On the way home from Sellersville last Thurday, we drove past a dakened home with a big American flag hanging from the porch. The flag had a spotlight on it, enriching the red and blue and putting deep shadows into the folds. I remarked how pretty it was.
"You're not a patriot, are you?" my companion asked.
"Well, I do like this country," she replied.
"Why?" she asked.
And damned if I could come up with an answer. I've been thinking about it for the past week, and all I have is an endless list of negatives: the love affair with guns, the occasional mass killings, the religiosity, the anti-intellectualism, the international adventurism, the greed, the poverty, the hatred of the poor, the corporate rape of the environment, and now that Paul Ryan is back in the news, the emphasis on heartless libertarianism. There are the founding ideals, of course, of equality and such, but they were the ideals of slave owners, and they left us with a constitution whose oversights led directly to Dred Scott, the Civil War, and Citizens United.
One good thing about that last, though: now that the super pacs are running anti-Obama ads every 10 minutes, I have a real incentive to give up TV for the next three months. Thank you, Americans for Prosperity.
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