FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why the Right Hates America

by MARK ZEPEZAUER

As a leftist, I’m getting just a bit weary of hearing how much I “hate America.” Ever since the big you-know what in late 2001, that little zinger has been the comeback of choice for any objections to US foreign policy. Don’t like our new wars? Gee, you must really hate this country.

Friends on the right, you wound us. If we didn’t love America, why would we spend so much time and energy on bake sales and discussion groups and lecture series and petition drives and demonstrations to make it a better place? I mean, there may be some parts of Dallas we’re not too keen on, and personally, you couldn’t pay me enough to live in Phoenix, but on the whole, sure, love that America. Friendly people, nice beaches, great forests, er, what’s left of them.

Of course, the relationship is just a bit more complicated than that. We love America kind of like we might love a dear friend or relative who’s drinking too much and putting his health in danger, or messing up his home life. We’re kind of embarrassed and more than a little bit worried for good old America. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love her. Hey, we’re family!

You know, it occurs to me that when rightwingers can’t come up with a better argument than “you hate America,” they might actually be projecting. After all, who was it that said that the 9/11 attacks allowed, quote, “the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve”? It wasn’t any leftist, that’s for sure. It was that jolly old moral majoritarian, the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

The more you think about it, the more it makes sense. The right can’t stand American culture. Rock & roll swept the planet, helped bring down the Berlin wall, inspired everyone with its free-spirited, rebellious American energy. Who fought it every step of the way? The right, that’s who. Same goes for hip-hop, another great American export, subject of Congressional inquisitions. And don’t even get me started on Hollywood. Billions of people love our movies, but the right acts like the whole movie industry is the last refuge of Stalinism.

The right hates our heroes, too. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming into making a holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, who helped us try to fulfill the promises of Reconstruction. And some of them still grumble, as Ronald Reagan did, that he was some kind of “communist.” Still others, like John Ashcroft, express nostalgia for the Confederacy’s fight to maintain slavery as a noble cause.

Come to think of it, the right hates our constitution, too, except for the Second Amendment, and maybe the Eleventh, now that the Rehnquist Court has rewritten it to mean “Congress shall pass no law that we don’t like.” But the First, the Fourth, the Fifth, and um, the Sixth, and the Eighth, and pretty much the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments are right out the window these days. Damn shame, too, if you ask me. Plus the right is still itching to overturn old decisions like Miranda and Bakke and Roe, if not Griswald. Some of them aren’t too crazy about Brown v. Board, either, if you know what I mean.

And it’s obvious by now that the right wing really, really hates democracy. If you even bring up the word, they go on about how the Founding Fathers made a republic, not a democracy. Well, sure, but they also wrote in the parts about blacks being three-fifths of a person, and only land-owning males being able to vote. Some of those cool old amendments moved us closer to actual democracy, at least for a while there. Now the rightwingers on the Supreme Court have made it clear that we have no actual right to vote, let alone have the votes counted if it’s inconvenient for their candidate.

And the election of 2000 isn’t the only one stolen by the right. In 1968, and again in 1980, the right-wing candidates, as private citizens, interfered with foreign-policy negotiations of the US government in order to (successfully) gain electoral advantage. Come to think of it, they did that again in 2000, advising the Israelis to drag their feet in the Camp David talks. But I guess they can get away with that, since they love America more than us pesky leftists.

But if the right loves America so much, why do they keep subsidizing the corporations that foul our air, despoil our coasts, and clear-cut our forests? Just how patriotic is the Bush administration’s new rule that allows mining companies to shear off the tops of our purple-mountain’d majesty and dump them into our streams? Don’t you think we could express our love of country a little better by tightening up those fuel economy standards, instead of squeezing the Middle East for more fuel for our Hummers?

Now that reminds me. Why does the right keep making so many enemies for our country? You know, like overthrowing elected governments in Iran and Chile and so on, or backing torture-happy juntas in Turkey and Pakistan, or paying for proxy terrorists in Nicaragua and Angola, or subsidizing the occupation of East Timor and the West Bank. Didn’t the left keep saying, “Um, excuse us, if we keep supporting violence and terrorism abroad, it might come back to haunt us”? And we’re the unpatriotic ones?

Oh, but that’s where we got started here. Any time we criticize US foreign policy, we’re making excuses for the terrorists. I guess it’s inconceivable that the left could love America enough to want us to stop making new enemies. Well, okay, America. If invading Iraq doesn’t work out as nicely as planned, you might give us a call. We still have a few ideas, and, gosh, we just love ya to pieces. Write sometime! After all, who gave you votes for women and blacks, and the weekend, and overtime, and retirement pay, and family leave? Your old pals on the left. God love ya.

MARK ZEPEZAUER is an author and cartoonist based in Tucson, Arizona. His most recent book is Boomerang! How Our Covert Wars Have Created Enemies Across The Middle East And Brought Terror To America, from Common Courage Press. He can be reached at: comicnews@earthlink.net

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail