Proud to Be a Benighted American


Column by Paul Bonneau.

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I ran into this piece by Ann Jones, someone evidently ashamed of being American.

One can only sigh. Her first error is the collectivist mindset. She seems to find no distinction between the American ruling class and the American peons. No, we are all at fault for the follies of empire, even if we are just a lowly working-class stiff trying to keep food on the table.

“How could you set up that concentration camp in Cuba, and why can’t you shut it down?” Well shame on me, for not shutting Gitmo down! Mea culpa!

The collectivist mind is something to behold, isn’t it?

Then she asks, “Why would anyone oppose national health care?” I say, thank heaven there are at least some people in America who would question the elites, and the plans they have for us. There are even some people in America who would ask inconvenient questions like, “If my mother needed an operation, is it OK for me to get a gun, stick it in a neighbor’s face, and get the money to take care of her? Is it OK for me to delegate the dirty work to someone else?” I am thrilled there are people around who ask the hard questions, rather than constantly deferring to one’s “betters.” I am thrilled there are people with pride and self respect enough to take care of themselves and their own, rather than living on a giant government dole.

She writes, apparently without irony,

These ideas are not novel. They are implied in the preamble to our own Constitution. You know, the part about “we the People” forming “a more perfect Union” to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

What is her definition of Liberty, anyway? Playing well-tended cattle to the ruling class farmer?

“Why can’t you understand science? How can you still be so blind to the reality of climate change?” Lots of people do understand science in America. We also understand human nature, and realize that many government-paid scientists know what side of their bread is buttered on. We don’t automatically defer to scientists any more than we defer to “leaders”, and I’m glad that’s the case. Science does not thrive in a climate of enforced conformity anyway. Maybe it’s Ann who does not understand science.

“How can you speak of the rule of law when your presidents break international laws to make war whenever they want?” That’s what the ruling class in an empire does--the same ruling class she seems determined to have the rest of us defer to. She seems to be working at cross purposes here.

“How can you hand over the power to blow up the planet to one lone, ordinary man?” Don’t blame me, Ann; I didn’t do it!

“Why do you Americans like guns so much? Why do you kill each other at such a rate?” The death rate is a gift of the ruling class she insists we defer to, the “War on Drugs.” As to liking guns, I admit it. Happiness is a warm gun, and with lots of guns we don’t have to worry so much about a ruling class going off the deep end and pulling a “Stalin” on us. I suppose she may think no Stalin could ever come to power in America, while strangely berating us for killing so many people around the world. Well, which is it? Is the ruling class to be trusted with our lives, or not? For me, the answer is clear. For Ann, the answer appears to be cognitive dissonance.

“In Norway’s capital, where a statue of a contemplative President Roosevelt overlooks the harbor, many America-watchers think he may have been the last U.S. president who understood and could explain to the citizenry what government might do for all of them.” Well, that is pathetic, isn’t it? She adores America’s most fascist president-for-life, a man who received a letter of admiration from none other than Adolf Hitler, a man whose meddling kept the Depression going far longer than necessary. Anyway, who needs a government that might do things for people? That same government can also, at its whim, do things to people. Sorry, I’m not interested . . . .

It’s hard to know why we are the way we are, and -- believe me -- even harder to explain it to others. Crazy may be too strong a word, too broad and vague to pin down the problem. Some people who question me say that the U.S. is “paranoid,” “backward,” “behind the times,” “vain,” “greedy,” “self-absorbed,” or simply “dumb.”

You know, Ann, there is a simple remedy for those who question you about a benighted America: Don’t come here. If they love their cradle-to-grave socialism/fascism, they are welcome to it. Maybe they can import a few Americans who go for that stuff too. I know this country is screwed up, mostly by the ruling class, but I still like it here. I like it that ordinary people don’t defer to snooty and arrogant bastards, such as yourself.

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