Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Moment of Patriotism

I'm hardly an American patriot. Indeed, I don't believe in patriotism: We should take pride in that which we have created, not an accident of where we're born or moved to. Too, I feel as much solidarity with a person from Ouagadougou as I do with someone from Oakland, where I live.

Yet in preparing for my KGO radio show tomorrow (July 4,) in which I'll start each segment playing a piece of patriotic music on my portable piano, I came across this version of God Bless the USA by an American Idol contestant and I was somehow moved to tears. Irrational but real.

So as we approach Independence Day, perhaps you too will find it moving.


ST said...

Yes, it's an emotional song to begin with, probably the best patriotic song out there.

Jeffrie said...

Well, perhaps you can take pride in the fact that some people created America, and many others back then and since then have worked hard to make it a great place to live, a place that has allowed many kinds of people, including yourself, to create a wonderful life.

Independence Day happens to be my very favorite holiday, and normally I am with my family, having barbecue and exploding fireworks, a tradition I personally loved and carried on long after the age I was supposed to stop loving fireworks. But this year I will be unable to join my family because I am rehearsing for a musical play today and tonight.

Even though I'm not spending the 4th in my preferred way, I still love this day and what it stands for.

Marty Nemko said...

Great post, Jeffrie. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Marty -- I've never understood taking pride in something you didn't accomplish. Being proud of being American is like being proud of having brown hair, or 10 toes. It just came with the package.

A Fellow Jew said...

What a surprise, another lefty Jew who doesn't understand patriotism. You can't really be blamed though. Nations were traditionally based on ethnic groups, which is another way of saying they were big extended families. The Jews were a big extended family that lived in Judea; the English in England, etc.

America is different. Jews from the start were graciously welcomed as fellow citizens, but the core of this nation was always the descendants of its founding stock, who shared a common religious, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural heritage. As America grew, they welcomed many Eastern and Southern European immigrants, but became wary in the early 20th Century that the country was losing its cohesiveness and set restrictions on immigration.

When those restrictions were blown away in the 1960s, America ceased to be a nation in the traditional sense. It became a "proposition nation", which is a weak glue with which to bind a people. That you should "feel as much solidarity with a person from Ouagadougou" as you would with a fellow American is the highest condemnation of how ignorant universalism, as applied by the 1965 immigration act, has left the fabric of America threadbare.

This was the best country in the history of the world for Jews to live in, and we have helped to ruin it.


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