AMMMMMMMURICA! Love it or leave it or…something else.

There’s a kerfuffle over at Post Masculine about Ammmurica. (It should be noted, I had never heard of this site before this post, so I cannot comment to the rest of his work, just this one). In it, he speaks about some of the common issues that Americans seem to have in observing their own nation and its relation to the rest of the world. While he gets some things a bit wrong (First Nations people still exist, thank you), overall, it’s a true look at the country from someone both of it and out of it. As an expat, I found myself nodding throughout it, as did many others based on the comments. Unfortunately, the Love It Or Leave It brigade had apparently found it as well, which resulted in a barrage of “If you hate MY country sooooo much, GTFO”. I got to a dozen or so before I gave up counting.

People, let me give you a little breakdown of the reality of what you have just posted. Your argument seems to be that any dissention should be treated as near treason, and that punishment for daring to state reality should be met with expulsion. You, ladies and gentlemen, are why America is in the state it is in.

Let’s look at the reality of what you have suggested.  People who screech ‘love it or leave it’ seem to think that being American gives them some sort of privileged status among other nations, like Telly Savalas in that old Player’s Club commercial.  They seem to think that all an American has to do is go to the country of their choice, flash their passport, and a giant shaft of light opens up above them (shaped of course like a screaming bald eagle), and a voice proclaims THIS IS ONE OF THE CHOSEN.  TAKE THEM INTO YOUR FOLD AND LET THEM MATE WITH YOUR HOTTIES.  SO I HAVE SPOKEN, SO SHALL IT BE.  People, other countries don’t want us.  Unless you are *obscenely* rich, the rules for your emigration are nigh on impossible.  I have personally paid thousands upon thousands of £, filled out reams of documents, and have studied for the ridiculously long Life in the UK test just to have the privilege to pay tax in the UK.  Being an American does not make the hoops any less flaming for me to live somewhere else.  Which leads me to my next point…

Did you know that America is one of only three countries that makes expats pay US taxes when they don’t even live there?  It’s true, I pay tax over a certain threshold of earnings every year to a country I don’t live in, and won’t live in anytime soon (if ever again).  Not only am I doubly taxed (as I pay taxes to two countries), my voting is vastly diminished.  Because I don’t have an address any longer in the US, voting in local elections doesn’t really happen.  As the US has an electoral college (versus one man, one vote), where you vote in the US could make the difference between a state going red or blue on election night.  As a super bonus, my son, who was born on British soil to a British father, had to ‘become’ an American (at a princely sum!) and get an American passport to visit his grandparents in the US (kids born to Americans must go through the process, they cannot enter US soil on their home nation’s passport), which also means he is forced to pay taxes, sign up for Selective Service, and even be drafted into the military, all by a country he will never live in.  And the real rub?  Because he does not have a US address, he cannot vote in American elections.  The US will happily take his money, but won’t let him vote.  That is the literal definition of taxation without representation.  So the next time you scream about welfare queens and leeches, remember there are 6.3 million of us (not counting military) expats paying into *your* system and not getting a damn thing out of it.  You’re welcome, moochers.

Now to the spirit of your rant:  If you were CEO of a failing company, and an employee came to you with a list of issues and how to fix it, would you fire them? Of course not. You would look at each suggestion’s viability, and implement what you could. Failure to act, or worse, failure to recognize that there are failures to begin with will result in a company circling the drain.  Why is it that an employee that helped a company improve would be promoted, but a citizen who points out flaws in a nation is viewed as traitorous?  You can slap all the crappy bumper stickers on your truck that you like, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation, which is America is not number 1.  No country is number 1.  Every country has things they excel in, and things they need to work on.  This kind of myopic devotion is long past hubris, and well into dangerous territory.

But its okay, folks.  You can turn it around, really.  You just have to get over this whole #1 thing.  Figure out what you need to fix, and look to other nations that are doing it better than you, and begin to emulate them.  Get over the blind adherence to alpha status.  Put your dick away, the other countries don’t care to measure theirs against yours. And for the love of God, get rid of the rhetoric.  For chrissakes, you responded to a conserative judge not voting your way by crying for everything from seceeding to sedition.  GROW UP.  Bullshit like this is what leads more people to leave the US, and not come back.  And the people who are leaving?  They are the ones who are well educated to get through the very high standards of need that other countries require, and have cash to burn on applications.  You think the US can really stand more of a brain and money drain?  Not likely.  Hell, one of the reasons we decided not to go back to the US for a visit is because it would coincide with the Presidential election, and we just could not stand the thought of dealing with the screaming from the 24/7 news networks, robocalls, and general nastiness that would proceed and follow the election.  When your own people are avoiding you, don’t you realize something is wrong?

But maybe you are right.  Maybe everyone who speaks against anything you believe should leave.  I’m sure that sort of sole nationalistic thinking has never had negative consequences ever.  I’m sure you’ll be just fine.  Of course…maybe, juuuuust maybe, we as a nation, all of us, those who speak differently, those who are in and out of the country’s borders, those with different opinions, maybe we can accept that speaking out is a pretty important part of our nation’s history, and that screaming GTFO at people who already out might not be the best use of our time and resources.

Maybe.

 

10 thoughts on “AMMMMMMMURICA! Love it or leave it or…something else.

  1. At the risk of recieving a barrage of abusive replies (not from you, obviously) I would like to take this opportunity to give white Americans a little history lesson:

    America is not *your* country either guys. Your ancestors came from my country and Ireland and stole it from the natives – just as British and Irish convicts were shipped to Australia to do the same to the natives there.

    Listen to the song “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil, and listen carefully. Yes, the song is about Aborigines, but is pertinent to Native Americans too.

    /ends history lesson and apologises for small rant

    • Shea

      … And of course, the Welsh will happily point out that they are the only first nations people of Britain, as England is made of up of Angols, Saxons, Normans, and Vikings… ;)

      • Too bloody true! My colouring suggests that my ancestors were mainly Saxon (those who weren’t Roma or French) but I might be a froggy Norman for all I know!

        My Nan wasn’t first generation Welsh either. HER ancestors are believed to have been French nobles, who fled to Wales during the Revolution.

        • Eric Burrows

          Your ancestors were the same as every body else who lives in Europe. Stone age people before welsh, saxon, celtic, nobles or any other names.

          • Someone needs to do some historical research, I think. And I know it isn’t me.

      • Eric Burrows

        No. The first people in Britain were here in the stone age and exactly the same as all people living in Europe at that time. Divergence came much later but basically we are all the same stock. So please no first this and that.

        • Shea

          Both of you are right-ish. While Neolithic man was prevalent (see Skara Brae), from facial features to language, the modern Brit owes a great deal to the intermingling of the groups mentioned above (Angols, Saxons, Normons, Vikings, etc) to create the people we now now as British. This is also where I see a lot of America’s issues coming from – while Britain had its many growing pains over the years (from Boudica fighting the Romans through the many civil wars), the US is a baby in terms of growing pains. Unfortunately, while Boudica’s greatest slap down was burning the bridge into London, the US has a massive stockpile of guns and nukes. It’s a dangerous time to have growing pains, all in.

          • Eric Burrows

            I see what you mean history wise etc. The world situation is getting worse and America has made some bad decisions followed in part by the poodle UK government mostly against the wishes of the people. Blairing is a good example.

  2. Shea

    Everyone has jerks incapable of knowing their own history, etc, but I can’t speak to/of them, as I’m not one of them. It will take the rest of you to pick up the torch on that! :) I can only speak to the US’s strengths and weaknesses as I perceive them, and move from there.

  3. Eric Burrows

    Everything you say to me as a UK citizen seems, to a point, right. Every country has citizens with that kind of closed circuit view, but it seem that America has a pretty big majority. There is not much anyone can do to change their minds as they are set in pretty solid concrete. Future world events may bring about a more mature view, but this may be too late. All i can say is: grow up!

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