“For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country …”
Obama’s running “mate,” his wannabe first lady, Michelle, uttered those revealing words the other day at a campaigning gig for her hubby. She was speaking from a written speech; praising the stirring affect her husband has had on his adoring electorate in his quest to be the “change” president.
At first glance, a listener might think she misspoke, that she simply uttered, or read, a throw away line that just came out wrong. Some might think, ‘How could she possibly be serious?’ I mean surely, over the past 15 or 20 years, there must be something she’s found to be proud of concerning her country?
Conversely, the implication is that she doesn’t think much of it, except for now of course, since as she goes on to say in her speechifying that the USA has become worthwhile only NOW that so many of us have decided to follow her wonderful guy over the dreamy Obama cliff.
I can assure you, the sentiment behind the words is exactly as she said them. She’s given the same speech before and didn’t change a thing the second time around, so she said what she meant. She’s trying to hopscotch around it now only because so many finally noticed the actual words.
The average citizen might not understand the apparent bitterness and disgust behind those words, but I “got it” right off the bat. As soon as I saw and heard the sound bite I nodded knowingly thinking, “Aha! I know you!” I recognized her attitude immediately. I know who she is and where she comes from. I’ve met her ideological brothers and sisters before; they are hard corps and they are legion.
Michelle’s words weren’t the result of an honest slip of the tongue or a typo. Believe me; its spot on that the only thing she truly finds redeeming about this country is that her silver tongued hubby is actually being taken seriously by a huge contingent of Americans. (For the life of me I have no idea why so many people feel this way, but then I couldn’t and can’t figure out why so many voted for Slick Willy; but that’s for another post).
You see, the Obama’s are unabashedly liberal. In fact, he’s probably THE most liberal legislator in the senate. It’s no secret that Americans who choose to be on “the left,” especially those who have attended and are products of our universities, have developed a huge distaste for their own country.
For these folks, nothing we’ve ever done as a nation is legitimate. In fact, to them, starting from day one, we are anything but legit. I’ve had conversations with these types and their drumbeat is we are “bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad… and anyone who believes otherwise is stupidly dim-witted or “uneducated.”
When I’ve debated these “lefties” it hasn’t mattered what I might bring up that we as a nation have accomplished, they pick it apart, trivialize it and in a loud snooty voice declare it foul. They look at the broad picture of our history and find it nothing but wicked. It’s truly amazing. I call it the “throw the baby out with the bathwater” syndrome.
Bring up the loftiness of Washington and Jefferson and they hold their noses and shout slavery. Point out the hundreds of thousands of valiant Americans maimed and killed for freedom, including the white men who died ending slavery, and still they cry out that war is not the answer and describe those who gave “the last full measure” as misguided racist pawns. Point out our scientific and technological advances and breakthroughs and they scream global warming while venting their spleen on the evils of globalization. It goes on and on. When it comes to the United States their views are forever jaundiced.
The framework of this self-hatred is learned from professors at first and later reinforced from each other at cocktail parties and in their blogs. I went to a Superbowl party at a psychologist friend’s house back in New Jersey. He taught at a state college there not far from Atlantic City. I’d met him during a rainstorm on a mountain top in the Philippines back in the mid-80s. We ran into each other 15 years later during my last Air Force assignment at Fort Dix. I think as a psychologist he liked to invite a “mix” of people to his parties to make conversation more “interesting.” I’m sure he “observed” the resulting interactions, or in some cases, “conflagrations.” I guess I was the token traditionalist military attendee, and without even trying, I played my “role” to a T.
My sense is that most of the others at the party were liberal academics, but when they found out who I was, most of them clammed up or shied away from talking of “sensitive” topics, which was fine with me; all except for one bigmouth.
He was a typical know-it-all and I picked up immediately that he didn’t like the idea that someone “like me” would dare question his “brilliant” analysis and commentary. Being a bit of a know-it-all myself, as well as being willing to challenge and mix it up with anyone, no matter how many degrees they have, I girded for battle, closed with the blow hard and fought it out. My psychologist host buddy just watched and grinned throughout.
I couched my repartee in my knowledge of history and from the perspective of my travels. Not being able to persuade or convince me is not what upset him so much; what truly burned his ass was my debate style, which was to ask pointed questions. Continually, I quizzed his knowledge of subjects on which he so snidely spoke of so “expertly.” The trick was never asking a question that I didn’t already know the answer to.
The problem is that his poor answers obviously showed him lacking. At almost every turn I embarrassed him; and worse for him, right in front of his friends. I’m sorry to say that I loved every moment of it. Funny thing is—his colleagues seemed to love it too. I rarely had to make a point. All I did was ask a series of questions that he could not well answer; and when he did respond faultily, I’d point it out. By the end of the two matches—the football game and our own verbal contest of ideology—that was one pissed off professor.
He got under my skin only once. It was when I first mentioned my 5 years in the Marines. His response was almost violent. This guy hated the US Marine Corps’ guts. His first comment was almost choked out. He wanted to see the marines disbanded since he claimed that they were overrated and obsolete. “Not only that. Look at the Iwo Jima picture. It was nothing but a sham. They staged the whole damned thing!” he declared at the top of his voice.
I didn’t quite explode on him, but I jumped on him with both figurative feet. “Staged! You realize that two of the marines in that Mount Suribachi photo died before the week was out? And also, keep in mind that thousands of photos were taken on Iwo Jima over a month’s time in February of 1945 by reporters and combat photographers. You really think in the heat of a month long pitched bloody battle that someone conspired to dupe Americans with a photograph? The picture was nothing but a snapshot, no more, no less.”
I went on to explain that all marines are schooled in the story of that photo, that a small flag was replaced by the bigger flag; that that’s all there was to it—there was no staged photo. It didn’t matter what I said to the guy. He was blindly confident in his vitriol.
When I first came across this sort of liberal mindset in my teen years I was totally bewildered by the deep down disgust that fills these people. Some of them, perhaps like Michelle Obama, really have to control themselves to keep their deep feelings under control—and at times, hidden. But then, thinking back, it begins to make sense why and how they got this way. I remember when I too almost fell under the sway of America-bashing.
In junior high school I read a series of books deemed essential reading by several of my teachers. To name a few, they were paperbacks like “The Jungle,” “Black Like Me,” “Slaughter House Five,” and “I Buried my Heart at Wounded Knee.” Each time I finished another, I couldn’t believe those things happened in my country, that Americans could do such mean things.
Also, about the same time I was reading these controversial tomes, the Vietnam War was in its final throes. Our environment was in tatters as could visibly be seen by looking into the bilge-like waters of any river running through any US city at the time. It seemed that everything I heard and read and was told in class was a condemnation of my country. Combine this with normal teenage angst and youthful idealism and you have a witch’s brew of self-condemnation.
Now, whenever I come across a blog written by a USA-flagellating progressive, wherein they basically claim that nearly every problem in the world today is our fault, I recognize myself in my development years. And that is my point; these American hating liberals, like the Obama’s—and now that I’ve heard it from her own lips, that IS who they really are—are adults that never outgrew their teenage angst. They sucked up all the negativity and internalized it into their adult psyche. It’s who they are now and most cannot change. Hell, they don’t want to.
So what changed me? How did I escape the liberal trap that is our education system? For one thing, I grew up and realized that there were other books and views out there that didn’t concentrate ONLY on the ugliness. I traveled the world and was able to compare American culture and our mindset to how the rest of mankind sees things and does things; and believe it or not, our way really is not all that bad. I realized that the kind of ugliness I learned from my grade school teachers about the United States exists in ALL societies; that ALL nations have their historical skeletons in the closet.
I know it sounds arrogant, but that’s MY truth. I don’t see us as the bane of the world; I see us as a force for good. There might be times when we are like a bull in a china closet, but ultimately, we want to make things better in the world, not just for Americans, but for everyone. And because I truly believed it, THAT is why I served.
I want to change the bad things in our society too, but from my vantage point, much of what I find distasteful in American culture is BECAUSE of the self-indulgence bred from the secular humanism that the Obama’s want to foist on us from the presidency.
Change? There has NEVER been a nation that has seen more voluntary change in such a short period of history. As my buddy Alec always says, we are THE most self-corrective society in the history of the world. As a people, we love that we feel empowered to make change for the good. I’ve never appreciated that more than now, because believe me; I live at this moment in an oligarchic country where NO one except for a select few feels even slightly empowered. The common man here knows the only way to effect change is to go to the United States! Change indeed Michelle.