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Our Patriotic Negativity Towards Modern America Is Becoming Anti-American

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Loving America has gone out of fashion…and is it any wonder why?

Patriotic lessons have all but vanished from out schools. Classrooms across the country display pride flags,BLM flags, international flags…it seems every flag but our own is on bold display in government schools these days. Saying “I love America” is akin to outing ones self as a terrorist. Even the New York Times’ opinion editor expressed shock and fear after a visit to a small town (smaller than New York, at least) exposed her to trucks and cars proudly displaying American flags, and residents walking around with small flags in hand and on t-shirts. She said it made her nervous.

It was the 4th of July.

Our tv shows and movies make fun of characters who show blatant patriotism; pop stars and Botoxed actresses use their social media to express their utter distaste for all things American. In the current culture, everything American is bad, and everything bad is because of America. It isn’t just fashionable to say so…it’s almost required if you don’t want to be labeled an “insurrectionist.””

“God bless America” has become code for “right wing nut job.”

We conservatives complain about it all the time. God forbid our left wing political leaders ever say anything nice about America. Heaven forbid any of our progressive media talking heads extol a single virtue of our fine nation even just once. Goodness forbid the people protesting racism or sexism or transphobia or the final episode of Game of Thrones acknowledge for even a single second the progress our country has made over the years; the poor and persecuted people we’ve fought for all over the world; the comfort our shores have offered to those looking for a better life.

It’s very annoying, and viciously ungrateful.

I wonder if we conservatives aren’t just as guilty of talking poorly about America.

Oh, I know you love this country. I love it too. Neither of us would be here on this page at RedState if we didn’t. We sing our anthems proudly at sports events, we hold hands to hearts while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. We fly our flags outside our homes. We talk to each other about all the wonderful things about capitalism and freedom and the founding of this nation.

But we also complain.

Sometimes I think that we spend more time complaining about how other people are always complaining about America than actually extolling America. It has become such a nuisance to us that it dominates our conversations. We shout at Democrats on our tv, we tweet about the blue state “tyrants,” we complain about the deficit or budget negotiations. We scoff at election results and wonder if we’ll ever be able to trust the system again. We rail against indoctrination in government schools, and wail about protest movements that have created an entire generation of whiners and mooches.

America is in decline, and it is infuriating. We need everyone to know how infuriating we find it.

I don’t point this out to say it is wrong to complain. America is in decline, and it is most certainly infuriating. Watching Joe Biden stumble and mumble through speech after speech is depressing, and watching him lie about what his party is and isn’t doing to our country is enraging. Of course we’re complaining…we have much to complain about.

We may consider our version of complaining a patriotic version, but isn’t it still complaining?

I recently caught myself in my patriotic version of complaining in front of my teenage daughter. I was shouting at a commercial, wondering when every on-screen husband had be become a neutered, feminine moron who’s only job in life seems to be folding laundry and playing the idiot to his wife’s obviously superior intellect and decision making.

My daughter rolled her eyes and told me to relax. “Mom, why do you always get like this? We get it. Calm down. It’s just a commercial.”

It gave me pause. For a moment I wondered if maybe my constant complaining about the wayward turn of American culture was teaching her to hate America just as much as the constant complaining of her school text books and favorite movie stars.

After all, no matter what the context, what I was saying about America was negative too. How long has she been hearing me say such negative things about America? How long has she heard my complaints, and internalized them as a form of shame for being American, albeit a different variety than the alt-left lunatics in Portland’s Autonomous Zone.

On my first day of my first class in my first year of college, my professor gave us this advice: if you have something nice to say about someone, say it.

We need to be conscious of the messages we send to those around us who may be influenced by what we say. There is so much to complain about today, it’s almost a habit.

Perhaps one way to combat the childish anti-American sentiment of the left is to flood our personal space with more positive patriotism.

We have nice things to say about America. Let’s think about saying them more often, and, dare I say, saying them when what we really want to do is complain bitterly.

I’m an opinion writer at a conservative website. We have lots to complain about here and we will continue to do so. Don’t worry about that…it kind of comes with the territory.

As a personal mission, I’m going to try to find more ways to praise America in front of others – my children, my neighbors, my school board, my grocery store workers, whomever. I’m going to make an effort to say the nice things, and maybe, if I say them enough, those will be the ideas that become influential.

Let’s make it a thing.

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