He sees an America in which the cup is half-empty. Is his America the same one most Americans think of as they wave flags and celebrate the Fourth of July?:
And a bit later, the main theme:
This sense that America is in need of fixing in order to be a great country points to Obama's real patriotism problem. And it's not Obama's alone.
Well, yes, as we wrote last February when snarking on Michelle Obama's new-found pride in her country, now that it has found Barack:
Well, lefties haven't been proud of this country since we stole it from the
IndiansNative Americans, so imagine my non-surprise. Just don't question their patriotism! They love America for what it might become, someday, if only the Great Unwashed would heed them. But pride?
The dividing line is well marked, yet forewarned is not fore-armed; Ms. Alexandrovna tries to explain her love of country:
A mother of a heroin addict, for example, is critical of her child's drug abuse and wants it to stop. The mother wants only the best for her child. Does the mother's criticism of the child's actions in any way illustrate that she does not love her child? On the contrary, it is because the mother loves her child and is devoted to her child that she wants her child to be better, greater than he/she is.
Oh, beautiful - maybe Obama can work that into his next speech - "I love America the way a mother loves her crack-addicted child. And when America stumbles out of rehab on January 20, 2009, a beautiful new day will dawn!" OK, maybe not.
Ms. Alexandrovna then excerpts this from Goldberg to assure us that she has absolutely failed to catch his point:
"Definitions of patriotism proliferate, but in the American context patriotism must involve not only devotion to American texts (something that distinguishes our patriotism from European nationalism) but also an abiding belief in the inherent and enduring goodness of the American nation. We might need to change this or that policy or law, fix this or that problem, but at the end of the day the patriotic American believes that America is fundamentally good as it is."
To which she says replies:
In other words, your government can do no wrong. You must never doubt your government or question its ways.
Is that much straw a fire hazard? Not at the Huffington Post! In any case, my reaction is "What? My government?"
How many conservatives think "my government" is an obvious and immediate substitute for "my country"? Hello, I don't see many hands! But on the left, I think there are a fair number, starting with Barack himself, who seems to view the two as interchangeable - this was in Obama's victory speech as described by Goldberg:
"I am absolutely certain," he proclaimed upon clinching the Democratic nomination, "that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." So wait, America never provided care for the sick or good jobs for the jobless until St. Barack arrived? That doesn't sound like the country most Americans think of when they wave their flags on the Fourth of July.
Oh, well. Let the record note - in the darkest or silliest days of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton I was never ashamed or embarrassed to be an American and never doubted our country's greatness, although I was quite mortified by our President and the judgment of a slice of the electorate. Vive la difference.
We are always a great country. As to whether we have always had and will always have a great government, well, not so much. We do thank Ms. Alexandrovna for illustrating Goldberg's point.