Stop Apologizing for Being an American
A couple of days ago, I had the misfortune of being on a BBC radio show with an American college professor who sounded like he had read one too many Noam Chomsky books.
Let me give you a short impression of the guy: “Blah, blah, blah, racists! Blah, blah, blah, of course Jeremiah Wright was right when he said…blah, blah, blah. No wonder people are angry at America!”
Not to disagree with Professor Crabby McCommiePuss, but there is no nation in the world that has more to be proud of and less to apologize for than the United States of America.
Of course, the standard liberal reply to that usually goes something like this: “So, you’re saying ‘we’re perfect,’ huh? Well, what about slavery and the Indians and dropping A-bombs in WWII and the other 497 things on my ‘What I Hate About America’ list?”
What about them?
Men have been enslaving other men for thousands of years. It’s nothing new. What was new was a nation so disgusted by the practice that they fought a Civil War to put an end to it.
But, what about the Indians? Sure, we took their land and treated them brutally. However, my friend, that’s just the history of the world. There probably is not a square yard of earth on the map that wasn’t taken by force from one group of people by another group at one time or another.
As to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, given the fanatical tenacity with which the Japanese had been holding on, we probably saved hundreds of thousands of civilian lives by dropping those bombs rather than invading the mainland. Much more importantly, we saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who had risked their lives to protect their country and free the world from the Nazi/Japanese vision of the future, which was as George Orwell described it, a “boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
We could go on and on with these “The glass is half full! No, it isn’t, it’s half empty” examples, but why should we do that when we can consider all the good America has done in the world during it’s historically short reign as a super power.
We’ve saved the free world from tyranny in the 20th century not once (WWI), not twice (WWII), but three times (the Cold War). We’ve done more to promote capitalism and democracy than any other 20 nations combined. We’ve gone to the moon, we’ve fed the world, and we’ve fought more tyrants, terrorists, and thugs than any comic book super-hero. Speaking of comic book super heroes, American gets the same sort of “Daily Bugle” treatment that Spider-Man did in the comics and the movies. We shed our blood and treasure by the bucket load to do good and the headlines in the paper read, “Out-of-Control Menace Terrorizes Populace!”
Probably the best example of this is the topsy-turvy world interpretation of the events that led up to 9/11. It goes all the way back to when the Soviets waged a war of conquest on Afghanistan. Of course, when the bad guys are kicking in your door, who ya gonna call? The United States, of course — and we delivered. We gave billions of dollars’ worth of aid and weaponry to the Mujahideen, which they used to drive the Soviets out of their country. Then, a little later on, when the Afghan people were starving, which country was supplying most of their food even though we weren’t particularly friendly with their government or their pals Al-Qaeda? That’s right, the United States. Sure, we could have pointed to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and said, “Afghanistan isn’t friendly to us, so let them starve,” but we didn’t do that because we’re a compassionate people. Then, the terrorists based in Afghanistan pull off 9/11 and what’s the liberal/European reaction? “The chickens have come home to roost” or alternately, some variation of Amos Brown’s comments,
“America, America. What did you do–either intentionally or unintentionally–in the world order, in Central America, in Africa where bombs are still blasting? America, what did you do in the global warming conference when you did not embrace the smaller nations? America, what did you do two weeks ago when I stood at the world conference on racism, when you wouldn’t show up? Oh, America, what did you do?”
What did America do? America helped Afghanistan drive out the Soviet Union, we fed them; then they repaid the favor by bombing the WTC and Pentagon. After that, instead of walking in there and killing everything that moved, we responded by getting rid of the tyrants that ran their country, giving them billions in aid and installing a democracy which has been defended with the lives of American soldiers. Moreover, this is not an aberration; it’s typical of American behavior since the start of the 20th century.
But, instead of thanks, we get grumbling, complaining, and snark not just from people who live in nations that are only free and prosperous because of our help, but from people who’ve managed to make wonderful lives for themselves in this country.
Yes, we live in a country where celebrities who’ve become rich and famous sneer at the country that gave them that opportunity, where college professors teach their students that the country that’s given them an opportunity to get an education is evil, and where small patriotic gestures like saying the Pledge of Allegiance or wearing a flag pin are considered anathema by many people on the Left.
Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m sick of it. As far as I’m concerned, America, along with capitalism and Christianity has been one of the greatest forces for good the world has seen in centuries. Moreover, Americans have no need to apologize because our ancestors did something we sneer at today in the civilized nation they helped bring about — because we’re prosperous or because some snobbish liberal or foreigner doesn’t like us.
Quite frankly, if you think America is a terrible country or isn’t an incredible force for good in the world, you’re either stupid, ignorant, hoodwinked, blinded, crazy — or liberal, which all too often turns out to be a combination of all five of those characteristics.