Sunday, February 24, 2008

"For the first time... I am proud of my country..."

“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.


KA said...

why you always gotta bash on us educated lefties?

PhilippinesPhil said...

They are probably about to take over Kat. Shudder.

There but for the grace of God go I ...

By the way, you don't throw with your "left" do ya? ...grin..

KA said...

LOL. I can already tell you that a Dem will win because of the Economy. You'll notice that generally when the economy is doing well we sustain the previous party, but if are going nuts about the economy, then we'll vote the party out.

Ah, The Almighty Dollar. We really are selfish creatures.

Kevin said...

Great post dude.

Check this:

My girl Peggy Noonan is as spot-on as you are. Here is my favorite part of the article, which kinda speaks to what you are getting at:

"Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?

Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? And are they, in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?"

As they say in blogworld, "Read the whole thing"

Kevin said...

You wonder why my brother "bashes" the "educated left"? Heh.

Go here, read this:

Just a snippet:
"liberals are allowed to sympathize with 60s radicals. They aren't expected to apologize for their youthful flirtation with definitively fascistic groups like the Weathermen and the Black Panthers. I discuss all of this at some length with regard to Hillary Clinton and others. Here's an interesting story about Obama's ties with one of the Weathermen — who teaches at a state university, of course. The relationship far from deep. But imagine if a Republican had paid similar respects to a rightwing militiaman. From the article:

In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.

Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president....

....Neither Ayers nor the Obama campaign would describe the relationship between the two men. Dr. Young described Obama and Ayers as “friends,” but there’s no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles and who served together on the board of a Chicago foundation."

Once again, read the whole thing.

These are the people shaping the young minds of our nation.

BTW- What he is bashing, in case you haven't figured it out, is the hypocrisy of the educated left, not the education.

---Just a quick shout-out from somebody on "the educated right".

KA said...

You've just stereotyped everyone in the left into this machiavellian cult.

I am educated.
I am on the Left.
I am serving my country.
(Most importantly) I was kidding with my first comment.

Sorry to blow the wind out of your sails, but I also went to a military school where the majority of professors were (ding!ding!ding!) conservative military veterans. If you're trying to educate a soft-hearted/headed yuppie with that, you're better off finding someone at UC Berkeley.

Sorry, not this girl.

Amadeo said...

That flag-raising pic of Iwo Jima has been wrapped in controversy but never proved as staged. True that was the 2nd flag-raising on that hill and another group pic was posed, but this most famous pic was not. It won a Pulitzer.

Just today, media released the college thesis of Ms. Obama and it is very revelatory about what she then thought about race relations at Princeton, which may still be true today. Now we understand the initial hesitance to release something as benign as a thesis.

On the other hand, because of the love for drama of the late Gen. D. MacArthur, pictures of him during the landing in Leyte were at the very least, stage-managed.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Kat, me thinks thou dost protest too much.

Anyway, looks like you'll finally have a presidential nominee you can really sink your teeth into. Congratulations girl!

Amadeo, I only brought up the Suribachi flag raising photo as part of a conversation with a virulent anti-American American academic.

MacArthur was grandiose to the extreme. He definitely understood the importance of a good showing.

KA said...

phil - indeed. Thankfully I'm voting for him - not his wife.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Really? ...shudder...

Makes sense though, you are a Europeanophile, and that Godforsaken place IS his model for us.

Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted you and linked to you here:

PhilippinesPhil said...

Nice Consul, thanks

KA said...

"Makes sense though, you are a Europeanophile,"

Was that another assumption phil? Or did u assume that because I think Prince Harry's uber-sexy that I want to adopt their entire form of government?

PhilippinesPhil said...

No one should ever presume to know you Katgirl. All I know is i like pulling your little Kat chain and listening to the piercing yeowls! grin..

Ed said...

Wow Phil, you are right on the money! With a great orator like George in the office who has never said something that makes you scratch your head, how could anyone ever vote for someone who's WIFE made a verbal mistake?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Your dripping Ed.

The point is she didn't make a verbal mistake. She said what she meant. The mistake was made by her handlers who didn't catch it in time, not that its going to make a difference to the Obamites.

KA said...



PhilippinesPhil said...

Ouch... Can't argue with that one. You been talk'n to my sister, thats what she calls me too.

KA said...

... lol, since the last trouble i've blogged about i have barely spoken to anyone :-p.

I got to that happy conclusion all by my lonesome. You know - making sure that education of mine isn't wasted.

PhilippinesPhil said...

I must have forgotten or missed something. You got in trouble?

KA said...

trouble? me? NEver. No. I might possibly be getting divorced sometime in the future

Ed said...

Say Phil, now that I got the sarcasm out of my system, you should do a blog on Nader now that he is running for the umpteenth time. I have never figured out why third party candidates have to be crazy. Just once, I would like to see one that doesn't act like Gary Busey on Oscar night. (Sorry, the sarcasm crept back in.)

PhilippinesPhil said...

Kat, i'll believe that when i see it!

Ed, it stands to reason that they'd be nutty, otherwise, why would they waste their time and other nutty people's money?

Interestingly, the most successful 3rd party candidate was Teddy Roosevelt who's spoiler status put Woodrow Wilson into the White House in 1913. With that in mind, I'd love it if Nader ran, because he'd split off some of the nut jobs intent on voting for the "dream machine."

KA said...

what? That I never get into trouble?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Of course not, the "divorce thing."

KA said...

so... what you're saying is.... i never get in trouble?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ehhh! I give up!

KA said...


*happy dance*

You see how much easier life is when everyone just lets me have my way?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yup, exactly how I deal with my 4 year old daughter too...

KA said...

lol, in that case, can I have a pony?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Sure, or at least a "pony ride!"

Digger said...

I'm going to join in on Kat's side of the argument. In the interest of full disclosure, I am educated, and you can decide if you think I am a leftie. I would call myself a moderate, but many would call me a leftie. (While I AM left handed, I am fairly conservative fiscally but liberal socially.)

That said, I did not assume Michelle O misspoke when I heard the comment...I was horrified. As an American Indian, I know this country has done lots of really awful things. I also know that it is the best thing going. I get teary-eyed at the national anthem. Were I straight, I'd volunteer for the military. As is, I serve my country proudly in the Foreign Service. If (more likely when) my country asks me to go to Iraq, I will.

I love this country. I'm proud of it and proud to serve it. And I am embarrassed that the wife of one of the major presidential candidates is only just now proud of it. This country mistreated my people too...I get it...but you are right that every country has its skeletons, many far worse, and far more recent, than ours.

So not all "educated lefties" can be painted with one brush.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Digger, you sound like a McCain man to me buddy.

I call myself a tree-hugging moderate-conservative, or a mod-con. I'm pro-life, which means I'm against the death penalty AND I'm against abortion or ANY other kind of senseless murder.

I've served with both homosexuals and heterosexuals in the military and never wanted to know who was what. They didn't tell coz I didn't ask. I prefer it that way.

Digger and the rest of ya, here's a broad brush statement for you to think on: Broadly speaking, almost ALL liberals, especially the ones, are "not fond" of the USA and are certainly NOT proud of it. They fixate only on the negative. On the other hand, most moderates and ALL conservatives LOVE this country and are proud of what we've managed to accomplish, to include how we've managed to openly deal with our problems both present and past. THAT's the difference my friend. Are you feeling me?

Ed said...

I kind of figured that Nader would hurt McCain's chances more than Obama just because I think McCain is more towards the middle than Obama. But I guess I'll have to see. I'm excited to see him run just because I want more choices. I have ruled out voting for either Clinton or Obama but still don't know if can vote for McCain or not. I'm still hoping for a sane third party candidate to run who is more in the middle. Maybe Bloomberg if he throws his hat in the ring.

Digger said...

Amen Kat.

I don't think Nader will hurt anyone this time. He isn't really an additional choice, and this time around he just seems more pathetic than anything.

I'd love to start a third party called the Moderate Party. Because I really don't think most Americans are far-right or far-left.

Amadeo said...

Oh, Ralphie. You should have stopped when you were ahead.

When Nader took on giant GM with his Unsafe At Any Speed book, he was a boyhood hero.

Now, still frugal Ralph, who lived with his mom most of his life, has crossed the line again.

But true, his candidacy offers another option other than, Neither of the Above.

T. Greer said...

@Digger: And what would you put into this 'moderate' party? I consider myself a moderate Republican- Right on social issues (mostly), hawksish in general, left on economic issues, and left on the environment. Now I can think of another moderate who believes in the exact opposite of everything I do. How would you choose what moderate is right?

P.S. Nice post PP- you have gained a new reader because of it!

PhilippinesPhil said...

Geez, what did I do?

Amadeo, Nader has gone on record as anti-war; and I mean no war, EVER, regardless. He wants to eliminate defense. THAT is left left left. Even smart libertarians like you wouldn't go for that Ed.

Kat, I already said I'm a mod-con, probably a lot like T-Greer. Anyone with half a brain knows that we can't jam ourselves into perfect little political boxes. The point of this post is that the ONE COMMONALITY that I've found for ALL far lefties is that they dislike what this country stands for. If you put 'em on the spot and ask them point blank, they MIGHT hedgingly say, "Well, yeaahhh, BUT... and then they'll go into slavery, usurpation of the natives, robber barons, blah blah blah..."

T.Greer, glad you enjoyed the post and the repartee. We pride ourselves here in our thick skinned civil debate. Sounds like you'll fit right in.

Digger said...

Hmmm...since I am making my moderate party, here's my platform. Strong on defense, strong on traditional conservative values (small government, low taxes...). Left on social issues (except killing people....don't kill unborn babies or criminals) and let's be good stewards of the environment. And civil unions for everyone...get married in your church but get the government out of the business of religion.

Hmmm...maybe I am not so much of a leftie Phil.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Lefty? No way! You and I are almost spot on the same platform. You sound like a McCain modcon like me Digger.

PhilippinesPhil said...

My buddy Alec sent me this article. I lifted a passage from it because it perfectly highlights and reinforces what I said about many American liberals and liberals-in-training.

"Only one student actually invoked the NIU shooting--Major Ryan Clark, a graduate student in international relations and an active-duty member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. When the speaker of the Political Union recognized Major Clark for a speech, mentioning as she did that he was an active-duty Green Beret, the conservatives in the room burst into sustained applause that lasted for half a minute or so. I was mortified to see many of my liberal classmates across the room refuse to applaud for an army officer."

Read the whole article here.

Kevin said...

Hey! hey! Hey!

Back to the original point.

Why is it only conservative “cranks” who think it’s relevant that Obama’s campaign headquarters in Houston had a Che Guevara-emblazoned Cuban flag hanging on the wall? Indeed, why is love of Che still radically chic at all? A murderer who believed that “the U.S. is the great enemy of mankind” shouldn’t be anyone’s hero, never mind a logo for a line of baby clothes. Why are Fidel Castro’s apologists progressive and enlightened but apologists for Augusto Pinochet frightening and authoritarian? Why was Sen. Trent Lott’s kindness to former segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond a scandal but Obama’s acquaintance with an unrepentant terrorist a triviality?

PS- digger, social liberalism and fiscal conservatism only go together in the utopia of the mind. Nice to think about, for sure, but... social liberalism is EXPENSIVE, which makes it very difficult to maintain conservative fiscal responsibility. Of course, now we could start the debate comparing rocks to oranges. (More food, less bombs) but that only speaks to the idea that we wouldn't need to defend ourselves if we were only nicer to other countries. There's no bad guys out there, right? Only misunderstood cultures. Sigh*

These discussions are always so circular.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Circular and intriguing!

I hadn't heard that an Obama election office had a Che poster up. Now that's REALLY telling! You can't get any more left than THAT.

Fiscal conservatism to me means spending ONLY the money you collect in taxes THAT year, and NOT spending the money your great grandchildren will pay in taxes 30 years from now. The main reason the Republicans lost congress is because of the disgust generated at their lack of fiscal responsibility. Conservatives reacted by refusing to vote at all. Kind of cut their noses off to spite their face, but maybe they'll learn their lesson?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Circular and intriguing!

I hadn't heard that an Obama election office had a Che poster up. Now that's REALLY telling! You can't get any more left than THAT.

Fiscal conservatism to me means spending ONLY the money you collect in taxes THAT year, and NOT spending the money your great grandchildren will pay in taxes 30 years from now. The main reason the Republicans lost congress is because of the disgust generated at their lack of fiscal responsibility. Conservatives reacted by refusing to vote at all. Kind of cut their noses off to spite their face, but maybe they'll learn their lesson?

Digger said...

What I mean by social liberalism is not funding every crackpot social program but letting people live their lives. People's definitions of morality is not the business of the government. I am with Phil that I don't want the government to spend more than it gets, and I don't want the government supporting people who refuse to work or idiot research on cow farts.

And I think less bombs is a quick way for us to end up beholden to someone else. I think we should, however, invest in alternative fuel sources, not just because it is good for the environment, but also because it keeps us from being too dependent on others.

KA said...

hey. found you an example of one our your educated lefties:

PhilippinesPhil said...

I don't understand what you're saying here Kat. Those people were all punished for their criminality. We corrected that situation. Give me some more context here please. As I said already, if you want to find reasons to hate your country THAT is always very easy to do. To continue to beat the Abu Gahraid horse after we've already buried it is just morbid. Maybe you can explain your intentions here?

KA said...

... i think the guy is nuts. Like... beyond nuts. Fella made me angry, and I felt like sharing my righteous indignation.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Phewwww! Relief! You had me worried there. I thought you'd completely fallen off the left side of the horse into the "dark side!" ...grin...