How ’bout giving America and Americans the benefit of the doubt for once?
Why indeed. Here’s a few thoughts.
1. A healthy suspicion of government is a good thing. Governments need watchdogs and skeptics. Absolutely they do. Such skepticism is not un-American.
2. A healthy concern for minorities of all types is a good thing.
3. We can’t go around saying we are the greatest country in the world unless we are humble, contrite and self-deprecating. We have to actually BE the greatest country in the world. That means we have to set examples of moral behavior and fairness. We have to take the interests of others into account.
For some reason the Right, which historically has a healthy suspicion of government, loses that as soon as their guys are in power. Only now are we seeing the Right get critical of Bush and co.
For some reason the Right thinks we can selfishly defend our best interests, ignoring the best interest of others and yet cry foul when others do the same (e.g. France).
For some reason the Right will stubbornly be on “America’s side” even when America is wrong. For example, the world now perceives us as a country willing to torture people.
Finally, the Left is concerned with what Thomas Jefferson called the tyranny of the majority. Majorities can run amock. That is my concern, for example, with this whole business about the Bible. Yes, a majority of Americans are Christian. That does not mean we are a Christian country when it comes to our laws or who can represent us in public office.
So I think the Left wants to make the country better and the Right is willing to let us slide on a lot of shit.