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.
9 thoughts on “Why Lefties Hate America (not)”
Look, I don’t mean to be rude but I’m having a hard time tracking with you.
The reason I made the distinction between people joining the military and people in the military is because when I’ve made the point previously, without that distinction, the argument I got back was that once people join the military, they tend to get an education that places them above the average of the general population (of the USA, not the entire planet). Thus, I included that distinction to point out that the young 18, 19, 20 year olds that are joining the military are better off and more educated than the general population. A very large percentage of disadvantaged youths do not join the military. Unfortunately a lot of them join gangs, get low income jobs, live off welfare, and otherwise become a drag on the economy. Maybe the “best and the brightest” go immediately on to higher learning but the quality of the young men and women joining the military out of high school is the highest that it’s ever been in terms of economic background and level of education. Some of them actually are the best and the brightest sir. These kids are not joining because they have nothing else to do, they are joining because they believe in this country, wish to fight for it, and recognize the wonderful opportunity provided them by the military. I grew up in the military, my father served in the Air Force for 23 years. He was an NCO, not an officer. The dads of all my friends growing up were not stupid, undereducated, or disadvantaged.
Sorry, what Kerry “actually said” was not right. It was flat out wrong and, like Rangel’s statement (which he did mean) shows a stunning ignorance of the actual facts. Not only that, it’s a really, really stupid thing to say. John Kerry is despised by the majority of the rank and file in the military. Mark my words on this, that “botched joke” will prevent him from ever being elected president. Does anybody want to place a wager on that because I would in a minute. You probably can’t get odds in Vegas on that one.
Sorry, this whole “only the stupid join the military” is a non-starter for you guys and shows your lack of understanding of what the US military actually is. The best fighting force ever assembled in the history of the world and I’m proud of every last one of them. I have a 16 year old son who is hardly disadvantaged or stupid and if he wanted to join out of high school, not only would I support it, I’d encourage it.
you compared people “Joining” the military which is ALL of the people IN the military. To the Population at large. The phrase “Population at large” would refer to all peoples existing on the planet. While I do not think you meant that as a comparative demographic. (I trust you mean all americans, but even with this demographic your statement would stand as true)I can not argue against your own words.
There is an excellent reporton “population at large education development” (www.un.org/esa/population/publications/concise2003/concisereportsoo3pdf
But I can argue with a “like demographic”. I also acknowledge that statistics can be made to dance in whatever direction the author chooses. It works on the left it works on the right, which is why I am a centrist and think they are all bastards.
The Kerry Joke??
the media reported this:
“Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if youaren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.”
where does that bash the military enlisted man/woman?
What he actually said
“You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
The joke he intended to make is a lie but what he “actually’ said may be the truth. The disaster in Iraq was created by a buch of highly educated intellectuals but the soldeirs fighting in Iraq do have less education than the those of the same age that have stayed home.
Check out the October issue of the Atlantic (David Kennedy) “50 percent of the 18-24 year olds in the general population (of the US) have some college education compared to only 6.5 percent of the same age group in the U.S. military.
(obviously different groups contest his findings)
But simple logic leans in Kennedy’s direction. If you are home in the US you “can” go to college or further your education. If you are in Iraq you are not. Also if you compare ALL military (officers,special forces, etc…) the military will win…..but, but, go back and read my initial statement. I compared “boots on the ground”, “Grunts”…your basic entry level GI…..
The problem I have with the right mostly, and a go deal on the left is this whole “American version of Political correctness”. It prevents any discourse or questioning of uncomfortable truths.
We have to be able to passionately dissagree without personal attack (see above in most of your posts) To say this is a “wrong war” is not un-American. To say this president lied should not be “sloganed” away “bush lied, kids died”, because someone did lie, and kids did die.
Whose kids is another excellent argument. Google congressional enlistment and take a look at whose children are NOT fighting and dieing. Then take a look at whose kids ARE fighting and dieing. (as we would assume the majority of current enlisting soldiers are republican, but the economic stats are of interest)
The irony is that the joke he intended to make is a lie but what he actually said might be the truth
What are you talking about??? You’re devoid of any sense or logic, you said “Kerry was right” which I take to mean that kids join up becuase they are too stupid or disadvantaged to do anything else and the best and the brightest don’t join up. And I retort by saying that the facts don’t actually support your argument and your respond with the post above??? What are you smoking?
I said the people JOINING he military, not the people in the military, are higher educated and more economically advantaged than the general population. This is another inconvenient truth for you military bashers. Some of best and brightest do join up out of something called PATRIOTISM and love of country. Concepts which I believe are lost on you.
I’d love to debate you but I need you to start making some sense.
Side note: I believe Kerry did not mean what he said, I believe he mispoke and it was a “botched joke.” Forget Kerry’s policies, he is a stiff blowhard that should not attempt comedy. Now Rangel, on the other hand, did not mispeak. He said exacty what he meant and exposed his breathtaking ignorance. He joined up and ended up becoming a freakin’ US Congressman so I think he did pretty well by the military, thank you very much.
I suggest you take off your blinders and see what is reality. Sometimes reality is not what we would like it to be.
The Militay “does” provide great options. The military does have a higher economic and educational level than the “population at large”. Listen to your own words. They sink your own ship.
Sorry, I don’t even respond any more to the “Bush Lied, Kids Died” crowd. That argument is so intellectually lazy, simplistic, and jingoistic it’s not worthy of response. Try to make a coherant, thoughtful, and reasoned argument and I’ll be glad to have a conversation with you.
I hope you don’t teach in my district. I have a teenager, I coach sports, and the kids I know are not the kids you describe and it horrifies me to think that this is the opinion of our kids by their teachers. One of my best friends is the vice principal of one of the largest high schools in the area. I’m very involved as a parent in the district. I know what I’m talking about.
The military does provide a great opportunity for kids with not so great options but if you would do a little research, you would discover that the education level and economic status of the people JOINING the armed forces is higher than the population at large. The opinion you voice is simply misinformed and idiotic.
It is possible to be supportive of the troops and call this a idiotic war. To tie those to paradigms together is shallow and short-sited.
This was a huge mistake. True the left and the right voted to start this thing, but I don’t think we were told the entire truth. Lies were told. Lies that have caused the death of American soldiers.
I encourage the Left to proceed with impeachment hearings. Not that it will actually happen, but it would send a message that says “you lied, we know you lied and we do not have to take it”. There are two reasons he should not be impeached. 1. The VP; 2. the speaker of the house.
It is past time that the majority of Americans stand up and take back the country. For the past six years the right has had complete controll and has “dicked up” everything. Not saying that the left is innocent either, but the right had six years to make things happen carte-blanche…they didn’t. They had complete power and complete power corupts completely. No one turns down Power. This president will go down in history as the worst in our life time if not all time.
The right also does not talk to the “boots on the ground”. They were so insulted when Kerry said what he said, but to be perfectly honest Kerry was right. The majority of the “boots on the groud”, they guys doing the day to day fighting and dieing are 18-21 years old (with officers thrown in here and there) I have taught HS for 20 years. The brightest and the best do not enlist. Sure, some go to West Point or OTS or even ROTC. But the regular “grunt” doesn’t even now who Donald Rumsfield is and if they do, they don’t care.
They want to kill people and break things, get laid, drink beer and come home….and not necessarily in that order.
It is our absolute patriotic duty to be suspect of every single person in washington. We are guilty of being complacent.
Comedian Louie Anderson said, a very long time ago. “Everyone should just get up and start walking towards Washington DC, not fast, not with guns or sticks or pitchforks. Just start walking towards DC. It won’t be 24 hours before shit starts changing”
I have been to DC three times in the last five years. These congressmen (from both sides of the aisle) live like kings and queens. It is excess and priviledge and we have allowed it.
A few weeks ago America spoke and spoke pretty damn loudly. Power needs balance. Officials need to answer tough questions, not dodge, not lie. Not only appear on FOX. It is un patriotic to dissagree is horseshit. It empowers our enemy to dissagree? horseshit again. It scares the shit out of the enemy because we as a people have a power they they will never have. Now we need to wield that power. Ask some tough questions. Pin point the lies and send these “no talent ass clowns” packing.
Yeah, that last post was a little hostile. I get worked up sometimes because, ya know what, I have a lot of sympathy for many, many left-leaning positions but the way they go about making their points and pushing their agendas makes it impossible for me to get with them. To me, they seem like the husband with the fat wife that tells her he loves her occasionally but every day he reminds her of how fat she’s become. It’s not helpful, it’s detrimental and it doesn’t achieve it’s objective. The wife’s still fat, she’s just fat, sad, and angry! You do better by doing better. Point in fact, Pelosi could not wait to get in front of the cameras today to declare Bush a failure and that the ISG has illustrated the fact. This was supposed to be a bipartisan effort looking for a way forward and the first thing she does it try to score political points. Is this going to encourage Bush to play along? No, she’s a fakey-smile, back-stabbing, partisan bitch.
Michael, I do mostly agree with what you posted but what you posted seems to sidestep much of what I said. And again in this post you seem to be reiterating the same thing and ignoring the crux of what I’m saying. I never said it emboldens our enemy when we disagree. Disagree all you want. I am saying that there have been things that have gone way beyond dissagreement to something closer to the purposefull undermining of our leadership for political gain, and downright subversion (in the case of the NYT).
And my attitude is very much identical to the attitude of the families that I know (including my own) who have members serving now and in the past. In fact, the attitude of most of the soldiers and families that I know is that they feel their efforts are being undermined by the media and the left. They are largely angry, dissapointed and resentful and that’s a stone cold fact. Ask someone in the military what they think of John Kerry or Charlie Rangel.
I think things have not gone swimmingly in Iraq bit that is not the same as saying that the military has been poorly used. I think war is hell, it gets fubared all the time, and you have to adjust. We have not adjusted to this enemy quickly enough. It’s like a little company competing with a big company. Sometimes the little company can gain a quick adantage by being more facile. Our military is a giant machine that is harder to turn. BTW, I think the ISG report is a load of crap which has been comprimised to the point of meaninglessness.
Wow, such hostility! 😉
First of all, it seems to me you agree with my post, you are bringing up another issue. Correct me if I’m wrong.
To your point: I think the reactions are generally proportional to the actions. Bush narrowly won his elections and yet engaged in an extreme Right wing agenda. He made his bed. Yes, the Left thinks he’s a retard. He earned it. He could have been a uniter but he choose to be a divider, from Iraq, to gays, guns and god, those guys deliberately tried to destroy the left, apparently forgetting that half this country did not vote for them.
Second, it is complete bullshit to say that it “helps and emboldens our enemies” when we disagree in this country. I think it does the opposite. I think the bin Ladens of the world look at the US and realize that open discourse, a free press and rigorous, if often disrespectful debate, gives this country great power. We are not a “yes man” country. As an example, I think the new spirit of cooperation in Iraq is going to work better than the unilateral actions of this administration. Bush is finally taking off the rose-colored glasses.
And to your last point, I do think we should give our soldiers the benefit of the doubt. I’m not gonna cry because we kill some bastard who was trying to kill us and surrenders at the last minute. Fuck him. The military, as I’ve said all along, is a blunt weapon. That has been part of the problem but it’s not the fault of the military.
Finally, I don’t know why you military guys can’t ever admit that the military can be used poorly. In those cases, it is better to change course and/or bring them home then to adhere to this nonsense that such suggestions are anti-military.
I have family in the military, too. If they are going to sacrifice their lives it better be for a damn good reason. The reason we keep arguing about this stuff is because we tried a military solution to a political problem in one of the most unstable areas of the world.
The Right gave aid to our enemies, using your logic, when Clinton used them in Bosnia. They cried “wag the dog” when he tried to kill bin Laden. Your attitude is thin-skinned and partisan and hurts our families in the military.
I am so fucking tired of this retort. You can be as skeptical, critical, and suspicious as you want. I would be a moron if I said you can’t be critical, but civility, discretion, decorum and common sense does dictate that there be boudaries. Many of the things I’m pissed at the left about go beyond criticism. When, as an example, Charlie the windbag Rangel says our troops are too stupid and disadvantged too do anything else but join the military, that is not a criticism or a dissagreement. It’s stupid, ill informed, displays a contempt for our military and it’s just flat wrong from a factual basis. Or, when various leaders of the Democrat party call the President an idiot, a liar, a traitor, etc. etc. etc., especially at wartime, is not being “critical” or “skeptical.” It’s rude, moronic, lazy, disrepectful and guess what guys, IT HELPS AND EMBOLDENS OUR ENEMIES. Why can you not get that? The more ununified, disjointed, fractitious we are, the more confident and bold the enemy becomes. When a major newspaper releases classified documents and as a result, puts our troops in harms way and damages our ability to fight our ememies, that is beyond skepticism and I believe it to be traitorous. When John Murtha jumps to the conclusion that our troops are guilty of crimes before they are indicted, tried, or convicted (and please, their eventual guilt or innocense is not the point) is not being “critical.” It is, as I posted beore, not giving our side the benefit of the doubt. It’s using an unfortunate situation to advance a political agenda. Why couldn’t he have said something like “I know our guys are stretched thin and they may be showing the effects of a war that is not going as well as we hoped, but lets reserve judgement until all the facts are in and they have their day in court.”?
More later. Go ahead and take your shots.