Monday, October 09, 2006

America: Love it or Leave it

I see this statement from time to time. It's always provoked anger in me. For one thing, it's a logical fallacy known as a "false dilemma" or "false dichotomy". What, loving America or leaving it are the only options? What if you just kind of like America? I don't dislike it because I don't think all Americans should love their country and serve it. It's because I know that the implication of the statement is that you can only love your country if you agree with the viewpoints of the person stating it. By default, because they love their country, you must have to love it the same way they do, and of course that means submitting to their political will. And these same proponents are generally the type who "know" they're right, so of course they think they ought to be able to tell you what to do. In other words, the real statement they're making is "Agree with me and submit to my party's leadership or leave America."

It angers me to see these people betraying the ideals of democracy but calling themselves patriots. What they are is hypocrites. As Xanthippas said:

These people are only opposed to fixing America if it's somebody else's idea for fixing America. When it comes to outlawing homosexuality, well that's okay.

Not only is it a hypocritical ideal, it's a bad idea as well. As this blogger puts it:

Still, the absurdity of the slogan becomes apparent if you substitute in slightly more specific localities, as in: "New Jersey -- Love it or Leave it!" or "Rochelle Park -- love it or leave it!" Ridiculous! Bergen County, NJ actually has an "Improvement Authority", for goodness sake. So why should civic duty and good citizenship have such totally opposite virtues from the local to the national scale? It's good to identify and fix problems, but only smaller, local ones?

Besides all that, how can you even fit a realistic political philosophy onto a bumper sticker? I'd be ashamed if my ideas were so devoid of substance you could stickerize them. But then, I find that a lot of conservatives don't have much substance to offer except for wanting everyone to live by their rules.

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

That's without even devling into the fact that what these people frequently mean is "love the government, or leave America." But guess what buddy? It's my country too. So I'll help make it the way it ought to be...and you can leave it.