Monday, July 05, 2004

Choose your hates wisely
Pete M. over at the spookily named Dark Window has a post up about self-proclaimed patriots who hate America haters. The patriot he has in mind at the moment is Bruce Walker of American Daily. Bruce had the daringly original idea of throwing out all of the America haters. Round up the liberals and deport them. Pete thinks Bruce is patently unpatriotic and perfectly idiotic as well.

As a final conclusion, that works for me, but I think Pete misses some of the subtlety of Bruce’s mind-bogglingly arrogant stupidity. Pete sums up the problem this way:
This is a very disturbing refrain that we now hear incessantly from the Right. If you question something America (or more specifically, George W. Bush) does, then you hate America.

Think about what that means for a minute: If you don't believe in stifling all dissent, then you're a traitor. If you think you have a right (let alone a duty) to question something you see as being harmful to our country, then you hate America.

But the true essence of what Bruce opposes isn’t hating things American; it’s hating things American that are not on the approved list of hate-able things. For Bruce and his ilk it’s perfectly okay to hate America’s liberals, feminists, atheists, intellectuals, artists, and academics. It’s perfectly fine to hate America’s education system from the small town teacher right up to the greatest public university. It’s acceptable to hate the states on the coast for not being like the states in the middle. It’s almost required to hate our news media. And while we’re at it, it is most desirable to hate our diversity, our free speech, and our opposition party (at least during those times when Bruce and his friends approve of the ruling party).

Bruce and his friends feel that their values are the purest and only possible manifestation of what it means to be American. Anyone who varies from the Brucite template is un-American. If we vary in a way that is involuntary, like the language of our birth, we can be forgiven if we show a sincere desire to overcome this disability and become more Bruce-like. If we vary in something voluntary, like our values, beliefs, and opinions, then we are anti-American and don’t deserve the blessings of sharing this continent with Bruce. It must be nice to be the personal manifestation of a nation.

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