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Proud to be American?
By novicedancer1991member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 02:14 PM

Earlier today, my brother was telling my family about something they did at the camp he went to last week where every kid had to say why they were proud to be American. One boy said he was proud to be American because everything here is bigger: our food portions, our homes (my brother added 'our egos and our weight'). That kind of got me thinking, because I've often heard that said as a bad thing, that Americans are spoiled because we're overprivaleged. So I thought that would make an interesting debate, especially now since it's Independance day: do you think Americans should be proud of our country because of our freedom and wealth, or ashamed? Do you think that the United States is even really that special, or is it not that much different from other free countries?

I'd be especially intrested to hear what people who live in other countries (I know there are a lot on DDN) think about this.

73 Replies to Proud to be American?

re: Proud to be American?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 02:25 PM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2010-07-04 14:25:36
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2010-07-04 14:30:58
I'm proud of the fact that we built an entire country and working democracy out of a relatively small rebellion. I think that's pretty cool. But I'm NOT proud of the attitude a lot of Americans have toward other countries. The whole "Screw those [insert ethnicity here], GO USA WOOOOOO" is just obnoxious and stupid, to me. I also tend to look at the things we've done wrong, because to me, that says a lot about us as a country. How many wars have we gotten involved in that were maybe not so necessary? How many people have we tortured or killed? How stupid have we been before, in certain situations? The answers to questions like those are what make me a little bit ashamed to be from where I am.

Patriotism also kind of makes me laugh, to be honest, especially when it's extreme--last night, for example, I went to a fireworks show and there was a group of people that stood up, held hands, and sang the National Anthem before it was even played over the speakers, and then started a "USA! USA! USA!' chant. (I responded with "EU! EU! EU!")

So basically, pride is alright in moderation, as long as we don't forget all the crappy stuff we've done to other people. Intense patriotism, and/or ethnocentrism, is just awkward and easy to make fun of.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 02:26 PM
Edited by Kekoa (69553) on 2010-07-04 14:42:55
I'm jaded...I'm not proud to be an American. I'm not arrogant enough to think that we're some almighty, wonderful people with all this luck and awesomeness. DDN is actually what shaped my opinion. Do our members in Australia seem like they live these poverty-stricken lives, and would love nothing more than to move here? No. They're happy where they are. Same with Europe...does the average citizen from the UK, Germany, France, Norway or Sweden really wish they lived here? Probably not. Then again, I'm one of those people who would gladly move. I would love to marry someone from another country and get dual citizenship.

I don't hate America, but I don't love it and think it's awesome. The only thing I have here that makes it "better" than Norway or Germany is that my family and friends are here. If everyone I knew died or something, I'd feel no loyalty to stay here.

Edit: I could have just checked and quoted all of Grace's post. No country is perfect, but we're a lot LESS perfect than many countries and it frustrates me when people forget that.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By MaxwellPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 04:09 PM
I don't hate the U.S.A, and I have no desire to leave, but I think, overall, we've made a lot of poor decisions, and I'm not proud to say that I'm from a country that has made decisions that have hurt many people from all over the world.

Personally, I believe that unnecessarily strong patriotism and/or nationalism are completely unnecessary, make us look silly, and are often used simply for political gain or excuses for various types of ethnic or racial discrimination. However, I find outright cynicism about the state and future of the country to be just as, if not more, unhelpful than blind patriotism. Basically, I think that "STFU Mexicans, America is better than you" and "America sucks, it will always suck, let's all go to Sweeden" are both bad attitudes to have.

The best thing we can do is appreciate what we are blessed with in America, acknowledge we've made a lot of mistakes, not act like we're the best country ever, and, if you aren't proud of the current state of America, remember that change can and will happen if we work for it.
re: Proud to be American?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 05:11 PM
Patriotism, I think, is just bad all-around: positive or negative. That's the only thing keeping me from saying "I'm ashamed to be an American"--feeling proud or ashamed just because of which invisible borders you were born between doesn't make much sense.

I don't like being American: while (Like any population) there is good in people, the people as a whole are not good. I think America has been flawed since the moment it started putting ideas into action--while the ideas were great in theory, execution kinda screwed everything up. I wouldn't be at all opposed to starting completely anew.

July 4th to me is rather depressing--just watching how crazy people go with it, the vast amount of consumer waste that goes into it--so I stay home and watch Independence Day. YAY WILL SMITH!
re: Proud to be American?
By SOADftwmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 07:05 PM
It's my dream to live in Europe one day. Then again I might have issues with it because I'd have to explain my accent and admit I'm an American and get all embarrassed. I think people prejudge Americans and think we're all the same - loud, obnoxious over eaters who insist on getting their way. Whenever I travel in Europe I say I'm Canadian and honestly, you get treated better if people think you're from Canada. Thank goodness I grew up in Minnesota so I have pretty much a Canadian accent.

An example of why I get embarrassed to be American occurred when I was in Finland. We were taking a tour of a castle (which, by the way, Americans think are SO COOL but to Europeans it's just another castle) and the tour guide spoke English very well. After the tour, a fellow American approached him and said in a very loud voice in very slow English like he wouldn't understand "You speak English very well. You sound like you're from England. You should be very proud." I wanted to shake her.

My aunt is another reason I'm embarrassed to be American. Once my aunt, my mother, and I took a vacation in Amsterdam. Everywhere we went my aunt would exclaim "LOOK AT THAT!" or "THAT IS SO NEAT!" and extend her arm its entire length to point at whatever it was she saw. Not to mention she is a fairly stout woman (ok - she's quite overweight) and just looks like a typical American. I know that sounds mean but it's true. People would look at us and I just wanted to hide. Once she saw a sign that looked something like "Sooie" so she, quite loudly, did the pig call right there in public. I was mortified and so was my mom.

I know I sound kind of pretentious while I'm writing all this like I'm somehow a better person than the average American, but that's not what I mean. While I'm in America I don't mind being American, but when I'm in other countries I would rather be from anywhere else.

Also, I agree with AlwaysOnStage. I really dislike the 4th of July. Where I live now doesn't go as crazy as the place I grew up, but growing up you would see people flying full-sized flags from their cars and wearing all their American clothes (which, by the way, does any other country really do that? Wear clothes with their flag on it?), and painting their faces red white and blue and blaring "Proud to be an American" as they shot off fireworks while they get more and more drunk... the list goes on. Also, do other countries really do that? Write songs like Proud to be an American and God Bless the USA?

Ok I'm done. I could go on but I'm not going to.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 12)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 08:04 PM
Gawd, what a depressing thread to read. Y'all are a such a bunch of downers... ok, here I go on a 4th of July rant...

Being proud of your country doesn't automatically mean you are putting another place down. And every single tourist who goes to another country and spends their hard-earned dollars there and loudly says 'oohh look at that' is paying a COMPLIMENT to the country, so I've never understood the bitterness against naive tourists. I'll take your money but I'll call you ugly American behind your back. Now whose acting superior in that scenario?

I'm proud to be an American. I'm free to pursue happiness - it's written right in the Constitution - I'm proud of the Constitution. Americans are insanely generous, hard-working, fun-loving people. Every country has its faults and made its mistakes, but I prefer to look at the positive potential in our young country. To say that the people of America are, on a whole, not good (AlwaysonStage said that- boo!) is a gross generalization and completely unfair.

And if I hear one more time that we are over-consuming, spoiled, ethnocentric people I'm gonna puke. We are BIG country, yes, with big portions, big cars, etc. Do you not get the metaphors that these big things are? You can make something BIG of yourself here if you wish to. This is a great big 'GO FOR IT' country. It's not a sin to have a lot, it's a BLESSING. There is abundance here. Many people in the world would LOVE to be eating big portions and feel the liberty we have here.

NO American should ever whine about being an American. If you don't like it, work to make it better, if you don't have what you want then get out there and get it! Every single person I have ever met that was visiting here from another country or have met in another country admitted to admiring America and Americans, if speaking strictly from the job opportunities that you can make for yourself here! Just last month I was in Paris talking to locals about how much they wished they could leave Paris (leave Paris imagine! I was dumbfounded!) because they felt weighed down by their history, the class-ism of their society and families which they felt held them back in their work and they generally felt an overall lack of motivation. Wow! Every country's citizens can find something to complain about! But let's look for the good and the great, people. America may not be the only wonderful place in the world, but it sure is ONE of them and there's absolutely nothing wrong in loving your country and feeling fortunate to live there.

Ok, enough ranting for now, lol! I'm off to ENJOY the 4th of July. I will ooh and ahh at the fireworks and I will cry at the Lee Greenwood song, 'Proud to Be an American'.

:)
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Merfi
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 08:42 PM
I'm a New Zealander, and I find the amount of patriotism some Americans have kind of confusing... nobody chooses where they come from, so why be proud of it? As far as I can tell, the US is hardly any different from most other OECD countries. There are plenty of other places just as 'free' as the US, and a lot of them are generally considered to have higher standards of living according to various surveys.

I have nothing against Americans, but they're no better (or worse) than anywhere else, as far as I'm aware.
re: Proud to be American?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 09:11 PM
And if I hear one more time that we are over-consuming, spoiled, ethnocentric people I'm gonna puke. We are BIG country, yes, with big portions, big cars, etc. Do you not get the metaphors that these big things are?
I thought you were going to say big penises.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 09:32 PM
d4j wrote:

And if I hear one more time that we are over-consuming, spoiled, ethnocentric people I'm gonna puke. We are BIG country, yes, with big portions, big cars, etc. Do you not get the metaphors that these big things are?

See, when I think of those things, I don't think, "Oh, well of course, that's a metaphor for how we can be something BIG if we want to!" You know? :? I think "Wow, we're greedy and we don't care about the environment around us. Greeeat."
re: Proud to be American?
By ConUnaSonrisamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 09:59 PM
I pretty much agree with everything d4j said. I would also like to add that I'm from Texas, so we have extreme state patriotism on top of country patriotism. I'm proud of where I live. I'm thankful and I feel blessed that I was born here. When my family went to Ireland a few years ago to visit extended family, every.single.person. we met thought it was SO COOL that we were from Texas. It made us feel good.

And to whoever asked if other countries do patriotism like the U.S., let me say one word - MEXICO. I'm not sure about other countries, but I'm really close to Mexico and their patriotism definitely tops ours.
re: Proud to be American?
By RattyPattymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:06 PM
I am so incredibly proud to be an American. I love being able to make my own decisions about my future and I have the opportunity to make something of my life.
Wow, we're greedy and we don't care about the environment around us

I find this quite insulting, because I know so many hard working people who are not greedy, and generalizations like this are absolutely ridiculous. There are greedy people everywhere, no matter where you go, I'm sure you will find at least one greedy person. As for the environment, every country has its flaws. I must admit, I do enjoy having the freedom to use energy the way I want to, such as having my heater on in April if I wish, or keeping my lights on at whatever time of day I want them on.

Americans are definitely privileged, but that's not something to be ashamed of.
re: Proud to be American?
By rmdanceguy1
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:15 PM
Edited by rmdanceguy1 (145782) on 2010-07-04 22:54:05
I was born in the US and am very proud to be an American.

Imagine a small rebellion of very intelligent men for the first time put to paper and practice ideas, ideals, and principles of government which date back to Socrates thought too explosive to ever let the masses rule. Monarchies at the time were thought of as the most efficient government. Unfortuantely, monarchies led to tyranny. So, Lexington and Concord was described as "the shot heard around the world" for nothing. Again, for the first time equal rights under the law WAS the law. People were able to use their god-given rights and liberties to pursue their right for happiness and to secure these blessings for ourselves and posterity.

In 234 years, a small time in relation to the countries in rest of the world much older governments, went from a small group of colonies ended up being the reining superpower in the world. Remember, these small colonies were able to defeat the reining superpower of the time. Yes, we had help from France. we did a lot ourselves. The two countries ended up working together and being the oldest allies.

America is the ONLY true country where a person wanting to start a new life in a new country can and CAN become a US citizen if they so chose. Most, if not all, countries only allow citizenship to naturally born citizens. In fact, my great grandfather came through Ellis Island on his way to a new life.

I think the greatest thing which keeps me thankful of being an American is a story dating back to when I was in high school during the height and turned out to be the end of the Cold War with the Soviets.

We had just come back from summer break. My French teacher who is also fluent in German (along with English her native tongue and of course, French). She went to visit her husband's relatives in Germany. This was also when Berlin was still divided by a wall creating East and West Berlin. East Berlin under Soviet control and the West under US control.

She went to Berlin. She had to cross into East Berlin to visit more friends and relatives. She was carrying a bag of oranges and other fruits and vegetables as well as other items to give to the family she was going to visit.

When she crossed into East Berlin, an East Berlin woman came up to her noticing the bag of oranges. In German, she asked my French teacher where she got those beautiful oranges. The woman had waited in line for bread for hours, but they ran out when it was her turn. The woman went to the line for milk, again they ran out. Next, the woman went for meat and again the government ran out. She had waited all day in lines and would have to go home with nothing to eat.

When my French teacher explained she was visiting from the American sector of Berlin and the oranges were purchsed in the American sector, the woman burst into tears explaining all she had been through. Needless to say, my teacher gave her the oranges and everything she could to the woman knowing she would have an opportunity to replace those items whereas the East Berlin woman would not.

The woman with tears in her eyes thanked her profusely. That hit home with me and I never forgot it. This is what being an American was all about.

Americans are the most luckiest people in the world. America is the land of plenty. Since it is the land of plenty, we must share our bounty with ourselves and the world. Religious values or not, this is the right thing to do. We, as Americans, must never forget somewhere there are people who have it worse or have nothing. We must also realize some of the greatest need is here at home.

Americans are pioneers and trail blazers in technology especially and when we fight we fight for freedom. That is more true today than it was when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

I think the greatest thing about being an American is we can vote and run our own government,. It is accountable to us. As voters have the opportunity to change the government and our country if we want. The right to vote is the most coveted right in the world. Although Americans may not have invented the idea of voting, it certainly perfected the system to do so and gave it to average citizens: all citizens. We also have the right to assemble and protest peacefully. By protesting and fighting for change, we can influence or effect real change or policy we do not like. We have the right to speak our minds about our leaders without fear of reprisals. We have the right to worship any where and anyway we chose. The federal or state government cannot intercede or force us to worship any certain way. Unique to the US is the Seperation of Church and State doctrine. Despite what conservatives want to say, this is a bed principle of this country guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

We also have become so powerful as a country we can effect change in the world. Although the rest of the world may not agree with our philanthropy or our forein policy, I hope most of the world sees Americans as a force for good. I firmly believe deep down most Americans are good, decent, and peaceful people who want to be a force for good in the world.

When the world is at war or trouble is brewing, when the U.N. calls 911, it is the US military who responds. Americans are usually the first ones into other countries offering aid, food, and shelter for earthquake victims, tornado victims, tidal waves, plane crashes, or any other natural disaster even when we are demonized for providing such aid. We still provide it because it is the right thing to do. We respond and come to the aid of our allies interests to keep things peaceful. This is evidenced by NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization which was organized after WWII to defeat communism and totalitarianism, mostly the Soviets.

Americans may believe in individualism, but I firmly know we Americans believe in the sense of community. Americans aid Americans. We know we have enemies. We know other countries may not be large enough to return the aid. Unfortunately, there are other countries who do not return the aid for one reason or another.

For non-US citizens, to understand what it is like to be an American is to understand the history, the priniciples, the ideals, the country, and the people. To me, American patriotism is so much more than waving the flag, cooking out, and shooting fireworks. It is a deep love of the land you own, region you live, the community you belong, the state you reside, and ultimately the federal government. Each American will gladly fight to defend the country and make the ultimate sacrifice to assure their children live in a free society.

After 9/11, instead of breaking or dividing us, the terrorist attack pulled us together. There were signs which explained it all, "These colors don't run" while showing red, white, and blue colors in a minnie flag.
re: Proud to be American?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:22 PM
Edited by AlwaysOnStage (90901) on 2010-07-04 22:24:08 Some posted just before me, so ^ must become ^^. Oh, Internet Grammar.
^^The AVERAGE american fits stereotypes--that's what stereotypes are. And the stereotypical American is not one that I'm proud to stand in line next to, let alone be compared to.

As much as I used to be one of those "I hate the way it is, so I'll make it better..." people, it was snapped out of me. I think America is beyond hope short of a terrible disaster occurring, wiping out most of the population, and forcing the government to re-invent itself in the ashes. (Anyone seen the show Jericho, the TV series? We don't know much about the Texan government in that one, but we do know it's better than the Western-SaltLake half. That's the kind of disaster I'm talking about.) I don't wish for that to happen--I'm not crazy and I'm not heartless. However, I don't think that we can reform the very nature of the American People (Western Culture? Another aspect of this conversation could be that 'Western Culture' follows Americanism to a large extent.), which is what would need to be done.
re: Proud to be American?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:30 PM
AlwaysOnStage wrote:

^^The AVERAGE american fits stereotypes--that's what stereotypes are. And the stereotypical American is not one that I'm proud to stand in line next to, let alone be compared to.

As much as I used to be one of those "I hate the way it is, so I'll make it better..." people, it was snapped out of me. I think America is beyond hope short of a terrible disaster occurring, wiping out most of the population, and forcing the government to re-invent itself in the ashes. (Anyone seen the show Jericho, the TV series? We don't know much about the Texan government in that one, but we do know it's better than the Western-SaltLake half. That's the kind of disaster I'm talking about.) I don't wish for that to happen--I'm not crazy and I'm not heartless. However, I don't think that we can reform the very nature of the American People (Western Culture? Another aspect of this conversation could be that 'Western Culture' follows Americanism to a large extent.), which is what would need to be done.


Yes!

Also, I hate the misconception that anyone can just move here and start this new fantastic life and be totally accepted, but that can't happen anywhere else. Not true! I've looked into the citizenship requirements for other countries, and it's no more difficult (sometimes LESS difficult) to become a citizen of another country. Will you be seamlessly accepted into their culture? Of course not. You'll always be an immigrant, albeit a legal one. However, first-generation immigrants aren't exactly praised and welcomed with open arms by most people here either, even if they're legal. You can't truly fit in 100% when you move to another country, whether you're an American moving to Sweden or a Swede moving to America.

I also hate that it's like a sin to not be patriotic. Maybe I just feel it more as a former military brat. Like I said, I enjoy my life, but not because of the americanized things I get here. I could live an equally awesome life in France or England or Norway. The ties that keep me here are my family, not my love of America. I agree with what I quoted as well...our country is insanely divided. The way we're going, we won't last much longer.
re: Proud to be American?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:31 PM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2010-07-04 22:37:14
RattyPatty wrote:

Wow, we're greedy and we don't care about the environment around us

I find this quite insulting, because I know so many hard working people who are not greedy, and generalizations like this are absolutely ridiculous.

Oh yeah, I know not every single person is that way, and I'm not saying they are. I'm saying that that's what comes to my mind when I think of our huge portions, huge cars, and the whole "bigger is better" attitude; that's the idea I get, rather than the "Oh, well that just means we can do anything we want!" perspective that d4j mentioned. I don't understand how that "metaphor" can be connected to all the oversized crap we have, you know? When I see people eating Supersize Big Mac meals and driving gas-guzzling Hummers and Escalades, I don't think "Man, those people really inspire me to take my biggest dreams and make them happen." :?

I agree with being proud of our accomplishments, but I feel like way too many Americans choose to be proud INSTEAD of actually doing something about the crappy stuff. We've started unnecessary wars, we've killed innocent people, we (on the whole) are pretty self-important, we use a ridiculous amount of energy (and no, not just because we're a physically big piece of land, but also because we use more energy than we need)...I'm not very proud of those accomplishments, because they're not something to be proud of.

Also, to clarify a little bit more, I think part of the reason I'm not very attached to/proud of America is because I've been outside the US, and loved it. I'm not saying that anyone in this particular thread of discussion has never left the country, but I feel like when you leave for a while, experience another place and really, really LOVE it, it's hard to come back to America (or whatever your home country is, I guess) and be proud when it pales in comparison.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 3)
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:54 PM
Please.

rmdancguy1 wrote:

America is the ONLY true country where a person wanting to start a new life in a new country CAN become a US citizen if they so chose. Most, if not all, countries only allow citizenship to naturally born citizens. In fact, my great grandfather came through Ellis Island on his way to a new life.


Completely false. Many countries, including my own, offer citizenship to foreign-born immigrants.

rmdanceguy1 wrote:

I think the greatest thing about being an American is we can vote and run our own government,. It is accountable to us. As voters have the opportunity to change the government and our country if we want. The right to vote is the most coveted right in the world. Although Americans may not have invented the idea of voting, it certainly perfected the system to do so and gave it to average citizens: all citizens. We also have the right to assemble and protest peacefully. By protesting and fighting for change, we can influence or effect real change or policy we do not like. We have the right to speak our minds about our leaders without fear of reprisals.


Again, you're not unique in this. Plenty of countries have fair and free elections and freedom of speech.

I'm with lots of the other posters here. Being born somewhere doesn't really make you special.

I love my country and all, but I think I'd love some other ones too.
re: Proud to be American?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:59 PM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2010-07-04 23:06:53 clarification...
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2010-07-04 23:27:00 clarification...
^@Cien - Way to imply that unless you've been outside of America you can't possibly know how crappy it is here... :?

Panic - LOL, yes, I'm proud of all the great big American penises, um, I mean 'metaphors' out there in our great big country. :D

Gotta admit to a mistake I made - I'm surprised no one caught it! I was on my emotional 'yay for America' rant and said that the pursuit of happiness is written in the Constitution. NO, it's written in the Declaration of Independence. Ok, I feel better now that I've fixed that.

Anyway, of course you can be an immigrant elsewhere, duh. And I'm not saying that is easy to come here and no you are not going to have instant success. Another duh! It's the PURSUIT of happiness that you are free to do, it's no guarantee. Gotta put in the work. Gotta deal with the difficulties, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and all that.

And please, stop with the generalizing an entire country of people, it's ludicrous to say all Americans are a certain way. If you are going to stereotype then acknowledge that there are at least as many positives to stereotype about people as negative. Why only focus on that? Here's a stereotype of Americans that I learned in Europe: You can always tell an American because they are always smiling. They say that with kind of a sneer, but dang if I'm gonna be known for something I'd rather be known for smiling than sneering! :) Another stereotype - most Americans are generous and helpful.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:15 PM
Edited by balletbaby1414 (54968) on 2010-07-04 23:16:32

I am a Canadian, when I think of America, I think of a neighbour and partner, not competition. I don't think anyone should waste time feeling ashamed about their countries past, after all, we're not the ones who have made those decisions. I think we should spend our energy on making as many positive changes to our homes and creating a place that our children and grandchildren can be even prouder to be apart of. I consider myself more grateful than proud to be a Canadian because I feel I've been given many opportunities by living in a developed country that many others will never experience.
re: Proud to be American?
By rmdanceguy1
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:30 PM
Well, well, you susequent posters seem to miss the spirit and meaning of my post. If you want to gripe about the US, Always on stage, than leave the country. There was a saying in the 1960's, if you don't like it here, than leave. No one is forcing you to stay.

Megan, so other countries have changed their immigration laws. Big deal. The US is the country which invented the concept. A lot of countries are not like this. For instance, I knew a guy who was going to marry an English woman. He was to move to England and become an officer in his fiance's father's business. He tried and tried to be naturalized which was incredibly long process. It eventually came down to an act of the Crown which he admitted to me would never happen as he was an American. This may be a unique isolated event, but that pretty much tells me England may still have this naturalization practice. This was but mere 10 yearsa go.

Voting? Are you serious? You are atacking Americans with voting? We invented the practice (not the vote). We set the stage for YOUR country's citizens to demand the same rights. I never said other countries did not have the right to vote NOR did I say ALL other countries did not have fair, open, elections. You have to agree there are countries of the world where the citizens still DO NOT have the right to vote, protest, assemble, and speak freely without reprisals from their leaders. Examples, Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Iraq, some respects Saudi Arabia and other middle east countries,a number of African countries, Cuba, and Venezuela, etc.

Free Speech? While now it is not a unique American concept, it was Americans who first put it into practice guaranteeing the right in writing and to all citizens. If your country now has given it to you, than I guarantee you the concept was orginated by us Americans. So, Megan, in a way, you need to thank Americans for setting in motion the world wide process where you got the rights to vote, speak, assemble, and allow residents of other countries become naturalized in your country.
re: Proud to be American?
By pondflyPremium member
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:16 AM
Absolutely- How this country was formed using ideas of other countries and adjusting to make fit the best way for the people. It took great minds and a lot of sacrifices to go from what we were to where we are now.

Spend some time with veterans, public servants and you will begin to see what people sacrifice to give.
I'm proud to say that I have an uncle who got the silver star from the battle of the bulge, my grandfather who passed got a bronze star and was a tail gunner in a B-17 in Europe. Several of my friends served from Grenada to the current campaigns.

Sit down and listen to these people who served and what they lived through. Even better go to a landing of an www.honorflight.org .
You will not see a dry eye. I've done a couple flights as medical support and it is one of the most redeeming factors in life. Our local network did a whole series on the flight system www.wgntv.com . . . If you have time at least see the last section showing the homecoming and you will understand.

When I bought my house, as soon as the closing was done (and I had a couple drinks to calm down :) ) I put a flagpole in the yard. It flies day and night and is properly illuminated.

My family is from England and Italy and I visit there often along with other countries throughout the world. While I like going there, I always enjoy coming back. Every place has nice aspects but when you put the total together this is the best.

Is it perfect- No. But the country has been changing for centuries and will for a long time.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Merfi
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:42 AM
rmdanceguy1 wrote:


Voting? Are you serious? You are atacking Americans with voting? We invented the practice (not the vote). We set the stage for YOUR country's citizens to demand the same rights.


This is not completely accurate... for example, New Zealand women were the first to be allowed to vote in 1893, American women not until 1920. So it would seem that your democratic system is not quite as revolutionary as you might think...
re: Proud to be American?
By CaffeinePremium member
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:45 AM
There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's country of origin. The point where it becomes offensive, however, is having such a rabid, myopic viewpoint that you (general) dismiss, devalue, or otherwise ignore the worth of all of the other countries in an attempt to be "best".

Be proud of your country, certainly, if that's your feeling, but don't dare denigrate others to make yourselves feel better about it. All countries have their faults.

Last I looked, it wasn't a competition, and treating it as such ends up causing rifts between friends/nations and resentment. Save the competitions for the sporting fields.

We're all on one planet together. A giant pissing contest to see who's "best" will only end up in us having the proverbial nuked out of us all.
re: Proud to be American? (karma: 5)
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 06:15 AM
Edited by Megan (87282) on 2010-07-05 06:22:26
Edited by Megan (87282) on 2010-07-05 06:31:45
Edited by Megan (87282) on 2010-07-05 06:32:41
Have you ever read anything about the rest of the world regarding this topic, rmdanceguy1?

You're just...completely wrong. My country has been open to immigration since its birth exactly like yours. Americans didn't invent the concept, the British did when they started colonizing countries (including your own.) If anything, the British were the ones to 'invent' immigration, were such a thing possible.

en.wikipedia.org . . .

You also didn't invent voting or democracy- the ancient Greeks did that (and before you say "Yes, but they didn't let just anyone vote,"...neither did the US. Women and black people anyone?) And America certainly didn't allow my country's citizens to demand the right to vote, haha.

The Almighty Wikipedia wrote:

Democracy has its origins in Ancient Greece.[17][18] However other cultures have significantly contributed to the evolution of democracy such as Ancient Rome,[17] Europe,[17] and North and South America.[19] The concept of representative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed during the European Middle Ages and the Age of Enlightenment and in the American and French Revolutions.[20] Democracy has been called the "last form of government" and has spread considerably across the globe.[21] The Right to vote has been expanded in many Jurisdictions over time from relatively narrow groups (such as wealthy men of a particular ethnic group), with New Zealand the first nation to grant universal suffrage for all its citizens in 1893.


Read. Learn. Stop being so ethnocentric. No one needs to be thanking America for inventing democracy.

Image hotlink - 'http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8e/Democracy_Index_2008.png/800px-Democracy_Index_2008.png'

The palest countries on the map are the most demographic. Notice anything?

I recommend having a quick read through this, before any more misinformed statements are made. Wiki's a pretty basic resource, I know, but I think it'll be helpful.

Wikipedia wrote:

Iroquois society had a form of participatory democracy and representative democracy.[64] Iroquois government and law was discussed by Benjamin Franklin[64] and Thomas Jefferson.[65] Though some others disagree,[66] some scholars regard it to have influenced the formation of American representative democracy.[65]


Also, while I'm at it, on the speech thing...

Wikipedia wrote:

The Parliament of England had its roots in the restrictions on the power of kings written into Magna Carta, explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — and implicitly supported what became English writ of habeas corpus, safeguarding individual freedom against unlawful imprisonment with right to appeal. The first elected parliament was De Montfort's Parliament in England in 1265.


England's people had the right to appeal and other protected rights written in the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was written in 1215 and influenced the US constitution pretty heavily. I learned about it in a British history class last year at uni and it's fascinating.

There were many, many influences on American laws and policies, and while the US created its own version of the above, so have all other countries. No country has adopted an identical model to the USA's, but rather done the same as the US...created their own version based on many different sources.

re: Proud to be American? (karma: 1)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 06:35 AM
I don't have time to read through and respond to the rest of this (including rmdancerguy, wtf????) but you know I'll be back.

In short: I love, love, love America!

I love our system of government. It works, it's unique, and it makes me happy; I love the intricacies of the law, the way we strive to bring peace, prosperity, and equal opportunity to all our citizens. I love the themes throughout our documents. The powerful language evokes such a pride in me. I love our history; our forefather's struggle for justice, our fight for independence.

When I walk through our nation's capitol I feel such a sense of awe. I think that the Capitol Building is the most beautiful structure in the world. Its hallowed halls where history is made every day, the truly American imagery on every wall and ceiling and column send shivers down my spine. To stand under that dome and gaze upwards at The Apotheosis of Washington is an experience unlike every other.

I love our beautiful, for spacious skies and amber waves of grain, our purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain. I think that we have everything I could ever want here. From beautiful beaches to snow-covered mountains to thick forests to active volanoes and the Northern Lights, there's no reason I would ever want to leave because I can see it all here.

I have a deep respect and admiration for everyone who serves our government. It brings tears to my eyes when I remember walking through Arlington National Cemetary, among those who loved our country just as much as I do, who gave their lives for it.

And just as much so, it brought tears to my eyes when I stood at Mount Vernon last Fourth of July and watched one hundred people take the Oath of Allegiance and join me as brothers and sisters under the glorious star-spangled banner.

I respect other sovereign nations. I respect their citizens, and fully understand that they are proud to be members of their own nations just as much as I am of mine.

I am proud to be American because while we might not be perfect, we are getting closer every day. We stand for liberty and equality, truth and justice. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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