Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Conditional Pride

It's sad, but I think there is a large number of people who can only feel pride in America when their partisan group is in power.

I can remember the professors in College who wanted students to run out an burn American flags to show hatred for a country that could elect Reagan. The message of the professoriat was that we should hate the United States, except when their partisan group was in power.

The progressive message is that one should turn on and off patriotism depending on how well the society is moving toward one's partisan cause. In the case of the professoriat, the partisan cause is socialism.

Anyone who holds a partisan cause above all else ends up with a conditional pride.

There may be evangelicals and Mormons who feel slighted by the United States because their candidate did not win the Republican nomination. When you get down to it, campagins are simply political games. Often candidates win and lose simply based on the timing of the message, or the make up of the contenders in the race, and not on the message or candidate.

There is a random nature to campaigns. Pegging one's sense of pride on such things is silly.

BTW, I don't mind when people show pride or shame in particular actions. I am proud of the tech boom that created these wonderful little computers. I am ashamed of the Jim Crow laws that oppressed blacks for 150 years.

I was ashamed by the invasion of Iraq, but proud of the surge.

I am proud of the support our nation gives education. I am deeply ashamed of the way they left leaning professoriate misuses the educational establishment.

The process of enumerating the things that make you feel pride or shame is different from conditional pride where one's entire sentiment is based on some arbitrary partisan power play.

I am not suprised that a person who stayed in that stifling atmosphere of the professoriat implying that she has felt no pride in America in the last several decades. Most of the people I know in the professoriat hold such conditional pride.

I suspect that the next pressident will do things that make me feel pride and others that make me feel shame. I also suspect that many of my feelings will continue to be out of sync with others. It is possible for the United States to things that I find shamefull. However, I think anyone who has fallen into the trap where the pride the feel is based entirely on partisan winds has a pride which is more of a vice than a virtue.

1 comment:

Scott Hinrichs said...

A lot of this has to do with one's commitment to the nation. I have done things in my life of which I am not proud. But that does not destroy my pride in who I am. It's the big-picture thing. As a nation, we have done things of which I am not proud, but that does not destroy my pride in the big picture of what this nation is -- as Lincoln said: the last best hope of earth."