by Amanda Phillips
The Olympic season is always a time that brings about a great sense of national pride within me. But, more and more, it seems that any sense of national allegiance and patriotism is fading in many American citizens.
Some of our Olympians didn’t even show enough respect for our flag and country to put their hand over their heart and remain attentive while our national anthem was being played. However, I can’t say I am surprised. When the values our nation was founded on — faith in God, self-reliance, individualism, devotion to family and hard work — are attacked with increasing frequency in virtually every outlet of our society, it is understandable how some may become discouraged and forget what it really means to be an American.
Much of the entertainment industry, as well as many of our government leaders, portray America as an oppressive and selfish nation that should apologize for all past, present and future actions. Unfortunately, many of our ill-informed and naïve citizens are all too eager to follow the demented tune of this pied piper without ever questioning why.
Sadly, our own president is among America’s naysayers. In April 2009, Barack Obama gave a speech in France in which he apologized for the U.S.’s past actions saying, “There have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Thanks for the props, Mr. President. We really appreciate it.
In Prague, Obama expressed disapproval of America’s nuclear power by saying “the United States has a moral responsibility to act” in ridding the world of nuclear weapons because America is “the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon.” Maybe he should have followed that up with apologizing for the fact that America was the country that ended a war in which tens of millions had already died.
The apologies continued in Latin America when Obama said that the United States has “at times been disengaged, and, at times, we sought to dictate our terms.” Would he have others dictate their terms to us? Perhaps we could just adopt that sweet Pollyanna principle of “Why can’t we all just get along?” Somehow, doubt persists that China, Russia or Iran would espouse that same attitude.
Dissatisfaction with America must be an Obama family trait because the first lady has some complaints of her own. During the 2008 election, Michelle Obama stated, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” She later proclaimed that America is just a “downright mean” country. Wow. Those of us who have always been proud Americans have apparently been played for patsies all this time.
These feelings of contempt the Obamas harbor toward our great nation are perplexing. The Obamas have had every advantage in life. They grew up in middle class families, attended Ivy League schools, started a family together and are in the top one percent of wage earners in the country. He is a former Senator and now, still in his 40s, is the President of the United States of America. These two are living the American dream, and their success is something that could only have been achieved in our great country. Their “embarrassment” of America is disrespectful to every single hard-working American and veteran who ever served our country.
America really is that “shining city on a hill” that Ronald Reagan spoke about. The U.S. offers so much to make her citizens proud, and not just once in a lifetime, but every day. America is the land of opportunity, the country of entrepreneurs. People come here from all over the world to realize their dreams. The U.S. provides its citizens with more political and economic freedom than any country in the world, and it is able to do so because our forefathers recognized the value of these freedoms and knew they were worth fighting for. We have been fighting for them since our nation’s conception, and strong Americans will never give up. No, we are not perfect, because mankind is not perfect, but our foundation is strong, and we must never weaken our resolve to be a good nation with sound leadership.
The United States is the nation every other country looks to first, and, though we have long-been respected throughout the world, that respect is slowly being lost. Our government is, instead, endeavoring to become well liked. However, respect is far more important than congeniality. Ask any parent, and I am sure they would tell you that they would much rather have their child respect them in a time of disagreement than like them — and when that child is China, Russia or Iran, that respect becomes even more important. Our leaders and countrymen must stop apologizing for, and proclaiming dissatisfaction with, the things that make this nation strong. If you show no self-respect, you can never gain the respect of others. We must return to our American roots that make this nation exceptional.
The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. It is truly a pitiable citizen who would believe otherwise. We should be humbled to be American citizens, and we should wear our patriotism with honor and pride.