In an otherwise hackneyed posting about Barack Obama’s wife, in which the usual lunatic fringe invective gets indiscriminately pepper-sprayed around a mostly empty room, local blogger Daniel Short included this observation:
Most of us are proud of the ole USA no matter who is in control. Most of us believe it is the greatest nation on Earth.
Since I enjoy being a gadfly, I responded.
The only question is this: Why does it matter?
Daniel’s answer, in part, read thusly:
You see Roger, a lot of liberals do not really like America. I suspect that given your affection for Europe that you deep down harbor ill feelings toward America. Liberals believe the U.S. is the cause of the world's troubles, that we are war lovers and mother nature haters. It matters because if someone doesn't believe in the idea of America, how can they govern a place that is that idea?
A brief discussion followed, with my cohort Bluegill making a few typically concise points, and John Manzo contributing a brilliant exposition of the liberal/conservative wartime dichotomy. You can follow the above link to read all of it.
As for me, I can’t help observing that in a time when the Euro zone is shredding the efficacy of the dollar, the charge of being a Europhile apparently now carries as much negative impact as Communist, humanist and atheist.
It’s cartoonish to suggest that there are Communists lurking through New Albany’s foggy pumpkin patches. As for the other three perceived denigrations, I’m right there, although not thumping my chest like a child. Things like that are embarrassing, don't you think?
My purpose here is not to speak for Daniel, who is quite capable of digging his own deep holes without requiring me to dirty my hands helping with the shoveling.
Rather, it’s simply to say that discussing “the greatest” anything is an exercise in futility, that I’ve never understood the chest-thumping impulse, and that I agree with the athlete Edwin Moses, who I recall eschewing the contrived, flag-waving Hollywood pageantry of the ’84 Olympics to insist that he regarded himself as a citizen of the universe.
Funny, then, that a Christianity which incessantly professes to be universal in application must ultimately rest on the armed “might” of a particular “greatest” nation, at least in the minds of so many Americans. It’s hard indeed to fathom any Prince of Peace accepting that particular syllogism.
But what do I know. I’ve not been indoctrinated, have I?
However, when it comes to patriotism and religion, the re-education camps are never very far away, are they?