America, love it or leave it. – Amanda Green
I first heard that saying when I was growing up. It was the time of the Vietnam War. It was a time when the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum and the anti-war protests were going strong. Think flower children, hippies and Haight-Ashbury. Peace and free love.
Until reality set in.
I won’t say that I support the Vietnam War but I do support the troops who fought in it. I resent like hell the way they were treated when they came home. If the Korean War vets were the forgotten ones, the Vietnam War vets were the maligned and hated ones. At least on the surface and by the vocal few.
Despite all we’ve seen and heard about the American public being anti-war during those years, that’s not exactly the case. Yes, there were a number of folks who were. But there were also those who supported the war, or who at least supported our troops. It was from these men and women I first heard the chant of “America, love it or leave it.”
Most of my life, that phrase has bothered me some because it is an all or nothing sentiment. It has often been aimed at people who might love America for the most part but hate one specific thing about it. Besides, America is one of the few countries where you can voice your opinion without fear of being jailed – or worse. (Yes, yes, I know there are exceptions and that our free speech has eroded but we still have more protections that most countries.)
However, the last few election cycles have almost made me change my mind. When I see pouty, whiny Hollyweird-types ranting that if their candidate for president doesn’t get elected, they will give up their citizenship and immigrate to Europe, I find myself saying, “Have fun. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” When I see media-types, especially those who grew up in one nation but have spent their professional lives here, making a living because of our free press guarantees, whining about election results because their party of favor didn’t win, I feel the need to suggest that those media mavens return to their countries of origin and see just how far their sort of “journalism” gets them there.
But today, when the initial crying as a result of the Republicans ousting so many Democrats on state and national levels should be dying down, I see a post from someone on Facebook lamenting how they are now seriously considering leaving the country and giving up their citizenship because of all the gun lovers and women haters here. Yes, the glitter is strong with that one.
And I am having a strong case of, if you don’t like the way the popular vote went – since the thrice-damned Electoral College wasn’t involved – then maybe you should move to another country. Maybe there you will find enough of the glittery ones to make a majority and give you your social justice warrior haven.
This person probably believes like another post I saw earlier this week that lamented the fact that Texas now has a governor-elect who has already promised to sign into law open carry as soon as it comes to his desk. For those in Texas – like me – who have no problem with open carry, we don’t worry about the opposition filling the bill with so many items Governor-elect Abbott can’t get behind that he would veto the bill. Why? Because the Texas governor has something the President doesn’t – line item veto. It really does solve a lot of problems. Although, as Governor Perry can tell you, it can also lead to a few.
Anyway, back to the post about guns. This person, and it wasn’t the same poster who wants to leave the country because of all the gun lovers and women haters, lamented the fact that so many more criminals would now be on the streets with guns. After all, the open carry states would mean all the bad guys would be packing. The solution? Why let’s outlaw all guns except for the military and law enforcement. Oh, but they went further. They wanted to limit those guns too. If we were to do that, they reasoned, then no bad guys would have guns and gun violence and violence against women would go down.
All right, quit laughing. It isn’t nice to make fun of those who are challenged in the critical thinking department.
The rationale, and I hate to call it that, behind the belief that making it illegal for a private citizen to own a handgun because then the criminals wouldn’t be able to have handguns eludes me. These are criminals. They are not going to follow the law. They will buy guns through the black market. They will trade them for drugs. They will have guns but the innocent won’t. And guess who will lose in that scenario.
But this person, so firm in their belief that those supporting Open Carry would bring about open warfare on women by every man – and I guess woman, although that wasn’t said – who owned a gun, is ready to leave the country. There is an evil here, or perhaps just an ignorance, they believe. We aren’t civilized enough. There’s too much testosterone.
No, what there is, is too much independence and independent thought.
Maybe I’m just getting crotchety in my old age, but I’m tired of folks threatening to leave the U.S. if something they don’t like doesn’t change. It reminds me of a kid on a playground stomping her feet and threatening to hold her breath until she gets her way. Well guess what, boys and girls, this is a country of individuals. That means there very well be things happen in an election you don’t like. It means you can even voice your disgust at what happened. That’s what Freedom of Speech is all about.
However, you don’t get to demand – and then expect – change to happen just because you don’t like something and say so. Your threats to leave the country have no impact except on those who care for you. What sort of example are you setting for your children when you talk about fleeing something that you don’t like instead of working to change it?
But wait. I forget who I am talking about. These are the folks who rarely consider the consequences of what they want. It makes them feel better to whine and whinge in public, joining their voices to their GHH and SJW sisters (of the male and female variety). They want things their way but don’t think about what would result if they suddenly got their wish. As much as folks make fun of the ideal of Galt’s Gulch, there are times when I’d like to see what would happen if the rest of us did just sit back and let the GHHers have their way for a bit. How long would be before they started turning on their own?
So here’s my advice. Think about what you’re saying before you hit that enter button on your social media site. If you whine about how America hates women and loves guns and then you say how much you have always wanted to live in NYC but are afraid to now, think. Right now, New York has one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Under the poster’s rationale, that should make it an attractive place to live. But no. Because America loves guns and hates women.
If that’s the way you feel, I’m sorry for you. I happen to appreciate the fact that I live in a country where women can and do hold office. I appreciate and applaud the fact that I live in a country where I get to vote for those I want in office and all I have to do is show a photo ID. I don’t have to be a land owner. I don’t have to be male. I don’t have to belong to the “official state party”. All I have to do is get my butt down to the polling place and vote.
Of course, I won’t get started on the Electoral College because that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish as far as I’m concerned.
Let your voice be heard. But if all you’re going to do is whine and whinge about how unfair things are, then go inside and take a nap. Leave it to the rest of us who are willing to work for change to do so. Of course, you might not appreciate what we’re doing, but that’s on you for not standing up, rolling up your shirt sleeves and working just as hard as the rest of us.
Don’t like it. Leave it and try to find some place better. We’ll still be here when you decide to come back.