By AK Alilonu ’16
When we think of the United States, we think of a falling nation of incompetent schoolchildren, an oppressive government, and fat chauvinists that has somehow managed to dissatisfy everyone to the point that, on Oct. 1, it had to roll on its belly and play dead.
The government shutdown seems to have broken a lot camel’s backs, heavy from controversies that have wreaked havoc on nearly every part of life.
It’s starting to show.
According to a survey by Pew Research, 85 percent of Americans are either angry at or frustrated with the government.
This has sparked a wave of anti-patriotism across the country.
When you go online, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and YouTube videos are fraught with political satire, nearly never positive.
Entire TV shows and entertainment figures of the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been dedicated to painting an unflattering picture of a country we’ve been told to see.
But what happened to America the brave? That was a thing once, right?
Well, the government changed, of course, but there is a lot more of we, the people, to the problem than we choose to admit.
The pride we as a society once took in our country went unchecked, and morphed into the laziness, greed, and vanity from which the modern American was born.
The 9/11 attacks were just what we needed to get a tsunami of jingoism rolling, and Iraq was the shore we crashed on.
And now, disillusioned, more and more of us try to put our country down in a noble but useless display of overcompensation for past wrongs.
Our anti-Americanism isn’t bad in itself; for instance, insulting religious intolerance, slavery and war ensure the same thing won’t happen again.
Our sentiments have done no one any harm—yet. But if the United States is going to beat itself up about the recent government quagmire, who’s going to encourage it to get better?
Too many other nations have given us all the critique we need. And at the same time, this country is still a beacon of freedom to many people around the world.
Do we plan on fulfilling or disappointing the dreams of the immigrants who risk their lives to be a part of our nation? Because the less we care about this country, the less we will have reason care about it.
So go to Walmart and fly a 50 cent flag, but this time, not to spread the flames. We can’t walk out on our country and give it a bad review, for the reason that it’s our home.
And, for most of us, the only one we have.