We hear the phrase, "America, Love it or Leave it" all the time. It is normally heard in times of war or great national anxiety. Thus, many consider the phrase to have fascist origins.
Indeed, the phrase, which I will refer to as LOLI for short, is now quite common during the End Times (the term I use to label the Bush Years).
We have heard it with such increasing frequency since Bush took office. And LOLI apparently means that if I disagree with the government of the United States, then I must inherently disagree with the United States itself (if it is possible to disagree with America itself), and because of that disagreement, I hate America, and/or Americans and all of its and their traditions and ideals. As such, according to the phrase, I should stop biting the hand that feeds me and leave. To disagree is to be weak. To disagree is to be stupid. To disagree is be UnAmerican, or anti-American. The LOLI phrase seeks to purge. It is a cry to quell dissent when those who utter the phrase believe that America should be united in confronting a perceived common threat.
And it is all Fucking Bullshit. It is the phrase uttered by scared little boys and girls who have no courage.
But I will get to that in a second.
Let's first turn to the long history of LOLI in our political and historical discourse.
Yes, LOLI is as old as America itself. Over many times in our relatively short history the Love it or Leave it Mentality has reared its ugly head. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were the first example.
Under the threat of war with France, Congress in 1798 passed four laws in an effort to strengthen the Federal government. Known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts, the legislation sponsored by the Federalists was also intended to quell any political opposition from the Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson.
The first of the laws was the Naturalization Act, passed by Congress on June 18. This act required that aliens be residents for 14 years instead of 5 years before they became eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Congress then passed the Alien Act on June 25, authorizing the President to deport aliens "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States" during peacetime.
The third law, the Alien Enemies Act, was enacted by Congress on July 6. This act allowed the wartime arrest, imprisonment and deportation of any alien subject to an enemy power.
The last of the laws, the Sedition Act, passed on July 14 declared that any treasonable activity, including the publication of "any false, scandalous and malicious writing," was a high misdemeanor, punishable by fine and imprisonment. By virtue of this legislation twenty-five men, most of them editors of Republican newspapers, were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down.
One of the men arrested was Benjamin Franklin's grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, editor of the Philadelphia Democrat-Republican Aurora. Charged with libeling President Adams, Bache's arrest erupted in a public outcry against all of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Many Americans questioned the constitutionality of these laws. Indeed, public opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts was so great that they were in part responsible for the election of Thomas Jefferson, a Republican, to the presidency in 1800. Once in office, Jefferson pardoned all those convicted under the Sedition Act, while Congress restored all fines paid with interest.
LOLI received a much needed update during World War II. Then, it was no longer required that you disagree with America. You simply had to look like the enemy. Hence the formation of American style concentration camps, named Internment Camps where the Japanese Americans would patiently wait out the war. During the 1950's Cold War America, Joseph McCarthy and his Republican minions sought to rid America of evil Communists and their Hollywood conspirators. The "Love or Leave It" mentality actually became a congressional committee: HUAC, or for the acronym challenged, the House UnAmerican Committee. During Vietnam, the protesting youth of this country were treated with scorn by its supposed wise elders. Who was right in the end of that conflict? The Dissenting Youth. Those who dared to think. Those that dared to question. The First Gulf War saw a return of the LILO, albeit on a much smaller scale. Yellow ribbons drowned out any signs of "No Blood For Oil." But after 9/11 LILO is flourishing, being nurtured by an Administration that finds it useful for no one it governs to question the their actions. The current administration has even been successful in turning the phrase further to their advantage by modifying it so that if you disagree with President Bush himself or any of his decisions (as if he makes his own decisions), then you hate America and you should shut up or leave. Indeed, it is no longer required for you to even disagree with the President. You just have to be brown in color. You just have to have a name like Mohammed. For such crimes will garner you Stalinistic treatment at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay.
LOLI is the clarion call for those who not only do not want America's actions challenged, but who also do not want to think for themselves. The LOLI chanters despise dissent. They hate protests and conflict. They hate arguments. So you think that LOLI chanters are fascists, right?
No, they are just fucking stupid. That's right, too dumb and assbackwards to recognize that America is a country, not a government. Too inbred to realize that as Americans, we get to elect our leaders and question them, not only during election time, but 24/7. And not only during peacetime, but especially during times of national urgency, like our current War on Terror and the Iraq War and Occupation. And if our leaders make mistakes or don't give us answers that satisfy us, we can impeach them or throw the bums out in the next election. These simpletons like things neat and, er ah, well, simple. Documents like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are complex, and thus, require thought. Questioning decisions and dissenting from a government's actions require thought, and more importantly, courage.
To follow without thought is to be scared. To sit down when you should stand up is to be without courage. To shout down others who are doing what you should doing, like questioning their government, is treasonous.
Especially considering that those who question, those who dissent, usually end up being right. It is widely thought now that interning the Japanese Americans was wrong. The Alien and Sedition Acts were wrong. Vietnam was wrong. The Iraq War was wrong.
So, in summary, to say `Love it or Leave it" makes the speaker reveal his or her true characteristics. Those speakers are scared shitless, stupid, treasonous and in the end, wrong about the policies they are trying to support by silencing opposition. To be patriotic, to love America, requires courage. It requires intelligence. To quote Martin Sheen (a liberal Hollywood actor with more balls than Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld put together), I love my country so much that I am willing to risk her wrath when I point out her failures and her mistakes and her imperfections. I will not leave My America. So fucking deal with it you stupid assbackwards inbred Red State traitors.