Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting Harder These Days to Hold My Head High as an American....

Pound for pound, I think America is the best place in the world to live.  And while I have found a more personally satisfying life overseas in China, I still believe that American ideals and practicality afford the best opportunities for success and fulfillment when properly understood and applied.  My decision to live outside of American has nothing to do with American philosophies of government, laws, and citizen responsibility.

I am very proud of America's abundant freedoms, particularly the freedom of speech.  Yet I am increasingly embarrassed by my arrogant and often ignorant countrymen and women who brandish this freedom as an excuse and in fact a reason to carry out actions that are in essence utterly selfish.  Being in a country such as China has made me more aware of the importance of social responsibility and courtesy, which it seems that Americans are too quick to ignore.  Yes the Constitution guarantees virtually unlimited freedom in a lawful context but this does not give the freedom-bearer license to exercise these freedoms in aggressive ways intending to intimidate and antagonize others in the society.  I find a massive body of Americans are looking for every opportunity to get in someone's face and bellow "I'm free, dammit, I can do whatever I want!  Whatcha gonna do bitch?  Just try, JUST TRY to take my freedoms away, see what happens!"  What purpose does this flagrance serve?

Many Americans cling to their freedoms and the right to defend them as a statement of machismo in a country where "true" machismo is suppressed by law, i.e., men being the sole owners of their property and not having to pay taxes on it to the government, duels, wars fought on home soil, etc.  How are you going to prove you are a man?  Why, carry guns to town hall meetings.  Or come armed with incendiary placards and bumper sticker slogans and hurl them red-faced at the local congressman whom you have no intention of listening to, no matter what he says.  Arrogant, selfish Americans applaud their friends and neighbors who go to town hall meetings with the intention to disrupt rather than converse.  "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"  Yeah well that's nice, so where does that get us?  Do blind statements of outrage help the situation at all?  The Boston Tea Party was a one-night-only show, and this is hardly equivalent to King George's taxation sledgehammer.  New predicaments call for new tactics.  This juvenile one-upmanship of who can have the rowdiest town hall meeting is patently useless as far as pushing the people's agenda into the spotlight.

It's fine to be angry- anger is a powerful motivator.  But the opposition to America's government has become a barrel full of monkeys.  Damn fools exercising their inalienable rights in a way that helps no one but makes them feel better as they thump their chest and demand to be heard.  Have something to say first, prissy self-indulgent bitch.  High decibel vocal cords and your cherry-red mug don't do anyone any good.


Andis Kaulins said...

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

As a Canadian, I like Americans. I find the nicest Expats that I have met in China are Americans. Strangely, some of the worse Expats are Americans also. But I would take them over Brits, Aussies, Germans, Canucks, the whole bloody lot.

The most repulsive Expats I have met are the ones who wear their anti-Americanism on their sleeves. From them, I can see how things like Anti-Semitism can exist.

MKL said...

Very well written post. I couldn't agree more with you. And when I see what's happening in USA, I sometimes feel that good old Europe is not so bad at all. But, every country has its strong points and its flaws.

I try not to judge people by where they come from or what race, age, sex they are, be it expats or tourists. When I was in Asia, I tried not to hang out with expats anyway, so I never had any problems :)