Monday, September 11, 2017

It's 9-11. Never forget.

It's 9-11. Never forget.

Many of you are thinking, "Hey, Scoop, you're a cynic. You don't seem like Mr. Patriotism." To that I reply that nobody can love America more than a man who has actually lived and worked elsewhere. To paraphrase Churchill, America is the worst country ... except for the others. I enjoyed my assignments in many other countries, but even when I returned from the very best ones like Norway and Australia, I was swollen with emotion to be "home." Life in America is so much easier than anywhere else, and there is so much more variety at our fingertips. When I say "Is this a great country, or what?" it's usually in response to something like a dumb regulation in some hick town, but the truth is that America is a great country. That doesn't mean we should be completely satisfied with it, or blind to its faults, or stop trying to improve, because it is not a perfect country, but it is special, and all of us born to it have been blessed.

11 comments:

  1. Or maybe you are not very adaptable?

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    1. I am EXTREMELY adaptable. I was very happy in almost every other place I lived.

      But I'm also objective.

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  2. It's true. I'm not American, but I consider the United States -- while not perfect -- to be the greatest country there's ever been.

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  3. Anyone who states they are "objective" raises serious questions as to their objectivity.

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    1. It's not difficult to be objective about facts.

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    2. Amen to that, Scoop!

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  4. Suggest you both read the book by Suzy Hansen.

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    1. Nothing against Suzy, but I've lived in about 10 countries, using five languages (four of which I had to learn from scratch), and worked in about 40 countries or more, and I'm thinking her perspective is a lot narrower. Of course, I am not at all an expert in the Middle East, so I have to defer to her wisdom there. But her book is basically about America's imperialism and interventionist foreign policy, which is not at all what I'm talking about when I praise the country.

      Frankly, I agree that America has failed in some areas where it should have led the world, and I believe our influence is not as positive as we think it is, but those points are irrelevant to my argument, which is that America is the best place to live. (With the exception of life for the destitute and homeless, who would be much better off in a country like Norway with a better safety net.)

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  5. Interesting to see all the carping about America in the comments. Sounds as if the schools have accomplished their mission of filling undergraduates' empty heads with propaganda. Wonder how many of them actually live in the US, and among those who do, how many would be willing to leave. FYI, a recent worldwide Gallup poll asked people what country they most want to live in. The USA remains #1 by a large margin. Germany came in a far distant second.

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  6. A failure of objectivity on your part. Suzy does address the issue of objectivity or lack thereof of Americans. I find it interesting that in a poll that asked citizens where they would want to live if not in their own country, Canadians placed the US quite a ways down on the list. However, for Americans it was Canada in first place. Why might that be?

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    1. Once again, your argument is irrelevant to the point. It doesn't matter what Americans or Canadians or Suzy or me or anyone else THINKS. That is, by definition, subjective, and is frankly useless they have actually experienced living in many places and can actually compare what everyday life in those countries is really like. (And again, even Suzy's perspective is VERY narrow, just not as narrow as the average American who has never given the matter any thought. She is the proverbial one-eyed queen in the land of the blind). I'm well aware of how Americans and Brits misunderstand the world, because I have been in the position of representing the host culture when my bosses or other fellow Anglophones would visit me. The very great majority of Americans ARE ignorant of the rest of the world, and that includes our current President, except for the rarefied air in which he would conduct his real estate business.

      Which circles right back to my original point, which is that most American patriotism is jingoism, based on a "we're better" mentality that has no basis in fact. My patriotism comes from someone who once scorned America as a member of the student left, but who then actually lived just about everywhere else and realized that America is the best place to BE - and not by a small amount, but by a VERY wide margin.

      That does not mean that I am claiming America is the world's best country, but simply that it is the best one to live in. (Again, excepting the homeless and destitute, who would be better off in a country with a better safety net.)

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