Reason #18: We’re Pro-America

We’re pro-America, gosh darn it.

We can’t do it.  We can’t succumb to Palinspeak.  And here’s what else we’re getting really tired of: the idea that Republicans and “Christians” (meaning, as Sarah Palin does, only born-again fundamentalist Christians, not any other Christians) are the only patriotic, pro-American citizens of this country.

Well, guess what? We’re pro-America and we support Barack Obama for President.

Haven’t heard the comments Palin made the other day at a rally in North Carolina?  Here they are:

“We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C.,” Palin said at a Greensboro, NC fundraiser Thursday. “We believe, we believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans: those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us, those who are protecting us in uniform, those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.”

Joe Biden criticized her comments the following day:

“It’s disappointing, and I hope it’s a slip of the tongue and she doesn’t mean it, but she said it, it was reported she said that she likes to visit – quote – ‘pro American’ parts of the country,” the Democratic vice-presidential nominee said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I, like your senator and governor, have been all over this great land. I’ve never been to a state, I’ve never been to a state that hasn’t sent its sons and daughters to serve and die for this country.”

“One of the reasons why Barack and I are running is that we know how damaging the politics of division that continues to be practiced by the McCain, how damaging this policy of division has been,” continued Biden before the crowd of 2000, his voice rising with every word. “It’s time to put this behind us. Folks, it is not a corny thing. It’s real. We are one nation, under God, indivisible. We are all patriotic. We all love our country in every part of this country. And I’m tired. I am tired, tired, tired, tired of the implications about patriotism.”

We agree with him 100% and here are a few reasons why:

1. We love this country in all of its glorious diversity—from the Rocky Mountains to the beaches of Florida, the clam shacks of New England to the taquerias of the Southwest, from the jazz bars of New Orleans to the country saloons of Nashville, the corners and neighborhoods and delights of New York, Chicago, San Francisco to those of small towns around the country, from the redwoods and sequoias of the northwest to the glaciers of Alaska and waterfalls of Hawai’i.

2. We love that the USA remains a country of immigrants.  We love that our society is constantly being recreated by the new people who join us every day.  We think that America’s newest citizens are as valuable as its oldest.  Barack Obama agrees.

3. At the same time, we’re embarrassed by how we’ve treated our oldest citizens: Indians throughout this country.  We think its patriotic to call attention to this, to criticize our government’s Native American Indian policies since the 18th century, or to criticize specific events such as the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, or continuing racism in this country as exemplified in Sarah Palin’s continued references to Barack Obama as a terrorist.  Unacceptable. Criticism of the government on such matters is, in our estimation, patriotic.

4. We think its patriotic to be smart.  To be intelligent.  To even, gasp!, be an intellectual. Education is key here: President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Program has been a clear failure.  Our schools are in a dismal state; according to a recent report, even formerly high ranking schools are “failing” under No Child Left Behind and are being punished for it.  A strong education system serves everyone and we need one now: start with the teachers–support them, give them resources (and fair salaries), let them teach to their students rather than to a standardized test, and lets watch our schools and children soar.

5. We think its patriotic to know the world.  We don’t fear the world, we embrace it.  We think its patriotic to have a passport, and to use it. We’d like to see our country make better decisions about how to interact with other countries.  We’d like to see funding for reproductive health restored to our foreign aid.  We’d like to see open conversation about the global repercussions of fundamentalism in any and all religions, not just Islam.  We’d like to see respect, rather than contempt for and fear of people in other countries, direct how we carry out war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’d like to believe that war can be over and over SOON.  We pray for US soldiers to return home safely and we pray that Iraqi soldiers make it home safe too.  We believe that peace can be just as patriotic as war.

6. My high school government teacher taught us what it meant for government to be “of, by,and for the people.”  It meant, she said, that we all had an obligation to participate in our country, and to work to change things that needed to be changed.   Well, we are in a time when change is needed.  So, Mrs. Fran Jensen, if you’re out there somewhere, this blog’s for you.

7. Liberty. Equality. Justice.  Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Respect for our neighbors at home and abroad.  We embrace these aspects of our country and reserve the right to speak loud and clear when we think change is needed. We respect the rights of those who disagree with us (although we also like it when they see things our way sometime—check out right-wing pundit Christopher Hitchens’ endorsement of Obama).

8. We lace up skates, we toss baseballs in the backyard, we read Make Way for Ducklings and The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight, Moon.  We teach our children how to be compassionate, how to think of others, how to be citizens of the USA and citizens of the world.  We kiss them and love them and hug them tightly each night. We’re pro-America, we’re liberal, progressive Democrats, and we’re voting for Obama.

–Carole, mother of two who also bakes a mean apple pie, Gunbarrel, Colorado

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4 Responses to “Reason #18: We’re Pro-America”

  1. juicifroot Says:

    Bravo! Bravo!
    This Christian-ish, pro-American, southwestern taqueria-apperciating, far left-leaning madre couldn’t agree with you more.

  2. RE Peanut Says:

    Carole, mother of two, you rock. Not only are you well written, but well researched. Of course, I agree, but even if I didn’t, you’re one smart mama.

  3. Reasons #17-24 « Hockey Moms for Obama Says:

    […] #18. We’re Pro-America […]

  4. Reason #7: Justice « Hockey Moms for Obama Says:

    […] love my country.  I’m proud to be an American, and proud of our contributions to democracy throughout the world.  We are not perfect – far from […]

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