While perusing the blogoshpere last weekend, I came upon a rant. Some of that tired, old "America, love it or leave it" rhetoric that's been shoved down our throats for the last half a century. The fact that they completely miss the point isn't what really bothers me. Well, OK, it does bother me.
If I speak out because my country does something immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid, it's not because I hate my country. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love my country. Too much to see it perverted into some racist, xenophobic "garden of Eden" that some conservatives envision.
Justice, tolerance, compassion, diversity. All inherently American values. Values we have consistently failed to live up to as a nation and a people. It does no good to (constantly) tell the world what a great country we are, when our deeds say the otherwise. At best, it shows a lack of credibility.
Conservatism attracts the type of people who express joy upon hearing of the deaths of 39 children in Hermosillo, because "that's 39 less illegal aliens down the road". Or who think N. Korea is justified in jailing two U.S. journalists because they entered the country illegally (it's entirely possible, probable even, that they were snatched from China to be used as bargaining chips later).
So, count on the fact that if I disagree with my government, I will call them on it. Because, as the old Latin proverb goes...
Ubi dubriem, ibi libertas
Where there is doubt, there is freedom.