The fact that it is okay to criticize the U.S. (aka "Americans") but any other nationality it's discriminatory.
What does that say?
I enjoy the NFL.
Aircraft carriers. We've about a dozen of those monsters.
The lack of fossilized tradition that allows someone to look to the horizon and think about possibilities without being crippled by the notion that it isn't the way it has always been done.
That is the engine of inventiveness.
Diversity of music is great too.
"Capitalism fails to realize life is social. Communism fails to realize life is personal. The good and just society is a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism."
Martin Luther King
from: Where Do We Go From Here
Living out of the states for the last decade has increased my appreciation for being an American. The freedoms that Americans have is undoubtedly the best part of being an American. Yes, there is controversy that some if not a lot of those freedoms are being taken away.
But at the end of the day, the simple things like freedom of speech, a fair trial, bearing arms, and just all around pleasent to be around without looking over your shoulder, that's why I love being an American.
I miss living in the states, I miss the beautiful mountains, the choice to jump into your car and go on a road trip to the ocean, or to the Rockies...
I can love people one on one.
I can really dislike people one on one.
Put those same two in a "group"?
Does love/hate average out? No, I don't think so.
There is a funny word: Gestalt. It means the whole is greater than the individual parts.
This is America as a people.
America, as people, is good and bad in a group.
I can take or leave it depending on the constituency.
But, America as an IDEAL is something else entirely.
The IDEAL is opportunity.
For all the whining and the pettiness and corruptions there are those opportunities.
The IDEAL is everybody has some kind of shot at making their own life better.
This is where blindness sets in!
I look back on when I was a little boy living in the South. Black people were not even 2nd class citizens. Everybody smoked everywhere. Men treated women like property. The threat of Cold War loomed large.
A black man is President, smoking is prohibited and women are starting to earn more money than men. The actual nuclear threat of annhilation seems to be remote for America.
By any standard this lifetime has seen GENUINE PROGRESS.
This means OPPORTUNITY WORKS here!
Do I actually LOVE America?
Being a JW really messed with that value big time! They drained patriotism out of me by the gallon.
I went to prison rather than fight for this country. I accomplished nothing at all for anybody for those 2 years.
I've come to my senses, however, and tried to remedy that waste and loss.
I love what America is BY CONTRAST with what other countries ARE NOT.
I'm not elsewhere; I'm here.
I don't vote. I don't believe in the system of politics which is corrupt and broken as much as it is cynical and venal.
So, my answer isn't a simple "yes" or "no".
It is a measured positive response without much emotion attached.
Its ideals, which if not protected will end up totally disappearing soon and being replaced by others, maybe not so easily replaceable.