Love, political style

29 12 2008
Someone once said that marriage was like fine dinning. You’d look over the menu and see just what you thought you wanted and make your pick. And you’d be perfectly satisfied, too, until you saw what the guy at the next table had and you’d wish you’d have ordered that. While that might not be entirely true it does have some merit. People can be awful fickle.

I was over on Cassy Fiano’s blog and came across an interesting article by Joel Stein. In it he pondered why it was that conservatives seemed to have such a deep love for America while he, and most other liberals, only “liked” the country. At least they (liberals) don’t ‘love’ their country in the same sense that conservatives seem to.

Stein – “I don’t love America. That’s what conservatives are always telling liberals like me. Their love, they insist, is truer, deeper and more complete. Then liberals, like all people who are accused of not loving something, stammer, get defensive and try to have sex with America even though America will then accuse us of wanting it for its body and not its soul. When America gets like that, there’s no winning.”

 

“But I’ve come to believe conservatives are right. They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws. But calling your wife fat isn’t love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for.”

It’s always stuck me as sad that people can grow up here in American an not acknowledge what a blessing that truly is. No, we’re not perfect, but we are closer than most want to give us credit for.

To silly old me it’s kind of like your alma matter or a sports team you root for. “We’re number 1! We’re number 1!” Maybe we didn’t win all the games, but we’ve always come out on top. And I don’t care who you are, France, Sweden, whoever, you and I both know it. And we both know that when it hit’s the fan everybody will be looking to us here in the good old US of A. I don’t have the least bit of trouble acknowledging that. Liberals seem to.

Liberals, it would seem, always want to dig up the faults. And yes, we do have faults. But instead of working to rid us of those faults while maintaining a lot of the perfections that we surely have, they want to chop us off and bring us down to some common level. As if we’ve no right to be better than anybody and if we can’t make them equal to us we’ll do what we can to lower ourselves to make them more equal. But the world isn’t a level playing field. Never will be.

Conservatives, on the other hand, strive to build a better world through ways that benefit. Benefit us, benefit them. But don’t forget, we love us best and we are perfectly satisfied to keep us first in the pecking order of things. Liberals don’t think that is right. They tend to believe that if others can’t rise, then America has no right to its lofty perch. Thing is, none of this was given to us. America earned its way and it’s place. Something liberals seem to overlook.

Stein goes on to quote from a conversation he had with Glenn Beck on conservative love of country. “It’s absolutely true, deep love. As a parent loves a child,” Beck said. “But I think liberals laugh that off, the way the rest of the country laughs off the love Texans have for their state. Texans don’t think, ‘Oklahoma, you suck.’ Well, yes they do — but they don’t think other states suck. They just have a love for the republic of Texas.”

Beck’s right, conservative do love this country very much in the way a parent loves their child. While we’re not blind to its problems we know its potential, because we know OUR potential. And our potential has been proven time and time again, where much of the rest of the world…, well I could make a list, but so could you.

Glenn Beck goes on to say in Stein’s article, “If I were born in Great Britain and read about Britain and America, I’d love the values and principles and the men who founded this country,” he said. “I love that we crossed these mountains and didn’t know what was on the other side. I love that the Pilgrims didn’t want to come here, but they came here because they felt prompted to by God. There’s always been a spirit of adventure and awe in this land. And I don’t think any other country has that.”

That’s a big part of who we are and what we love about our country. Nothing can hold us back. Liberals like limits. Love to restrict, and control. Conservative love the opportunity and the risk and the chance to make it happen, or fail. But if we fail it isn’t for lack of trying. Liberals don’t trust each other enough to take the risk. They want the outcome and the benefits, but don’t want the risk involved. So they so often opt to maintain the status quo. Or use your sweat for the benefit of others.

Stein says, “Conservatives feel personally blessed to have been born in the only country worth living in. I, on the other hand, just feel lucky to have grown up in a wealthy democracy. If it had been Australia, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Israel or one of those Scandinavian countries with more relaxed attitudes toward sex, that would have been fine with me too.”… “This doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated by American history, impressed by our Constitution or don’t appreciate our optimism and entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, I love everything [FOX’s Sean] Hannity listed on his TV special other than Madonna. But there are plenty of things I don’t like about America: our foreign policy, our religious fundamentalism, our provincialism, our intellectual laziness, our acceptance of sweat suits in public.”

On Stein’s article Cassy writes, “I understand the point of the column. It’s a criticism. We’re “blinded” by love to the point where we don’t even see America’s flaws. But that’s not quite true. I see them, as do many conservatives. But unlike liberals, that’s not all I see. I look at America and love her for everything she is, both the good and the bad. I look at my country, and despite the mistakes we have made and inevitably will continue to make, still know that this is the freest, best country on the face of the Earth, know that anyone from anywhere in the world can come here and build a good life for themselves if they’re only willing to work hard and play by the rules, that America will always stand for freedom and justice and democracy.”

Cassy Fiano gets it. Sadly, most liberals won’t. They’ll go on living in a world that they only see succeeding when they can mitigate, accommodate, control, take away, and give away whatever it is they think will lead to more well balanced and equal world. Even if that means less freedom. Less liberty. Less quality of life. For some at least. If not most.

Yes, I want to see a better world. I don’t want to see suffering and starvation and heartbreak. But I think it can be achieved through innovation and hard work and through shining this light of liberty and freedom to all the world and showing them just what can be accomplished when people are allowed the opportunity. Not through reformulation and redistribution.

-Al

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.cassyfiano.com/

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-stein26-2008dec26,0,5178459.column

 

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