During a recent trip to Boston, I saw this delusional expression screaming at me in large, red, white, and blue letters from the side of a passing cement truck. For the uninitiated, it’s a US cultural reference that has been transformed into a bellicose nationalistic war cry replete with t-shirts sold on Amazon. After throwing up in my mouth a little, I chuckled. Here we go again, I thought, “the greatest nation on earth,” voluminous and damning evidence to the contrary, love it or leave it, USA, USA, USA!
The cold, unforgiving reality, impossible for the true believers to accept, is that there are myriad compelling and legitimate reasons why non-US Americans dislike or hate the US grounded in a violent reality at the hands of US soldiers, Hellfire missile drone strikes, or old-fashioned bombs falling from heaven with one goal in mind, the destruction of everyone and everything they hit. Or that they don’t idolize it all out of proportion – with a nod to Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Or, God forbid, that they’re indifferent. Whoever believes that everyone who hates the US is green with envy lives in a fantasy world, knows nothing about history and current events, and doesn’t get out much.
This fantasy enables those who believe in the political Santa Claus of US nationalism to live happily in a state of denial about the problems facing their country and the reasons for a higher quality of life in other countries that could serve as positive role models for the US if there only eyes to see and ears to hear.
Ignorance is not bliss but rather a clear and present danger; its prevalence is contributing to the decline, both at home and abroad, of the US.
Shalom (שלום), MAA