“Murica!” is often misunderstood as a dig on Southerners, it’s not. To put it plainly; there is no honor in blind jingoistic nationalism. If you think America is the best place on Earth, you make it painfully obvious you haven’t been anywhere else.
Patriotism isn’t idealizing the place you live. Patriotism is expecting and fighting for the best from your country. Patriotism is seeing your country’s room for growth and doing your best to help it achieve its highest standard of living, for everyone. Patriotism is giving your time and resources to to improve the lives of people you don't know (for little to no reward).
Pseudo historians are usually surprised to learn that Thomas Jefferson wanted nothing to do with The Constitution, it was a negotiation with slave owners. These people edited his perfect document, The Declaration of Independence. Jefferson felt that the Constitution was an attempt at tyranny of the future. The only way it made sense was that if it was rewritten every nineteen-ish years, so that every generation could decide their inalienable rights. Jefferson, the idealist, was in no hurry to free his own slaves because they weren’t illegal in his generation. He thought America would lead the future and he’d free his slaves when everyone else did. A douchebaggy move, to say the least. Of all the Founders only one never had slaves, Roger Sherman. Why isn’t he more famous?
Faux Patriots often lump The Founders in as one big group. There were 145 men who signed at least one of the great state papers of the United States of America’s (Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution). Only one man signed them all, Roger Sherman of Connecticut; the one most of us have never heard of. In reality, most of these Founding Fathers didn’t agree on much of anything (even within their own parties). The only thing the Founding Fathers universally agreed on was “fuck paying taxes to the Crown.” If they agreed on more, one of them (Burr) wouldn’t have famously shot the other (Hamilton) in a gentleman’s duel on the Hudson River. Hamilton, Adams, Washington and the Federalists didn’t play nice with the other factions. Jefferson fought for three branches of government, a free press and all men being created equal at the prodding of Italian freedom fighter Filippo Mazzetti; a guy who smuggled weapons disguised as wine making machinery to the revolutionaries around the world.
Orwell’s 1984 is a big book for non-readers to get fired up about, the irony is that they’re victims of the very thing Orwell was warning people about. The muddying of words is a huge problem he wanted us to be more aware of. Modern American "Conservatives" are about as Conservative as the Nazis were Socialist; in name only. These are words that trigger an emotional response, people identify with them; especially barely literate nationalists. The sad thing is; I’m not sure what it is they think they’re conserving, it certainly isn’t the union of these United States. The only thing the Nazis socialized was oppression.
Red states are always threatening secession. Somebody should tell them that the majority of economic output comes from blue states and red states wouldn’t survive without the tax windfall from people who vote in favor of giving them more social safety-nets. How would Kentucky do geopolitically without the rest of the United States? What would stop France from taking Louisiana back? What would stop the U.S from invading the oil rich nation of Texas and liberating its people?
Orwell’s essays are even better than his novels; in one of them, My Country.. Left or Right, he goes back and forth to ponder which it is better to be. In the end, he sees himself as both; one in times of peace and another in times of war. In war times, defense of the current way of life is important. In times of peace, however, progressing to an even better life should be the nation’s focus. For Orwell, and me, that is the type country you shed blood for. A country that uses its resources to benefit the many is worth fighting for.
Is America great?
Meh… I’ve seen better. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my country, I’m among the 10% of Americans who actually joined the military. I’ve got bad news for the people who disagree with me. At the time of this writing (Feb '22), we are tied for 15th on CATO Institute’s Human Freedom Index and ranked 25th on the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. There are currently better places to live on Planet Earth. The American people thrived when the nation’s resources weren’t spread so thin. The world gave us their tired, their hungry, their poor huddled masses and we put a fucking man on the moon. My ancestors came here on a boat with whatever they could carry. They left everything they knew, they didn’t even speak the language. They were leaving a life that Booker T. Washington said was among the worst in the world. The Man Farthest Down was the Sicilian man who sent his children to work in the factories that destroyed his land. The Liparis escaped the oppression of Italian fascism and fled to America for a better life. Any of us who do the research will find that all of our ancestors fled a shitty life so that we could live here now. Unless, of course, you are the descendant of slaves and/or Native Americans.
Of all the classes I’ve taken, this one is my favorite. Dr. Ian Shapiro starts at the beginning and discusses our political systems with some of his students. It’s really informative and, the best part, it is FREE.
Another great FREE class on Coursera. Professor James D. Anderson discusses the social construct of race and race relations in American history. The paid option of the class requires a written paper to be graded by your peers.
The Essays of George Orwell
You should have read 1984 in Middle School, if not I highly recommend it. It’s not what you think it is, it’s a dystopian love story. Orwell’s Essays are pretty amazing, whether he’s talking about hunting elephants or social criticism, he was a way with words I enjoy.
Index of Economic Freedom
The Man Farthest Down by Booker T Washington
A freed slave who became one of the prominent black leaders in America’s Reconstruction period. In this book he writes about his experience touring Europe and discovering that among all the downtrodden men of the world, nobody had it worse than the Sicilians.