Among other things, I was called an "America Hater" the other day on a political forum I made the mistake of re-visiting after a prolonged absence. 10 plus years of abuse on forums and newsgroups have made me immune to these kind of troll like taunts. I only chuckle now at the lack of imagination shown by pulling these tired old insults out of that tired old bag of political discussion tricks.
But once again, something someone said got me thinking in a new direction. I thought about what kind of person would seriously consider this statement as representing my view of America. What kind of person would be so intolerant and stupid as to base their opinion of me on one view stated on a forum with no other knowledge about me. Unfortunately, there are many stupid and intolerant people out there on both sides of the political fence. And they are all way too eager to rush to judgement without even the slightest information to go on.
Many people are intent on forcing their idea of what America is or should be on others. They get on their high horses and spout off about what they think made America great and what made it great did not include me. I better get with their program or I am an America Hater, a pinko, or gasp - a liberal. To be fair, the other side does it also. If I even hint at being against some form of PC ness or voice an opinion that varies from the left wing sweetheart causes, I become a fascist, a lock step neo clown who is only in it for myself. Oh, and even some of them will pull out the "America Hater" tag now and again.
Seems no matter which way I turn, according to some I hate America. This is odd. If true, you would think I would have figured it out after 56 years on the planet. I am not the brightest star in the Galaxy, but I know whether or not I hate America. And so far I know I don't.
I hate some of the things we do. I hate some of the things we don't do. And I hate some of the things others would have us do. But on the whole I think this country is pretty special. I have no desire to live anywhere else. I have no plans to live anywhere else. I was born here and I plan to die here. If how I live or what I say gets the panties of another in a bunch I would tell them to pound sand. Why? Because I love this country and that's what we do. No one has the right to tell me how to live my life. If that is not loving the idea of America, I don't know what is.
Okay. So now I have established that I do love my country. You may ask so what's your point?
My point goes something like this - Anyone who would call another American an "America Hater" is lower than the insult they hurled in the first place. They are proving they are "American Haters". People who hold their fellow citizens in low regard just for having a different take. They make snap judgements based not on the rights spelled out in the Constitution, but some arbitrary wish list of rights they have secreted away in some party platform or fringe group list of rules and bylaws. If anyone is un-American, it is these folks who would consider the differences between us to be unpatriotic instead of celebrating the fact that we are allowed to have those differences as a right of being a citizen. By using terms like "America Hater", they are inferring that given the opportunity they would gladly usurp the Constitution and throw our sorry butts out or in some prison just for speaking our minds. If that is not hating America, I do not know what is.
So to all you flounders out there who would scold me for not wearing a flag pin, having magnets on my car or calling a negro a black instead of an African American, I say you folks need to get a grip. You also need to re-think what America is really about. It is not here to meet your idea of what it should be. It is here to be what it should be for all of us. If you have no room for differences then maybe you should be the one to leave, not me.