Who is really proud of our country? How can we tell?
When her husband was campaigning to be elected President in 2008, Michelle Obama told us “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country”. Until then, she wasn’t. Until then, she was a devoted follower of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who she chose to officiate at her wedding, and who she chose to baptize her daughters. One of his famous fiery sermons was “God Damn America”.
Not everyone proudly tells us they are not proud of our country. It’s not necessary for anyone to be proud of our country, but it is interesting when a person tells us she is proud of our country and really isn’t. How can we tell who’s telling the truth?
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Sometimes actions are easy to understand. Americans who commit murder and mayhem in protest against America clearly are not proud of our country. What about more subtle actions?
If a person advocates a litany of radical changes to America’s institutions and traditions, isn’t that the same thing as declaring a lack of pride in our country?
We demanded an end to slavery and a right to vote for women because we were not proud of America, not as it existed. We demanded the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act because we were not proud of America, not as it existed.
Now Americans are demanding elimination of the Electoral College, elimination of the filibuster in the Senate, remaking of the Supreme Court, not enforcing actual laws that regulate immigration, not standing for or saluting the American flag, and not singing the National Anthem. That litany of demands for radical changes is inconsistent with pride in America, as it exists. That litany of demands shouts loud and clear, “America, as it exists, is a terrible country”.
Everyone has the right to advocate whatever they want, but advocating that litany of radical changes is not consistent with declaring “I am proud of my country”. Declaring that America is the home of institutional racism, White Supremacy, and gender inequality is not consistent with declaring “I am proud of my country”. Demanding a radically different America with a revised Constitution and Supreme Court, is identical to declaring “God Damn America”.
Actions speak louder than words. Actions tell us who is really proud of our country.