One morning in the latter half of the 18th Century the American identity woke up and suddenly realized that it had become a thing. Having been born, it immediately declared war. After winning the war, it settled down to the less exciting but still very entertaining business of political chaos. War and political chaos, either in alternation or crashing the same wild party together, are keeping us busy to this day.
The United States is, on balance, a nice place. American people, in general, are decent, hard-working and friendly. The record is made up of a very typical mix of gold stars and black marks, the good and the bad, plus the usual predominance of the merely indifferent. There is the occasional seriously bad report along with many really wonderful historical truths, against the background of a lot of stumbling along. Being proud of America, or being proud to be an American, is not out of place. Go ahead, it’s okay. But don’t get carried away.
I say, “don’t get carried away,” but many people do.
People who suggest that America is some kind of shining City on the Hill should present themselves at the nearest hospital and loudly demand a shot of Demerol.
People who believe that America is somehow an “exceptional” place, or that America is called by God to some higher purpose, should consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible. They have names for that kind of thing and are familiar with different treatment methodologies.
People who believe that America is a Christian nation, or a white nation, or, even worse, a white Christian nation, should go to the woodshed and spend some time with Professor Google. They are mistaken, and the expression of this belief only embarrasses them.
Right now we are being treated to a low dose of the war medication and a powerful infusion of the political chaos drug. Bon chance, y’all! By Christmas, 2016, we will know if it is time to credit America with another black mark or whether we will have pulled another merely indifferent result out of the fire. I’m just hoping for something not so horrible, there are storms brewing that could cause a lot of damage.
A gold star is, of course, out of the question.