Every single one of us who frequent this blog has been called 'anti-American' or a variation thereof in recent months, so I was wondering how some people reach this determination and my surfing has revealed one man's opinion of why America is the greatest country on earth - bar none - which exemplifies those views that are oft embraced by some of those who consider us The Enemy.
Now, Dinesh D'Souza's article, '10 things to celebrate; Why I'm an anti-anti-American' (2003), can simply be written off as a more naive picture of The Great America but his perceptions are shared by many who decry criticism of their home country and consider any attack on its stance in the world as being wholly 'anti-American'. So, let's have a look at what he believes are America's strengths. I'll pull some quotes without commenting on them too much because his talking points are stunningly obvious to those of us who don't wear nationalistic blinders:
1. 'America provides an amazingly good life for the ordinary guy...We now live in a country where construction workers regularly pay $4 for a nonfat latte, where maids drive nice cars and where plumbers take their families on vacation to Europe.'
2. 'America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country, including the countries of Europe. America is the only country that has created a population of "self-made tycoons."'
3. 'Work and trade are respectable in America. Historically most cultures have despised the merchant and the laborer, regarding the former as vile and corrupt and the latter as degraded and vulgar. Some cultures, such as that of ancient Greece and medieval Islam, even held that it is better to acquire things through plunder than through trade or contract labor.'
4. 'America has achieved greater social equality than any other society. True, there are large inequalities of income and wealth in America. In purely economic terms, Europe is more egalitarian. But Americans are socially more equal than any other people, and this is unaffected by economic disparities.'
5. 'People live longer, fuller lives in America.'
(Has your head exploded yet? No. Well wait, there's more.)
6. 'In America the destiny of the young is not given to them, but created by them.'
(I took a break to Dress Paris Hilton. Now, where was I again?)
7. 'America has gone further than any other society in establishing equality of rights.'
8. 'America has found a solution to the problem of religious and ethnic conflict that continues to divide and terrorize much of the world...in general, America is the only country in the world that extends full membership to outsiders.'
9. 'America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history...Twice in the 20th century, the United States saved the world -- first from the Nazi threat, then from Soviet totalitarianism. What would have been the world's fate if America had not existed?'
(Cough cough Booman cough cough)
10. 'America, the freest nation on Earth, is also the most virtuous nation on Earth.'
Okay, if you haven't thrown up yet (which I very nearly did when I first read that piece) you can see the type of attitude many of us have been dealing with and why it's so difficult to cut through, even with the most sharpened intellectual knife. And this particular author believes so greatly in what he professes that he actually wrote a book for his devotees of American Greatness that they can cherish and reread as if it's America's New Bible! I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he's actually turned it into an animated movie for kids so they can be reared 'appropriately' to love their country more than they will ever love themselves.
His points may seem exagerrated to anyone with a sense of reality, but there is no doubt that he has simply expressed what many people believe to be The Truth.
So, that's what we're up against folks: Denials 'R Us. No wonder we've been shunned as threats to the Great American Experience.
America, the Beautiful? Or, America, the Delusional? You decide.