there.  There's nothing wrong with being honest, and asking questions.  

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:46:12 PM PDT

  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    I am not a drone. I am ashamed when my country blunders and proud when they get it "right". I definately will help to correct it's mistakes.

    This country was built by rebels, not conformists. If our forefathers had agreed with their country "right or wrong", we would be speaking with a British accent to our slaves.

  •  This is a great diary - I've had it up in a tab (0+ / 0-)

    and finally got to read it. Thanks for writing it. I am going to hotlist and bookmark it for reference.

    Being a good citizen of a democratic (small d) society has always seemed to me a bit like parenthood, with similar obligations. If your child misbehaves, your duty is to correct the child, not to bluster to anyone and everyone about how perfect the child is.

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:06:21 AM PDT

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