Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

I always get in trouble over the issue of patriotism.

Right-wingers get pissed off when I point out that America was built on greed and racism as much as on hope and idealism. For them, America is one Divinely favored triumph after another. Jesus leads the white people and the immigrants forward into the wilderness to build that Shining City On The Hill.
The Left cannot abide any vision of the States that doesn't show them as a complete ogre; as nothing but a giant racist cracker with a gun and a gimme cap running over the rest of the world in a gas-guzzling big man-mobile pickup truck.
Both the absolute triumphalism of the right and the absolute vilification by the left have one thing in common. Both are reductivist abstractions that preclude any further thought and end discussion before it starts.

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