Skip to comments.America the grateful
Posted on 08/07/2004 6:01:20 AM PDT by Clive
LAST WEEK I wrote a column entitled "God Bless America." I said that I was not a fan of many of that country's policies, but that I thought it unfairly treated. Whatever its faults, the United States is still a great and noble nation.
Thousands of e-mails later, I'm still amazed. It wasn't so much the vast number of responses, from all over the world, as the depth of feeling.
There were only half a dozen negative letters, all from somewhat deranged individuals. The rest were so heartfelt, so sincere, so American.
Yes, so American.
That wonderful blend of openness, enthusiasm and sheer largeness. Of course we find it all over the world, but in the United States it has become a national characteristic. It can irritate; but mostly it charms and impresses.
As someone who was born and raised in England, I will always be moved by and drawn to Britain. As someone who has made Toronto his home, I will always be in love with and so grateful to Canada.
As a citizen of the modern world, I will always thank God that Washington is more powerful than Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, Buenos Aires or anywhere else.
Knee-jerk anti-Americanism is so vulgar and misplaced. Some of the actions of the White House and some of the products of American culture are irksome beyond belief.
Yet it is the same America that encourages its people to criticize both. In some countries that would mean a prison cell; in America it means a book contract.
Here am I, some little-known journalist in Canada who writes a favourable column about the American people and the American idea. That column is read out on various radio stations across the United States. "I just heard your great article read on our local radio here in Nashville. I want to thank you so much," said one person. "We'd like to interview you if we could," wrote another in Connecticut.
What came over as never before was the overwhelming feeling of sheer isolation.
From one reader: "I don't pretend for a moment that we always do the right thing. We're flawed, just like everybody else.
"But do people honestly believe that the world would be a better place without us?"
A good point. Some do believe this. They're wrong.
The fact is that no empire or superpower has acted as altruistically as the United States. Persian, Greek, Roman, Spanish, Ottoman, British and any other one wishes to name have been more exploitative and less sensitive than the American.
We can, of course, question whether superpowers should exist at all, and it may well be that they shouldn't. Pretty pointless exercise, though, because they always have and always will.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," wrote a man from Florida. "I saw my friends die on the beaches of Normandy in 1944 and then saw many French people closing their windows in disgust as we marched by.
oIt's so painful to see the French, and others, calling us names and saying that we're like Nazis. If only they knew."
Many Canadians wrote to me as well, and they were embarrassed at the simplistic critiques made by many in our self-appointed political aristocracy.
Yet it was the comments by Americans that were the most poignant. Not because of what they said as much as because they said it at all.
"I love your country and I visit every year," said a woman from California. "You were so kind and brave when our people were imprisoned in Iran. We have so much in common. I know we can be foolish at times, but sometimes I wonder if Canada knows who and what we are. We're good people."
I heard stories from Americans living in Canada of insults and discrimination.
I received letters of thanks from veterans, labour leaders, black activists, priests, homemakers, bankers, truck drivers, soldiers, Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Jews, children, adults, young, old, poor, wealthy.
What unified them was that they were American. Some supported the war in Iraq, some opposed it. They all, though, were tired of and hurt by the spasm of hatred against their country that currently sweeps so many nations.
I agree with them. And I for one won't stop saying it. God Bless America.
Like a voice in the wilderness...
No, I think when the world sobers up his sentiments will become more common than not. And it will sober up.
I think of the anti-american temper tantrums currently in vogue like I think about any parent/child relationship. Rebeling makes the child feel more important. So does pretending the parent is a moron and doesn't know a thing about what is going on in the real world.
But I know that when it gets dark and it's time to go to sleep, the child is always happy to know the parent is in the house.
I hope you're right.
It would be comforting to think that our neighbors to the north with that very large 'open border' think well of us..or at least, don't hate us.
I also hope the U.S. sobers up soon. You know what they say: before one sobers up -- one must hit bottom.
Hopefully 9/11 was our bottom, and we don't have to be hurt again. But unfortunately, about half of our citizenship appears to be waiting around (or sitting on the fence) until something worse is perpetrated on our Country, before they see the light.
We are in a war! I wish all Americans could accept it.
I think people are taking this the wrong way. It seems to me that he's oh-so-pleased that people in this country are free to bash Bush and to criticize his foreign policy without much retort. And I'm sorry, but we're no Empire. If we were, where's all the tax revenue from our "colonies?"
"Some of the actions of the White House and some of the products of American culture are irksome beyond belief."
"From one reader: "I don't pretend for a moment that we always do the right thing. We're flawed, just like everybody else."
"The fact is that no EMPIRE or superpower has acted as altruistically as the United States."
"We can, of course, question whether superpowers should exist at all, and it may well be that they shouldn't."
Yup ... what he's really saying is, he's sooooo glad the media is run by the Left.
You have obviously never read his "God Bless America" column despite my haveing made it convenient for you to do so by linking it to this article.
Before indulging in an ad-hominum attack on a friend, learn something about him.
As to the fact that he does not slavishly agree with everything that US conservatives say, well then, brothers may occasionally disageree. In the main, he supports US conservative viewpoints.
Hating America is a fad for the weak minded. Stop and think about it for awhile. Most of the world is consumed with hate. Just how productive is that. Half the world (or more) hope we fail in Iraq. Do they realize what that would mean? Are their own egos more important that 25 million Iraqis? Would they really be so satisfied if all those people were condemned to life under a Taliban like government?
I understand that Mr. Coren disagreed with our going to war against Hussein. Is that correct?
I was thinking that MNnotsonice is actually Karen Selick!
That b*tch! lol
With regard to Mr. Coren and the apparent 80% of people in Canada who think like him on this issue (i.e. that they are pro-American but were opposed to us going to war), I would much prefer him, and them, saying harsh things about America while at the same time supporting our country's efforts in going in and taking out Hussein because going after Hussein was the rational position to take. However, when they don't support our having gone to war, which is another way of saying they did not support us when we were defending ourselves, I begin to suspect there is something going on here that Canadians are not being completely honest about. After all, why would you begrudge an ally going to war against a regime that had already declared war against your ally. Real allies don't think that way.
I agree with Mr. Coren. While I don't always agree with US policies, I can't think of a country I'd rather have as a superpower, or a superpower country I'd rather have as a neighbour. Not like poor old Finland stuck next to the USSR back during the cold war.
I also had real doubts about the reasons stated for going into Iraq at the time, but I thought my country handled it really badly. IMO it would have been one thing to decline to join you on the ground in Iraq (we already were, and still are in the Persian Gulf), but to make derogatory comments and oppose your going in the UN was very stupid, at the very least.
Many will disagree with what I've just said in the previous paragraph, but I believe rational people can disagree about such things and remain on friendly terms. The irrational hatred of the US exhibited by many in this country and others, however, is inexcusable. I hope that more of my countrymen will come to realize the error of their ways.
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