23 September, 2008

America: You Really Want Us to Love It or Leave It?

Cons have this cute little conversation-stopper they use when liberals and progressives are demanding improvements to America. "Love it or leave it!" they crow.

As if wanting to improve something means you don't love it.

As if love means never questioning your country.

"Love it or leave it."

All right.

What if we did?

What if we decided that, yes, the fact that America isn't perfect means we shouldn't live here anymore? What if every single liberal packed up and moved to a country with a saner political system tomorrow? What if we left America to the cons who "love" her?

I hope the cons didn't love America for her blue skies and clean water. We progressives were the ones who ensured that those things were protected. The Republicons, with their big bidness buddies, will take all of the brakes off of pollution - Beijing's air will start to look downright breathable compared to what will be left here. And it's very hard to drink the water when it's so polluted you can set it on fire, FYI.

I hope the cons didn't love America for her abundant wildlife, her hunting and fishing, her wilderness. Because the Republicons, with their big bidness buddies, want to fill that wilderness with coal mines and oil wells and leave nothing but toxic waste behind. They'll be happy to blast mountains apart and chop down every tree. Last I checked, the salmon and trout and deer and bears don't rent apartments in city centers. And the cons will learn soon enough that the caribou love of oil pipelines is nothing more than a myth. They'll find out just how much the progressives protected for their shooting pleasure.

I hope the cons didn't love America for her opportunity. For every self-made man who becomes a multi-millionaire, there will be thousands toiling at thankless jobs, without the education or the assistance to have a shot at pulling themselves toward the upper middle. And those thankless jobs won't include a minimum wage, so you'd best hope the corporate overlords will somehow find a heart and pay you enough to survive on. Don't count on it, though - all of those whose compassion trumps their greed will have left. (That's assuming all of the jobs haven't been shipped overseas, mind you.)

I hope the cons didn't love their Social Security, their health insurance, or any other program that the Republicons want to privatize. The progressives have tried to ensure that the government programs that keep us from starving or dying of preventable disease aren't eviscerated. We won't be here to save them.

I hope the cons didn't love America for her innovation. The Republicons have never been fond of either funding or teaching science. The progressives have ensured that science education maintains some reasonable standards, and that science has money to innovate. Without us here, creationism will rule the schools, science funding will dry up, and Americans won't be able to compete globally against people who have the education and the science to invent.

I hope the cons didn't love America for her Constitution, or her freedoms, or her democracy. Without the progressives to protect those things, they won't survive as anything more than a memory.

I hope the cons didn't love America for her preeminent place in the world. After a few years of unfettered Republicon rule, America will be nothing more than a has-been bully. And she does not have the military might to bomb every nation into submission.

If everyone who loves America enough to want to make her the best she can be leaves tomorrow, there soon won't be much left of her for the cons to love. Where would your "love it or leave it" rhetoric be then?

You'd better be godsdamned grateful we love America enough to stay.

6 comments:

Woozle said...

A related article I wrote a few days ago, which has attracted some interesting dialogue (and one persistent troll who keeps trying to oversimplify things back to the one-dimensional continuum I'm specifically arguing against): Hating America

And on the subject of "love it or leave it" (speaking of one-dimensionality): Why let them have "it"? It seems to me if they're going set up a false dilemma between loyalty to all of their ideas and total rejection of all of them, let's leave them and declare ourselves to be America (we are, aren't we?), keeping the best ideas and rejecting the worst.

Anonymous said...

Update: Cousinavi has an eye-popping post up exploring yet more McCain fuckery. If this useless assclown gets elected, I am so leaving the United States.

Dana Hunter 06/18/08


http://entequilaesverdad.blogspot.com/2008/06/pathetic-proofs-god-exists.html

Hank said...

"Love it or leave it?" The only person that applies to is McSame. He whored himself out to a sugar mama and left his crippled wife who stood by his side while he was was a POW!

Oh yeah, and another thing, we natives have been waiting for for you all to leave since 1492! Love it or leave it my militant red ass!! How would you like it if someone just showed up at Thanksgiving dinner and "invited" you to your own house for that feast. Then they just stayed and stayed...It's just downright embarrassing now. Then these guests who invited themselves to your home told you the house and everything in it belonged to them and that you had to live out in the doghouse. I'm sure Miss Manners and Emily Post would be quite appalled at this behavior!

So fall to your knees and thank your invisible god in the sky that some people have what is known as patience and adaptibility!

Eric said...

I would add that we, the 'liberals' are also a big chunk of what is arguably the greatest higher education system on the planet. It's not just that the liberal/progressive/etc. people like to *fund* basic research and science, but that we are the ones actually *doing* the research and teaching. If we all left, the American university system would be dealt a pretty nasty blow from which it would probably not recover (especially given the people who would be left running it!).

With that said, what would we lose if the *conservatives* packed up and left? Or stayed home and spent their time praying, instead of trying to get onto school boards and into high office so they can push their anti-government agenda?

While it is easy to say we wouldn't lose anything of value, I think that Woozle has it right when he/she implies that we should avoid making this a 'one-dimensional' issue. There are some conservative ideas, and certainly ideals that *are* worth keeping in the public arena- much as there are good socialist, libertarian, communist, etc. ideas and ideals worth keeping. The goal should be to keep the best - keep what works and be prepared to admit mistakes and discard what doesn't work. (Or even discard that which doesn't show clear benefit).

On a slightly different note, one thing I have long wondered about is what the role of government should be - whether minimal (anarchist/minarchist) to maximal (communist/fascist), we all have some idea of what government *does*, and what it *should do*. I would be very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts about this.

As for mine... I think I'll be writing a new blog post today!

http://felicis.wordpress.com/

Since I asked the question, it is only fair that I put out my views on the subject!

ex animo-

ex animo

Woozle said...

Hank -- to boil a much more complicated idea down to something that fits here in the comments section: would there be any interest among your people in making common cause with those of us non-indigenous folk who would really like to stop the abuses committed by the US government (in the present and for the future)?

Related question on which you might be able to provide some information: do the Native American tribes still have a relatively sane and coherent leadership, capable of making sound ethical judgements? Or have your people largely been swallowed by the culture of dependency too?

My apologies if these questions sound outrageous; I mean them sincerely. I'm looking for ways to build coalitions of self-directed people to fix some of the problems caused by sheephood, and this seemed like an opportunity to start some bridges, or at least to find out if the folk on the far side of the river are friendly...

opit said...

Friendly ? Hoo-ha ! I'm not one of the natives you refer to but links can't be far.
Who realizes a tribe has seceded from the country in outrage over environmental destruction ? Or in one case is using a windfall to 'buy back' ancestral lands ?
In addition to loss of salmon out West, the freaking Mississippi River Basin is polluted as a result of intensive CAFO operations and agricultural runoff of ag chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
http://www.nativetimes.com/index.asp
That's not one of my links, I pilfered it from Verbena19 at WordPress, who is up to speed on Canadian native affairs and likely could help somebody looking for political/native linkups. She runs a political news blog : with quite an individual outlook and global contacts.