I have a confession...
I've never been one of those people that is big into national flag waving, and I never have felt the compulsion to proclaim my superiority as a citizen of America over the citizens of other countries, or my homeland's innate superiority over someone else's. In fact, nationalism hasn't much figured into my perceptions of the world in general. It's just not something I've ever cared anything about.
I'm making this first confession of absence of homeland hubris only to highlight a second confession...
While I've never been exactly overtly patriotic, until this past decade or so, I've never been ashamed of being an American either. However, the more I see how grass roots, conservative, or tea party "common sense" is being marketed to and accepted by the general public at the expense of actual knowledge and reason, (and the more material that enlightened, rational-minded individuals from other countries have to poke fun at), the more I find being identified as American to be an embarrassment.
Case in point: This segment by Rachel Maddow simply highlights what lies at the root of my discomfort and discontent. In the U.S., there is a ferociously raging war on brains; or more specifically, a war on knowledge and intellectualism. As an educator, a parent, and yes, even as an American citizen, I am shamed to my core to have anyone think that the cretins highlighted here speak for me.
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