Proud American ... Still. Always.

This country is the best place on earth for so many reasons, but one of my favorites is that the strength of our people will always persevere through anything that the world may throw at us. Terrorist attacks? We’ll come back stronger. Recession? We’ll build a better economy. War? We’ll win and live on. Nothing is going to stop this country from being the best in the world. Not Barrack Obama and not George W. Bush. But, for this reason, I have been very disappointed to hear some comments from a number of Obama supporters and Democrats in general today.

I have heard a number of people already say that they are proud to be Americans again. Some say that for the first time in eight years, they have pride in their country. Others state that they can now claim being American again, because of the presidential election. Michelle Obama got into trouble a few months back when she hinted that she was not proud to be an American, because of Republicans and George W. Bush.

There is a fundamental problem here. These people are insinuating that they can only be proud of America if someone they like is President, or perhaps the political party they want. This also says that if someone they disagree with is in office, then they turn their backs on America, practically handing in their citizenship because of one person. This is wrong; and it is wrong for so many reasons.

I am tired of hearing these people bash the country when they don’t like someone, but when they get their way, they are all the sudden proud of what those who have sacrificed for America have done to give them the right to vote and live in the best country in the world. They’re basically spitting in the face of our troops who sign up to serve whoever the leader is. They are telling troops, families, workers, leaders, and everyone to take their sacrifice and shove it, until we elect their guy. That’s shameful.

This type of rationale is also very hypocritical. For instance, Democrats and liberals will argue that we should accept everyone as they are and give rights to everyone regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. And we should … they’re absolutely right. But, this country that gives us all our rights is the same country regardless of who is in the Oval Office.

I look back to when Bill Clinton entered the White House, and of course, this was very tough on the Republicans, although there was never any mandate for him. But, Republicans detested this man. I detested him. But, regardless of what was said, Republicans would have never thought about saying we’re not proud to be American, because of the lying adulterer living in the White House. That’s one man, and even though he is the President, he doesn’t depict what our country is about. He doesn’t reflect what’s great about this country; the troops do, and the families do, and the businesses do, and all of the people who contribute to make it great reflect what this country is about.

So, it’s great if you’re happy about Barrack Obama. I’m not particularly thrilled, but that’s ok. I also think people have become a little to awestruck with Obama, but that will all play out in time. Furthermore, it’s fine to be excited about Bush leaving office. It’s not like there has ever been a question that he would leave office. And you might not have been proud of your country for the past eight years, but I will remind everyone that he was elected twice, and one time with an overwhelming mandate.

Has Bush been the most effective President in history? Of course not; but, I can assure you he won’t go down in history as the most failed President ever. Many people said the same thing about Clinton when he left office disgraced and a joke. Everyone said he will be known as one of the two Presidents who was impeached. He will be known as a liar and a cheat. He will be known as a good political tactician, but a coward otherwise. And pretty much none of that has come true. The same will happen for George W. Bush.

Also, I would encourage people to move on from Bush. It’s easy to criticize and be the guy throwing rocks from the sidelines. It’s easy to say these things about him when you have no clue what it’s like being President; when you don’t know what’s really going on with national security and defense, because you aren’t cleared; when you don’t see the big picture of the economy, because you only hear what is said on television. It’s easy to Monday Morning Quarterback him to death, but I look back at the challenges we faced over the last eight years, and I truly wonder whether or not Barrack Obama, or Bill Clinton, or Hillary Clinton, or John Kerry … or any of these people could have handled these challenges any better or at all.

So, stop with the “I’m proud to be an American” comments, because we should all wake up everyday and say those words. We should thank God for being able to always be proud of our country. Regardless of who is President or who controls Congress or what is going on in Washington or how Wall Street is doing … this country is the best place on earth and that will never change.

If you have thought, said or acted otherwise, then I will question your patriotism now, just like I would in good or bad times. Most of the people that I’ve heard make these comments don’t even live in the US. Some of them were not even old enough to remember what it was like eight years ago. And none of these people know what it means to sacrifice for this country. You’re a fair-weather American and you have totally missed the point of what this country is all about. Shame on you.

And one final thing. I’d like to remind everyone – on both sides of the political aisle – that this country is not built around one person. As such, there is no one person that can save this country, or bring it down for that matter. We’re too strong for that. I know you may be thrilled that Obama was elected and there are so many people out there who legitimately believe Barrack Obama is this country’s savior. However, this is not the case. There is no Democrat or Republican who can single-handedly improve this country or protect its people. No one person, regardless of how much you may love and admire him, can win a war. It’s the troops who suit up and put themselves in harm’s way every day that will win the wars. No one person, not even the President, can rescue us from economic downturn. It’s the businesses and the workers that will stimulate this economy.

I agreed with Obama’s comments last night when he said this wasn’t about him, this is about me, my family, my coworkers and colleagues, my church, my friends, my employees, my bosses, and every other American. This is about us, and you can cry for joy about Obama’s victory all day long, but until you understand that he will not be the saving grace of this country’s future, you will continue to misunderstand what this country is about.

So, we will go on and Obama will indeed be at the helm. For mine and my wife and daughter’s sake, I hope he does well at his job. But, I’m not depending on him to maintain America’s strength, just as I never depended on George Bush, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan to be responsible for my prosperity. That is all about me, you and all of us, but regardless of who jumps on board and who continues to let their fair-weather patriotism fluctuate, this country will always be the best in the world. Now, let’s move on.

[NOTE: This was originally published on my blog at www.marktomarket.typepad.com]