Mr Lady is Fantastic; and Very, Very wrong

I’d love to be able to write a post refuting this marvelous post by Mr. Lady. But I can’t.

Not because she’s right. Oh, no. She’s very wrong.  I simply haven’t the time to correct her.

Let me just say that America is and has been the greatest source of true good this world has seen in quite some time. Millions of people are free today because of her. Millions more have a chance at freedom that they never would have without her. Whether they make the most of that chance that we’ve given them isn’t up to us.  And people exist who fight that freedom, who have stood up to be counted with the forces of oppression. Oppression of men, women, homosexuals, oppression of free speech, of the right to assembly, of the right to protest, that Mr. Lady laments in its paucity. Oppression of the right to think. To act. To love. To simply live. And us? We fight those people. We spend blood and treasure—the former infinitely more precious than the latter—in the pursuit of giving to others who have never known freedom the opportunity to be free.

That is not shameful. How to even think that it is? How have we gotten ourselves to a place where an intelligent, thoughtful, eloquent woman like Mr. Lady can think that?

There is just cause to grieve against our government. Of course there is. We’re not perfect. Our government, made of people, certainly isn’t, as all things made by people are imperfect, sullied at inception with our imperfection. But the good we’ve done!

And the factual errors! We were never lied to. We weren’t tricked into war. We were attacked. And we fought. At heart, I believe that is why we reelected Bush, and why I still support him. Because he could have continued the failed—but popular—policies of his predecessor, policies that were birthed in cynicism, and reared on appeasement. And he didn’t. He was visionary. He saw early on that a new question, the fundamental question of our times, had been asked. And he answered correctly. The path being laid out before us by our enemies leads to a world that this country was created to reject. And Bush rejected it.

There are lies being foist on us: global warming, to name one. And there’s a conversation to be had among reasonable people how best to win in Iraq. But the prerequisite is a desire to win. Not to leave. To win. Because I will be proud of my country up until the day where we quit. Where we say that just because it’s hard, freedom is no longer worth fighting for. And even worth dying for.

And there are legitimate causes that need passionate people: freedom for Cuba, ending terrorist support from Syria, the near-constant death rained on Israeli children from Gaza, Tibet, the incredible waste that has become of the UN, that once-glorious organization. Plenty to fight for. Even here at home: fight against poverty, against crime in our urban centers, against homelessness. And I’m happy to pay my fair share of the effort to solve these problems. Happy to. Because I’ve been blessed many, many times over. And I recognize my debt to this country. This country that let my father, who came from nothing, who had nothing, rise in standing and salary to putting his kids through college, and graduate school. And loving them. And staying with his chosen partner in life, his wife, my mother. For 45 years. No issues of class, or race, or religion. Intelligence, hard work, luck. Those were the ingredients of his rise, and of the promise that this country made, and still makes, to the world. Anything can happen here. Anyone, of any background, the tired, poor, and huddled masses, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore yearning to breathe free.

And even until today, that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor still lifts her lamp beside the golden door.

That is why I’m proud of America.  And until we give up those cherished values, those principles that our forefathers fought and died for, I will remain proud of America.  And why, although I respect Mr. Lady, I humbly dissent from her opinion to the contrary.

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7 responses to “Mr Lady is Fantastic; and Very, Very wrong

  1. Pingback: Keith Olbermann on George Bush's Yahoo Q&A

  2. Hank, I think we agree with more than you think we agree with.

    Later, maybe, if I summon some courage, I’ll expound.

  3. Mr. Lady and Hank – I must agree with Mr. Lady. I think (W. notwithstanding) that there are several similarities in the thought/feeling processes. America is not at fault. The idea of the USA is not at fault. The tenants that this country was built on are not at fault.

    Thank you both.

  4. Perfectly said!

    I find it hard to believe America is the scourge of the Earth, when millions continue to flock here. People WANT to be here, not because it’s a horrible place, but because even with its flaws, it’s still the best. If some want to leave, that is their choice. That’s the great thing about America. You’re free to leave.

  5. Amber/Daydreamer

    I love America. I am proud of America. There is no country I would rather live then in America. We are not perfect. We have so much to offer. But I think we would be wise to look back in History and remember that every single great Empire has fallen. I think where we lack the most is learning from the mistakes that have been made in the past. Some people say you can’t live in the now and look to the past. I think we would be foolhardy not to.

  6. The thing, Amber, is that we’re not an empire. The characteristic of an empire is why they enter another’s land and why they leave.

    We enter to bring freedom, then we leave. We don’t demand tribute, we don’t demand anything. We go in for a reason, and we leave when the reason is done.

    And our reasons for entering are always benevolent. We enter to rid other countries of their oppressors. Of their suffering. And then we rebuild whatever damage we do, and then we leave.

    Hardly empire-building.

  7. Amber/Daydreamer

    I agree that we aren’t technically an Empire, I guess what I meant was that our goal as a country and this is true not only for the US, is to be the most powerful country in the world. Just like it was back in the Empire days. I have a very hard time believing, and I may be cynical and incorrect, that our goal is to make the world a better place. I strongly believe that our goal is to be the most powerful. I’m not saying this is bad or good, I just believe it to be the truth.

    And we would be wise to remember that every single country, empire, civilization (whatever you wish to call it) that was the most powerful at one time has fallen. That is all. We can’t ever be too cocky about our place in the world. And I believe the best way to prevent that from happening is by looking back in History and learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

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