I read this letter written to someone at The Corner the other day:
"Hey Dufus, you forgot to mention that Americans are energy pigs compared to the rest of the world, 5% of the population & we consume 24% of the energy. Do we not have a moral obligation not to be so wasteful? Stop waiting for some magic bullet to save the next generation, get off you fat American NASCAR lovin, SUV drivin', oil suckin' ass and do something positive for the planet. Disrespectfully yours"
When I was in school we were taught something Tocqueville wrote called American Exceptionalism. At that time is was taken as a fact that as a culture we were morally superior to other cultures. The idea that we were morally equivalent to some dictatorship in the Middle East or to the Soviet Union was anathema to me. Now the 60's brought us Vietnam and the press (aka Walter Cronkite) lied to us about the Tet Offensive (a US victory portrayed as a loss) and John Kerry lied about atrocities committed by US soldiers in Vietnam. So anti-Americanism was born and has become a major political movement.
I could spend pages writing about all of the great ideas, inventions and wealth that America has created for the world to enjoy. Why not point out that while we are 5% of the population, and use 24% of the energy, we also produce 33% of the output? Or that we were responsible for developing 100% of the energy generation inventions that we share with the world. If everyone were as energy efficient as we are, the Arabs could go pound sand. Our scientists receive more Nobel Peace prizes than all other countries - why is that? Because we are contributing the most to advancement of knowledge. Read Pilzer's book on Unlimited Wealth to understand that when ever someone (or some country) creates wealth, all people become wealthier. Our industriousness has made the world a wealthier, healthier, and more peaceful place (more peaceful because countries that engage in free trade usually don't go to war, and we lead in this concept).
The poster on dailykos talks about atrocities committed some 200 years ago against indigenous peoples, about slavery (we fought a bloody war to end this practice), and about our imperialist war in Iraq (we were attacked in a pre-meditated act of war) or dropping a nuclear bomb (on a suicidal people willing to fight to the death and kill as many Americans as possible - sound familiar?).
Is America a perfect nation? Obviously not. However, should we bash the best because it is not perfect? I've travelled to many different countries. There are none that appeal to me at all as a place I'd rather live. Many point to Europe as a Utopia, but high unemployment, limited freedom to start your own business and a segregationist culture (if you are not born a Frenchman, you can never be French - anyone can be an American) would keep me away. And the numbers of people trying to come to America Vs those trying to leave validate my point of view.
When I was caught up in the anti-war days of the 60's I questioned America's goodness. But after examining the facts, I find Americans to be the most generous people on earth, the most industrious, the most creative and entrepreneurial. Our Constitution is still the model for any government to follow, I find none better. As far as the United Nations goes - any organization that would put Libya on the Human Rights commission is a joke and merits no consideration.
Are people that hate America patriotic? I don't see how that is possible. I'm proud to be an American and make no apologies for being from this country where ever I have travelled.