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America Derangement Syndrome

January 21, 2011

We all have heard of BDS, or Bush Derangement Syndrome.  The often inexplicable hate for any and everything President George Bush has said, thought or done.  That is waning a bit, but still strong in the minds of many liberals including the current President.  It most often manifests itself in blaming Bush for every woe our nation is currently suffering.  But there is more.  It demonizes everything Bush stands for (and a lot of things he doesn’t, but real Conservatives do), and looks to place squarely on his shoulders any transgressions America has done over the last decade.

But there is a worse form of Derangement Syndrome, one that we on the right need to combat every instance in which it rears its ugly head – America Derangement Syndrome.  This is the inexplicable hate for everything America has said, thought or done.  Unlike BDS, it is not waning in the least and is stronger than ever in the minds of the left in this country.  Let us look into the mentality that allows ADS to creep into and settle comfortably in the minds of the sad individuals who believe in it.

America Derangement Syndrome initially stems from guilt.  The inexplicable guilt that comes from being born in a country that doesn’t force you to fear for your daily bread.  A country that allows you to make your way in the world, if you are only willing to try.  A country where violence, terrorism and wanton bloodshed are not the norm, but are so removed from everyday life that when it happens, we all come together and suffer as if the violence happened to us personally.

This guilt is manifest; this is not some psychobabble.  Many people in this country feel ashamed at the “luck” of being born in the greatest country on Earth, so shamed, that they believe they have to belittle her and bring her down so that they do not feel so bad about how much better they have it than the rest of the world.

As I have gotten older, I have often pondered the “luck” with which I was granted to be born in such a great country.  Believe me, it is luck.  Any one of us could just have easily been born in Ghana or Tunisia or Detroit.  But unlike liberals, I never felt guilt over this providence.  I felt thanks.  Not thanks to some higher power, nor to my parents, but thanks that such a country exists in the first place.  But what we do with this thanks is more telling about our nature.

The liberals would tear it down.  To them, America is the silent and unstated curse word on the lips of any one trodden down by life.  If we free a country from an evil dictator, we are the occupiers, the insurgents, the murderers.  If we reach out to help a small island nation suffering through the horrors of a natural disaster, it is atonement for us causing the earthquake in the first place because we injured the earth through our pollution.  If we claim proudly that we saved the world from the horrors and inhumanity that was Nazism and Japanese Imperialism, we are quickly reminded how we are the bad guys because we dropped the bomb.

You see, to acknowledge the greatness of America is to acknowledge that the singular, personal ills that plague each and every one of us is not really so bad, if you compare it to a starving child in Rwanda.  But liberals live off being victims, that is their bread and butter and the only way they know how to effect change.  So for their cause to be more effective, America can not be the most free, the most equal, the most generous, and the most humane country on earth, it has to be the exact opposite.  Because if America was all those things, it would beg the obvious question, “So why do you want to change it?”

Conservatives on the other hand are quite aware of the greatness of America.  To be sure, America has done wrong in the past, but those wrongs do not define us.  And we fail her every instance we allow someone to define this “shining beacon” in those wrongs.  The good we have done in and for this world outweigh any wrong, perceived or otherwise, someone would foist on our broad shoulders.  But is recognizing America’s exceptionalism enough?  Is there an unstated responsibility any who love and cherish America are beholden too?

America is only great because people made her so.  It is not the most generous country on earth through accident, it is because its people as a whole are prosperous and recognize an obligation to help our fellow man.  America has the strongest and greatest military in the history of mankind because brave men and women are willing to answer the call to defend the principles that she was founded on.  We have freed more people from the horrors and inhumanities of dictatorships than any country on Earth, we have saved more lives, fed more people, built more homes and schools, and fostered more peace than any nation in the history of the world.  But is that enough?

I say no.  Because America is grasping for her death rattle, and the only way to stay her hand is for conservatives to wake up and recognize her impending demise.  Of course she won’t cease to exist, but the shade of her former glory will be but a weak imitation.  America is on her last legs, and the only thing that can save her is if we conservatives come together to do so.

The only cure for America Derangement Syndrome is a return to the most basic of American tenants, personal responsibility.  Collective responsibility is a breeding ground for the “hate America first” crowd.  If we can all take on the guilt of being Americans, then we will all be much more receptive to legislation that will assuage that guilt.  According to the liberals, we are all responsible for the evil that was slavery, therefore we must all pay.  We are all responsible for the evil that is global warming, therefore we must all pay.  But that premise is wrong, and we need to challenge it.

The only thing for which we are responsible is our own personal actions in life.  We make our own decisions, and we live with the consequences.  The only problem is, we are allowing our government to exceedingly relieve of us of those consequences.  And that is what is killing us.  If no one is responsible for anything, then we can all act and do whatever we like.  Or, we can do nothing, and the government will take care of us.  This mentality must stop.

Because it breeds the thinking behind the second reason for America Derangement Syndrome, that America doesn’t do enough to help its own people.  We are the greatest, most prosperous nation on Earth, how come we still have poor and homeless people?  Because personal responsibility is dead.  There are more than enough programs, public and private, which a poor person can use to help them get out of a tough situation, if they wanted to.  But those same programs serve more as a chain, than a bootstrap.  Despite what the ADS crowd would have us believe, there is no second class in America, the Japanese equivalent of a Buraku or “dirty non-person”.  America does not possess the formal caste system of India, anyone in America can rise to the greatest of achievements, as I reluctantly will point out our President has done.  I am reluctant because he does not seem to embrace the country that allowed him to prosper as he has.

Anyone can succeed in America, and that is the rub.  Because what does it say about you personally if you fail to do so?  It says you did not try hard enough.  It says you did not take risks to achieve.  It says quite bluntly, that you are a failure.  ADS relieves us of this personal guilt, because if America is the problem, then its not our fault if we don’t succeed.  And that is why personal responsibility can and will defeat ADS.

But we have to fight to bring personal responsibility back, and it is going to take generations to undo the damage that liberals and progressives have done.  It starts in our homes and schools, as in, our children.  We must demand of ourselves more than we ever have in the past, we must demand that we be engaged whole-heartedly in reversing the mentality that success in school is not measured in “feelings” and “self-esteem”, but in A’s and B’s.  We must demand that our schools spend as much time teaching about the Founding Fathers as they do teaching about Crazy Horse and W.E.B. du Bois, not because those figures are undeserving of praise, but because our founders are the singular reason this country exists in the first place.  And because our founders are the embodiment of personal responsibility –they stepped up to the plate, against almost insurmountable odds, and proved to the world that a place like America can exist, if you are willing to fight for it.

We need to find examples of current Americans who have overcome humble beginnings and risen to the heights of their professions, so that we can prove to our children that hard work and diligence is all you need to succeed in this country.  That personal responsibility is rewarded with success, whereas collective responsibility is rewarded with failure.

This is a tough road we are facing, but if we don’t change the thinking in this country, no amount of repeals or spending cuts or anything else will be the fix America truly needs.  Are you ready to combat America Derangement Syndrome?  Are you willing to go against the lessons those who prescribe to this mental illness are teaching our kids on a daily basis?  I hope so, because if we don’t start now, there will be no need for ADS, fore there will no longer be an exceptional America to rail against.

Update 1/21/2011 7:41 pm – edited for grammar and readability

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. bunkerville permalink
    January 21, 2011 12:53 pm

    So well said. Yes, we need a reformation of Character. A willingness to delay gratification in order to better oneself is what is sorely missing. I think back at the years of working and going to school at night in order to better myself. How many of our youth are prepared to do that. Or even realizes that is what is required.

    • January 21, 2011 6:41 pm

      I agree, but first we need to teach them to expect nothing out of life except what they put into it. Too often, our youth are being brought up that somehow life owes them an education, or a job, or a house, well, as France and Greece are showing us, that mentality is fruitless and leads to despair.

  2. JustFacts permalink
    January 21, 2011 1:13 pm

    Another Home Run. This should be a “must read” for every man, woman, & child in this country. This goes to the involvement phylosophy that has been discussed on this blog extensively over the last few days. The only way that we can make our country great again is for people to get involved and take back their communities, schools, churches. It is time for us to put up, or shut up.

    • January 21, 2011 6:45 pm

      Thank you for the kind words. I can’t say for sure if it was directed, or if it just turned out that way, but we have been led to believe that national government is the most important and to focus all our attention on that aspect of the system. The truth is, the fed is the least important, and we need to turn our eyes inward to our local governments. If you can’t take your eyes off the prize of the national government, then at least look at it from this prospective – all national leaders started in local politics first, so help the country by making sure the pool of national candidates is filled with qualified, honest, and hardworking local representatives.

  3. January 21, 2011 5:16 pm

    I agree with Just Facts. Collin, you have just written the finest essay on America that I’ve read in a very long time. I’ve saved it so I can reread it at will and to use it as a reference source. What country hasn’t made errors in their foreign or domestic policy at one time or another. But name me one country that has done more to defend freedom in this world than America.

    • January 21, 2011 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words, I appreciate them very much.

      My only solace about America Derangement Syndrome, and this applies to our own citizens as well as those in other countries, is that everyone knows they are kidding themselves. Everyone knows the greatness of America, and what good we have done in the world. Hmm, let me amend that a bit – everyone in a free country with a free press – countries like Iran and North Korea do not apply, but their leaders do.

  4. KingShamus permalink
    January 21, 2011 9:00 pm

    “America does not possess the formal caste system of India, anyone in America can rise to the greatest of achievements, as I reluctantly will point out our President has done.”

    As long as Bill Ayers writes your two memoirs, it’s all good in da hood.

    I’d say the president has a full-blown incurable case of ADS. The effects of this disease can only be mitigated by his removal from office in 2012.

    • January 21, 2011 9:20 pm

      I second that idea. =)

  5. KingShamus permalink
    January 21, 2011 9:01 pm

    By the way, good to see you’ve joined the Cult of The Twitter Peeps.

    Don’t worry. You won’t get addicted at all. I can quit anytime I want.

    ANY TIME I WANT!

    • January 21, 2011 9:21 pm

      Hahaha. I still need to learn all the twitter tricks, cause half of what people tweet I can’t make heads or tails of. lol

  6. January 22, 2011 1:12 am

    This was a great post Colin. I think this one is a must for our Sunday LINKs. The one thing I would add is that public education and colleges feed ADS.

    • January 22, 2011 5:25 am

      Yeah, I should have expounded on that some more in the second part about personal responsibility, because I did touch on schools a bit, but only in regards to the bleeding heart nature of instruction that focuses on feelings and not results. On a more overt level, the schools are directly telling our kids that America is evil and teaching them the framework that becomes ADS. To me, if we are involved in our children’s education, that is an easier obstacle to tear down, because the truth is a powerful hammer. Whereas the mentality they are teaching is much more difficult to counter-act.

  7. January 22, 2011 4:12 am

    Great essay. I myself was becoming jaded observing the machinations of those that seem to hate this country so much. But I took a time out and revisited those things that make me proud and fortunate to be an American. Unfortunately, I don’t think those ADS folks are inclined to do the same.

    • January 22, 2011 5:30 am

      No, they definitely are not. It is human nature to feel disdain for the successful and root for the underdog, I can live with that. But when doing so impacts the lives of millions of people, then we need to be a little more introspective with our feelings and determine if they are grounded in logic – in the case of ADS, it most definitely is not.

  8. January 22, 2011 7:53 am

    What a great, great post! I really don’t have anything to ad to it because you have said it all! Well done.

    • January 22, 2011 8:53 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words. =)

  9. Hipshot permalink
    January 22, 2011 1:02 pm

    Very impressive!! You have said what a lot of us have been thinking for a long time but could not find the time or place to put it down. You touched on something that has bewildered me for a long time now. Why is it that we feel so obligated to “police” the world and support every two-bit regime that steals their own country blind while we do really next to nothing to deal with the homeless and the mentally impaired in our own country? A big part of the answer is what you are calling the “America Derangement Syndrome” and that’s a pretty good description. I know that this sounds “isolationist” but not really, I do understand that some of this is always necessary but we fail to really take care of our own.
    This is my first time on your “blog” but it won’t be the last.

    • January 22, 2011 2:41 pm

      Thank you for visiting and the kind words of your comment. =)

  10. January 22, 2011 6:39 pm

    Sorry I am late in reading this post, Colin. Very well done, to be sure. I think a lot of those who are suffering from ADS would do well to watch President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981. It was a masterpiece and really outlined how great America really is.

    • January 22, 2011 7:00 pm

      Thanks my friend.

      I have watched that video recently, he was such an amazing man. Of course now, he would be called a right-wing extremist for suggesting “government is the problem”. I miss him. =(

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