The Fourth of July gets me feeling all warm and fuzzy about the USA. I can't help it; despite what some may say, our country is a good country.... nay, a great country. We've made a lot of mistakes as a nation, but show me one that hasn't. It's a shame that tea party and ulta-conservatives had to come along and be such anti-patriotic buzz kills.
What did he just say?
Is he cracking wise?
They would have you believe that these guys (tea baggers and conservatives) are the true patriots, whilst liberals are just a bunch of communist pantywaists. I would argue that this couldn't be further from reality. They wrap themselves in the flag, just as Wal-Mart once emblazoned all their products with a patriotic red, white and blue "made in the USA" tag.
"But as sure as God made black and white, what's done in the dark will come to the light."There's a very un-American spirit in the air on Fox News and talk radio. It's shrill and hateful, but wears the costume of the "Founding Fathers". My grandparents would be horrified. Yes, my grandparents and their generation would have called their rhetoric treason. In fact, much of what is said by Limbaugh and Glenn Beck would be considered appallingly anti-patriotic.
- Johnny Cash, God's Gonna Cut You Down
And this is where the "Retro" in "Retrospace" comes into play. Here is my list of 5 Ways Conservatives Would Be Called Un-American by My Grandfather. I use gramps as a personal example, but his beliefs were the consensus of his generation.
1. Unbridled Capitalism is Un-American
My grandfather wouldn't buy a car made in Japan. In fact, he was horrified my wife and I purchased a Toyota back in 1992. He understood that if you want your country to prosper, you need to buy the products it produces.
Unbridled capitalism means letting companies set their headquarters in the Camen Islands and outsource all the labor to Bangladesh. It makes the companies' coffers bigger; but Americans get screwed: no tax revenue and no jobs.
2. Hateful Speech Against Our Government is Un-American
My grandfather thought those hippies were anti-patriots with their oftentimes hostile words against the government. You could argue that they loved the country, but hated the government... but I can also see the other side of the argument where they crossed a line. He would have been just as horrified to hear the unpatriotic poison coming from Ann Coulter's mouth.
Listen to Beck and Limbaugh. After a while, you wonder if they have anything positive to say about our government. It's okay to be critical, but holy crap, it's no wonder patriotism is hard to come by these days. For instance, how is it possible to have school spirit when all you hear is venomous indictments against the principle, the teachers, the school board?
According to the Republicans, Fox News and talk radio: Obama is a socialist and a racist (according to Beck) who hates America. Bill Clinton was a lying sexual deviant hick. Al Gore is a robotic "environmentalist whacko". Not knowing where to stop, Ann Coulter called Princess Di a bulimic whore.... just for good measure. Granted, smear tactics are part of politics, but since when has it been the focus of 24 hour news and radio? It is sure hard to be proud of your country amid all this anti-government negativity. I long for the days when JFK could screw Marilyn Monroe and guys just gave him an imaginary high five.
3. Putting Soldiers in Harms Way in Unpopular Senseless Wars Is Un-American
It was my grandfather's generation that were borderline isolationists. They waited till the US was actually attacked before entering a war that would cost thousands of American lives.
The 9/11 terrorists were largely Saudi Arabian, not Iraqis. Yet Saudi billionaires were regular visitors to the White House and we attacked Iraq which had no WMDs.... and Afghanistan, and Libya, and Somalia, and... well, what's next? Iran? Do these chicken hawks not realize that it is bankrupting our nation and costing American lives, and leaving thousands upon thousands more with horrible injuries? I guess Americans are just expendable when it comes to matters of "global interest".
4. Destroying the Middle Class Is Un-American
This country is built on the middle class. The middle class IS America. My grandfather was fortunate to live in the Golden Age of the Middle Class. After WWII, the middle class ruled the country - the rich were taxed up the yin yang to keep things equitable. Limbaugh would call this Socialism; but, this generation was anything but Socialist - they had learned from history (the 1920s and 1930s), and knew what it took to make the country prosperous - and that would require a healthy and robust middle class.
Never mind that Glenn Beck owns several palatial mansions and a private jet, he's looking out for you middle class folks. Never mind that Rush Limbaugh paid Elton John $1 million to play at his wedding, he's really has the middle class' interests at heart. To go back to a tax code like during Eisenhower and FDR would be "Socialism". What assholes.
These same "executives in blue collar clothing" would also have you believe unions are to blame for our bad economy. They would have you believe they've changed, become more demanding and anti-corporation. But can they cite one example of exactly how they've changed? The unions want a living wage and benefits for their members - that hasn't changed one iota. Sean Hannity would be horrified to learn what kind of wages and benefits were demanded from companies back in the 1950s. It was costly to the companies, but, once again, you have to look at the big picture - it created a healthy and thriving middle class.
5. Constant Rhetoric Against Fellow Americans Is Un-American
For my last point, I'll have to diverge a bit from grandpa's generational attitude a bit. I can think of a lot of positive words to describe The Greatest Generation, but "tolerant" may not be one of them. It was a pretty white bread society, with immigrants having a hard time becoming accepted. Gays, blacks, women,.... anyone not a white male pretty much took a back seat.
But acceptance and tolerance is always a gradual thing. As bad as it was, it was at least on a path, however slow, to tolerance. The vehemence of the Tea Party and its ilk makes me worry that we are taking steps backward. Like it or not, America was founded on and built upon the "melting pot" philosophy of acceptance. The path to an acceptable level of tolerance has been slow and rocky, but I feel that if you plotted it on a graph, it would still point in the right direction..... until recently.
Here's the reality: Hispanics do the jobs that Americans don't want to do. If you are so concerned about them taking our jobs, realize they are only taking the shitty ones - the good ones have all been out sourced by your precious multi-national corporations.
Message to Fox and Friends: Gay people are not going anywhere. They are productive members of our American society, and regardless of your religious beliefs, they deserve the same rights as other citizens. They pay taxes and will be called to defend their country in times of war, just like any other American. One of my favorite statistics of late is the graph demonstrating that Red States Google "free gay porn" significantly more than blue states.... most notably Mississippi, per capita the far and away winner in the quest for "free gay porn".
Well, I could go on, but I've ranted long enough. Time to go outside and trim the hedges. I truly wish a happy fourth to all my readers. I rant because I truly do love this country and hate to see it torn apart. God bless America.