Friday, January 28, 2005

Love It or Leave It

I have never been known to shy be about critiquing American domestic/foreign policies and their consequences. There have been many times when people have responded to my critiques with the wise redneck sayings that goes something like this, "Hey man, you don't like America? Why don't you just leave then?". It is as if trying to hold political leaders to civilized standards is somehow an act of treason. What is so wrong with trying to hold America and its leaders accountable for its actions? Is America somehow not of this world and therefore cannot be held to account? Do the people with this "Love it or Leave it" mentality actually believe that America is incapable of wrong doing and does what is best in every situation?

You might agree with the "Love it or Leave it" club, but you need to be made aware of a few things before you place membership. The "Love it or Leave it" crowd is content to let injustice roam free for the sake of its own comfort and leisure. If one is to question the status quo, then they fear it might cost them their upper-middle class fairytale. This mode of thought is first step towards a totalitarian state where no one dares question the actions of the government or its leaders. Those who believe in the "Love it or Leave it" myth will be the first in line when they start to pass out the armbands because they have been made to believe everything the government does is for their own good.

I've been called naive numerous times for my passion for non-violence. But who is more naive, me or those who believe that government cannot tell a lie or do wrong? Me or those who believe that government does everything in the best interest of its citizens? America has inflicted vast amounts of suffering here at home and around the world, but I am not leaving any time soon. Those who are power hungry would like nothing more than to see those who disagree leave so that they could have their way unopposed.

It may sound strange, but I do believe America is full of great potential to good things. I critique America and its policies because I desire to see America live up to its potential it has shown in the past. One example was after WII when America decided to rebuild Europe with the Marshall Plan. This is the America I want to live in. Those who proclaim "Love it or Leave it" are unknowingly letting the good America slip away. We must critique America not to tear down, but to build up. In the end it is not a matter of "Love it or Leave it", but "Critique it or Loose it".


Coming Next Week: Deceiving The Youth


J-Wild 8:51 AM  

Great post! It is so important that we remain criticle (not cynical) of the institutions that surround us. A person who looks at things with a criticle eye doesn't just take things at face value, but digs deeper to find the kernal of truth that people often want to hide. In America it is our inherient right and duty to do that, it is the very essence of freedom. For people to say "Love it or Leave it" shows their own ignorance in the true principles of this unique nation. America as a collective nation falls remarkably short of any kind of holy standard, yet there are people within that collective group who embody the spirit of that standard. The fact that those people can exist is what makes this country great. As a person who loves history you are aware of what happens when people "for the good of the country" try to get everyone to think the same way. To this end even Bush has talked about people who disagree strongly with him and he welcomes that as a right of every American. I would be interested in your thoughts concerning this whole democratization process in Iraq. As a student of history I think you could bring unique insight into this very young birth of democracy in Iraq. To be sure there have been tremendous and tragic missteps, mistakes, arrogance, and failures all throughout the process by those "in charge". However, in your eyes what does it mean for the Iraqi people to stand on the edge of the kind of freedom you advocate here, and will they benefit from it?

Chris Ewing 9:56 AM  

Well to be honest I don't think this attempt at Iraqi democracy is going to succeed. Remember not even America got it right the first time. Before the Constitution there was the Articles of Confederation which had to be abandoned. For thousands of years all Iraq has known is the rule of a empire or dictator. Don't be shocked if it doesn't work out this time. I think a successfull democractic Iraqi will have be totally void of US military and economic influence. Democracy has to adapt to the culture and history of its people. We cannot empathize with the Iraqi experience. We should not expect, nor should we force Iraq to fit the American mold. If Iraqi democracy executes differently than America it's ok.

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