URLs du Jour


[Independence Dude]

  • Not much today. Jim Geraghty explains Why America Still Rocks. Agreed! But I have issues.

    Six years ago, when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem, he explained, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

    The overwhelming majority of Americans at all kinds of events stand for the national anthem — game after game, year after year. It is likely that some of those standing believe that America no longer oppresses black people and people of color. Others likely believe there still is some lingering oppression, but that the country is getting closer and closer to equality, personally and legally. Some probably believe that there is equality on paper, but not in practice. And there are probably some people who see the country in the same way Kaepernick does but stand anyway — because that’s the flag of their country, too.

    The point is, few if any of those standing would say that their choice to stand and sing the national anthem means they think the country is perfect, or without serious flaws. They’re standing because America is theirs, too. A refusal to stand and associate yourself with America concedes the flag, the anthem, and the identity of American to the other guys.

    You probably don’t think your parents, siblings, spouse, or children are perfect, but you love them anyway — or, at least I hope you do, and I hope they feel the same way about you.

    Do Americans love America? The latest Gallup polling numbers tell us that American patriotism is slipping:

    The 38 percent of U.S. adults who say they are “extremely proud” to be American is the lowest in Gallup’s trend, which began in 2001. Still, together with the 27 percent who are “very proud,” 65 percent of U.S. adults express pride in the nation. Another 22 percent say they are “moderately proud,” while 9 percent are “only a little” and 4 percent “not at all” proud. . . .

    While the current 38 percent expressing extreme pride is the historical low by four percentage points, the combined 65 percent reading for those who are extremely or very proud was two points lower in 2020 than it is today. The current readings are well below the trend averages of 55% extremely proud and 80 percent extremely or very proud.

    Before 2015, no less than 55 percent of U.S. adults said they were extremely proud. The highest readings followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when patriotism surged in the U.S.

    Can you be proud of your country and simultaneously frustrated, disappointed, or angry with the state of your country as well? I see no contradiction. We have strong disagreements or fights with our family members, too — and that doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Oftentimes our love is one of the factors that inadvertently drives the conflict — we want our parents to go to the doctor to get that lingering health issue checked out, we think our spouses bring their work stress home with them, or our kids drive us crazy when they forget their chores or homework. Frequently, our anger and frustration with someone is driven by feelings like this: “You haven’t don’t that thing I wanted you to do, which I think is in your best interest. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care. But I do care, which is why I’m irritated or angry that you haven’t done it.”

    Whew! Long excerpt!

    Mark me as hopelessly pedantic, but Geraghty really conflates things here.

    • Gallup asked "How proud are you to be an American -- extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud or not at all proud?"
    • Geraghty seemingly equates this to asking "Are you proud of America?" That's not the same thing.
    • He also seemingly equates this to asking "Do you love America?" And that's not the same thing either!

    My major problem is this: If I were asked "Are you proud to be X?" or even "Are you proud of X?" I could only answer "Yes" if I had something to do with X.

    I'm extremely happy to be an American. I am darn lucky to be an American. I don't know what the second-best country is, but it's pretty far behind the USA. I stand for the National Anthem.

    I don't say the Pledge of Allegiance, though. It's creepy, socialist, and fetishizes an object. I've blogged about that here; also see here.

    But in any case: "proud" is the wrong word for me.

    (I'm happy to report that the comment I left to this effect on Geraghty's article has six thumbs-up, a record for me.)

  • Nobody's gonna confuse Canada with "The Land of the Free". A recent Reason "Brickbat" in its entirety:

    The government of Canada has announced it will ban the import and manufacture of most single-use plastic products later this year and ban the sale of such items next year. The ban will cover straws, utensils, and checkout bags. "After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that's paper straws or reusable bags," said Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change.

    I probably don't need to point this out to alert readers, but if "the sustainable solutions Canadians want" were an accurate description, then you wouldn't need to ban anything, would you?

    The link goes to a CNBC article, which:

    • notes the USA's relative slo-mo policy: "This month, the Interior Department said it will phase out the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks and other public lands by 2032."
    • also notes the Greenpeace reaction: “The government needs to shift into high gear by expanding the ban list and cutting overall plastic production."

    I'm proud of not being a Canadian.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 8:15 AM EDT