Are you proud?

Are you proud to be an American (or a German, or a Brazilian, or whatever nationality your are)? Why, or why not? I’ll share my answer with you tomorrow. I look forward to reading yours.

My Answer: I am proud to be an American, but sad as well.

I’m proud that America created the best form of government yet invented by mankind, with America’s constitution being copied by dozens of countries. I’m sad that instead of improving this system, we’ve spent 200 years tearing it down.

I’m proud that Americans were (and still may be) the freest people on earth. I’m sad that we have given away so much of that freedom to those on the left who would control our public activities and to those on the right who would control our private activities.

I’m proud that America created the most dynamic, successful, economic system ever created. I’m sad that system is now being destroyed by people who believe that corporations are evil and profit is a dirty word.

I’m proud that Americans are the most decent, loving, caring people on earth. I’m sad that we’ve done such a poor job of demonstrating this to the rest of the world that so many in the world do not know about the fundamental decency of the average American.

I’m proud that Americans try so hard to improve themselves, constantly questioning themselves and testing their values in the marketplace of ideas. I’m sad that political correctness signals the death of the freedom of speech that I hold so dear.

I’m proud that Americans have historically believe in rewarding hard work and success, in personal responsibility. I’m sad that so many Americans today have lost that belief.

I’m proud that America, with all its faults is still the country millions of people are trying to get into, not out of. These people know America is still the land of opportunity. I’m sad we’ve so thoroughly failed to find a way to accommodate this influx and incorporate the latest newcomers into American society and American values.

For all it’s faults, the United States of America is by far the finest nation in the history of the world. I’m very lucky to have been born in this fine nation. I’m sad so many other Americans feel pride. I’m sad so many are embarrassed or ashamed to say they are Americans. But, as for me, I’m proud to be an American. | digg it

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  • Oldflyer

    Yes, I am proud to be a Native-American. By that I mean that I was born in the U.S.

    I find it somewhat amusing in this age of “cultural touchiness” that neither side of my family knows exactly from whence they originated. Apparently passing along that information became less important than the fact that our forebearers came to the United States at some time or another, for one reason or another. They established and passed on a purely American heritage.

    We do know for certain that men from the different sides of the family fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. I have a copy of a letter that was written from a Yankee prison.

    I have some done some cursory research based on the names associated with both the paternal and maternal sides and there appears to be a Scots/Irish origin. (For some reason we never became as angry about that as James Webb has.) One name traces strongly to the Outer Hebrides as well. There is one exception. Based on the facial features of my paternal grand-mother, my father and to some extent me, I suspect a fairly strong plains Indian strain through that branch. No one ever pursued that as far as I know. I wonder if the government owes me some money?

  • Danny Lemieux

    I am absolutely 100% proud to be an American, having come here at the age of 18 from a now-dying continent. It has taught me never to take my blessings here for granted, because I know what it is to live in countries where people have no concept of the freedoms and responsibilities we take for granted. My lineage is French/German, in case you wondered. America is the future, Europe is the past – literally and figuratively. In the future, my country’s heritage will become less European and more Asian and more Hispanic…and it will an evolution for the good, and it will be all-American. This country has been an unequaled force for good in the world. The Democrat/Left and their dismal Socialist/Secular ethos represent the European virus that spread so much disease, death and destruction on the Old Continent and so many others for so much of the 20th Century. I will fight this infection, and its enablers, to my dying breath for the sake of my children…and my ancestors. That’s not to say others shouldn’t be proud of their countries and heritages, either. In fact, the lands of my birth would be much better off if they would learn to be proud of their heritage and willing to defend it against those that seek to destroy it.

  • Al

    Yes, I am proud to be an American. I am proud that my country allows and encourages a child born into poverty rise to immense wealth by the sweat of his brow and the strength of his mind. I am proud that my country allows a child born into a once derided social class rise to the highest offices in the land. I am proud that my country can make vehicles that travel not only on every continent on Earth, but also on the surface of the Moon and Mars. I am proud that my country continues to strive to heal once life stopping medical conditions that other nations refuse to attempt to correct.
    I am proud that my country continues to strive to give all individuals the freedom to make the absolute best they can of their lives and their families lives.
    I am proud that my country, at it’s inception, welcomed the enemy solders it defeated and allowed them to settle here and help build our country while many of our revolutionary soldiers, when in enemy hands, where hacked to death. I am proud that my country’s current enemy’s “soldiers” gain weight in our prison camps, while our soldiers, when in enemy hands, usually lose weight equal to the mass of their heads. I am proud to live in a country whose children carry the genetic threads of virtually all the races of the planet, and we celebrate that state. I am proud to live in a country with a government designed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. And as long as I have breath, I will support and defend that country.

  • John Hetman

    How can I be proud to be something that I didn’t do by my own achievements and hard work? I am not proud to be an American of Polish ancestry and a Catholic, but I am grateful to God that I am, by His grace, all three. And that I have the freedom granted by Him and through the efforts of tens of millions of other people to write my thoughts on this blog without threat of punishment–as might happen, say in China or Iran. The idea of racial, ethnic or sexual pride is utter nonsense–especially gay pride (sic) in which one touts their sad human desires as virtues.

  • Oldflyer

    John Hetman your point is well taken. I wish I had used the word thankful rather than proud.

    Like most modern Americans I enjoy the blessings flowing from my birthright solely because of the actions of others. Specifically, those who built this magnificent society, as well as the brave souls who undertook the voyage to establish my roots in this land.

    However, like all Americans I have inherited a sacred responsibility to preserve and protect.

  • ymarsakar

    I’m an ancestor worshipper.

  • Danny Lemieux

    If you have contributed to this country, even if only by paying taxes and voting, you have a right to be proud.

  • John Hetman

    “If you have contributed to this country, even if only by paying taxes and voting, you have a right to be proud.”

    That makes for many, many fine proud guests of American cities, counties, states and the feds who have paid taxes and voted, but are now peering through steel bars. Not to mention every stumblebum who was handed a pint on election day or “citizen” who got their tree cut down or alley paved.

    One rarely has a right to be proud of anything; even the things we think that we earned are gifts from God. How can one even be proud of their own innate intelligence? They didn’t do anything to get it except be born–a situation often at odds with liberals.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Why should paying for your own crimes in any way diminish your sense of pride in country, JH? Perhaps, as NYC Mayor Gulianni observed, they are in prison precisely because they lacked pride in themselves and their communities (i.e., broken windows). First, from a semantic point of view, I do not equate “pride” in this sense with its Biblical association of arrogance or hubris. Second, look to the Europeans, where pride in country is so passe, and what happened when they ceased to take pride in what was good about their countries and their heritage: they descended into a existentialist, relativist murk. They lost sense of their civic responsibilities (why have a civic duty to that in which you have no pride?) and they lost a sense of ownership of their own governments (to the extent that they ever had it, that is). Lack of pride led them to default control of their destiny to pompous, arrogant elites. Look to any run-down, hopeless backwater in the world and you will see a community without “pride”. With pride comes self-dignity. Every Fourth of July, as I observe my small local community’s parade, I reflect that pride in community is an essential component of our success and the betterment of our lives – it unifies and strengthens us as a people of shared values (despite the early assault of an election season). Incidentally, I know for of fact that many of my European relatives deeply envy us that pride…they know how deep is the psychological hole in which they dwell, a hole from which they may never extricate themselves. So, for me it’s easy: I will happily celebrate my pride of country and community and encourage others, whatever country they reside in, to do the same. The Eeyores (sp?) in our midst, of course, are free to wallow in the depressions of their own self-diminishing existential doubts.

  • John Hetman

    Mr. Lemieux, I think that we are haggling a bit over semantics. I take great joy in so much that is good, original, and noble in America, joy in the fact that my neighbors are from many places in the world and yet we are all part of an American community that cares for one another, joy in the accomplishments and hard work of my children and spouse, co-workers, friends and relatives, joy in the goodness of our God who has entrusted us with the task of holding up the torch of freedom for ourselves and others, and keeping it lit even from our most insidious internal enemies.

    But we need to acknowledge always that what we have received in terms of our freedom, our talents, our resources, our good intentions are all gifts. Most of our Founding Fathers had the humility to recognize this, and to act as if they were entrusted with preserving something granted to them, and to us, without any merit on our parts–by the Lord.

    So, Mr. Lemieux, I really think that we are both in agreement over our strong feelings of love for America.

  • Danny Lemieux

    “Danny” works fine for me, JH. I agree that we agree. Cheers.

  • ymarsakar

    Maybe “pride” is too ambiguous a word. Given that some kind of hubris was one of those deadly sins.

  • ymarsakar

    Speaking about unconstitutional, I just came across this post at bf on the same subject.

  • BigAL

    I’m thankful to be an American and proud of my ancestors for giving me this opportunity. I’m lucky to be alive.

  • T.S.

    Am I proud? In some ways, yes, in other ways, no. The words and actions of our founders awe me to tears, but reports like this bother me to no end:

    A new report from the U.N. Children’s Fund says the United States and Britain are the worst countries in the industrialized world in which to be a child. UNICEF says an examination of 40 factors, such as poverty, deprivation, happiness, relationships, and risky or bad behavior puts the United States and Britain at the bottom of a list of 21 economically developed nations.

    The UNICEF report sought to assess children’s well-being in developed countries by measuring a number of factors, including health, education, poverty, family relationships, and bad or risky behavior. Children were also asked to say whether they were happy.

    In the overall table of children’s well-being, the Netherlands comes out on top, followed closely by the Scandinavian countries. . . At the bottom are the United States at No. 20, and Britain at No. 21.. . The United States fared worst of all 21 countries in health and safety, measured by rates of infant mortality and accidents and injuries.

    The United States and Britain were lowest overall in the category of behavior and risks, meaning that American and British children are more likely to use drugs, drink alcohol and be sexually active than children elsewhere.

  • Zhombre

    I’ve thought for a while there was distortion built into those studies such as the UNICEF one cited above, because the U.S. is so much more populous and diverse than the Euro countries to which it is compared. Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries have relatively small and homogenous populations, except for recent Muslim immigrants, who aren’t well integrated into the host countries in most cases. Netherlands has a smaller population than Florida, and the number of Mexicans illegally in the U.S. exceeds the population of Sweden or of Norway; it might be fairer to compare Norway to Minnesota or Wisconsin.

  • ymarsakar

    The per capital standard has the problem of not figuring out how many urban centers vs rural-metropolitan areas there are. Those geographic demographics factors into several trends.

    How things work for small villages is very diff than a large city, or several large cities added together.

  • John Hetman

    The UNICEF reports are the reason that there are virtually no lines of people waiting to legally immigrate to the United States (or to Great Britain). It’s the reason that our colleges are empty; and that we produce nothing but gas–and that usually on Academy Awards night. Can’t you find anything more prejudiced than a UNICEF report? Say a North Korean study on the lack of liberty in the Midwest?

  • ymarsakar

    The UNICEF report sought to assess children’s well-being in developed countries by measuring a number of factors, including health, education, poverty, family relationships, and bad or risky behavior.

    Technically, the UN is bad and risky behavior for children’s well-being.

  • Al

    And let’s not forget that the infant mortality rate in the US is the highest of any of the developed nations. Further proving, from the UN perspective, that the US is lethal to children. Of course, European observers don’t seem to want to count any infant born less than 23 weeks gestation. Whereas in the US, the babe is counted at any gestational age. The UN is unfortunately increasingly delusional.
    I just hope they maintain a clear medical eye for the H5N1 influenza virus.