Carol Platt Liebau: Why Care About Anything But Yourself?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why Care About Anything But Yourself?

The newest bon mot from Dixie Chick Natalie Maines:

"I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

The statement resonates with such profound ignorance that it boggles the mind. Maines obviously can't conceptualize caring about anything but her own life and her own petty concerns. And she obviously has not an inkling about what makes America so blessed and so special.

Thankfully, the men and women who are willing to sacrifice -- and possibly even give the lives that they, too, doubtless "like" -- to protect the country as a whole have a deeper and more generous understanding of their fellow Americans and of what this country stands for.

Every single American -- from the President to the most vituperative commenter at Huffington Post shares a bond because we are fellow citizens of the freest, most generous, most compassionate nation on earth. We may disagree on policies and issues, but we share a heritage which, albeit imperfect and flawed, nonetheless is an ongoing narrative of a country that has tried to honor the inalienable, God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

When Natalie Maines looks at America -- its compassionate people, its history of freedom, its continuing efforts to live up to the highest ideals of the Founding Fathers and even the incredible opportunities she herself has been given because of her American citizenship -- and nonetheless finds nothing to love or to celebrate, that says something profoundly sad.

Not about America. About her.

33 Comments:

Blogger Dittohead said...

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” – Samuel Johnson

The thing about any ideology, religion or nationalism, though, is that it is a division. And all divisions are "Us and Them" which is the seed of violence.

Perhaps similar to the Dalia Lama, Natalie Maines is actually a very deep thinker and loves the world and all people.

1:48 PM  
Blogger R Platt said...

That babble from Maines is pure garbage and her thought process is incredibly shallow. Unfortunately, those that have never served a cause greater than themselves will never completely understand the true meaning of patriotism. With any luck, Maines will take up residency in a far away land, never to be seen or heard from again.

2:05 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

the first post is about as smart as Natalie Maines, so now we know who her audience is. the second post. Thank you, well and properly said.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

r platt,

So freedom to you is either conform to your sense of patriotism or get out of my country. Not really freedom at all, is it.

3:11 PM  
Blogger R Platt said...

dittohead . . .

Freedom is earned through acts of patriotism and valor by those courageous enough to want it and defend it. Maines is free to stay; I'd just prefer that she didn't.

3:44 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
~ John F. Kennedy

A politician will do anything to keep his job -- even become a patriot.
~ William Randolph Hearst (that one makes me think of Hillary)

Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.
~ Calvin Coolidge

A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
~ George William Curtis

A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Clearly, dithead is reading the wrong literature.

3:49 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

The Dalai Lama is a refugee whose country has been overrun and repressed by a Communist China for 50 years.

Somehow the Chinese don't seem to share dittohead's, or the Dalai Lama's philosophy.

Until they do, I suggest we keep our powder dry.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

Could Maine have a mild form of sociopathology?

4:36 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

She is just re-branding from country (red state) to pop (blue state).

It's a good (and transparent) career move.

5:30 PM  
Blogger amber said...

Pioneer, some beautiful quotes. I especially liked the last one. I heard it before, but forgot about it. Here is a quote that Maines really should look into practicing, I myself have a little difficulty with it, but I am not quoted to millions like she is
"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Prov 17:28

6:07 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward. -- George Washington

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. -- Edward R. Murrow

"My country, right or wrong" is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober." -- G.K. Chesterton

On the other hand, I am sure that CoPioneer would agree with the following sentiment...

But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. -- Hermann Goering

9:34 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Welome, Dittohead.

I've missed you, Mr. Twister.

Good job both.

10:05 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt"

"Perhaps similar to the Dalia Lama, Natalie Maines is actually a very deep thinker and loves the world and all people."

Here is my comment: I stongly object to Natalie Maines allying herself with interests inimical to those of the United States.

We can disagree with whether this policy or that policy is good for the U.S. but once the policy is adopted a patriot will support it. Our enemies will, naturally, not support it, and will work to thwart our efforts.

For example it is our policy to turn back illegal aliens at our border. It is a policy intended to protect all of us. A patriot will support this policy. Others will oppose the policy and conspire with and assist those seeking illegal entry.
They will claim they are the loyal opposition, however they act against all of us who support the official policy, who believe all of us deserve protection from invasions from without.

Because they love "the world and all people?" Not good enough.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

The republicans were yelling "wag the dog" when Clinton tried to kill Bin Laden by bombing his terrorist training camp. How was that being Patriotic and supportive of the commander in chief?

8:15 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Carol,

When you state that "we are fellow citizens of the freest, most generous, most compassionate nation on earth" you are essentially saying that other nations around the world are worse than America.

America is the best. The rest of the world sucks.

I think that there's a fine line between patriotism and racism.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

OSO -- How is that statement racist? America is made up of people from all races, so I am unclear on how saying America is the best country in the world has ANYTHING at all to do with racism.

The United States of America IS the best country in the world. I make no apologies for it. Other countries are good and have wonderful people in them. We help and support other countries out of our love and compassion for them. I have a great desire to see the world and its treasures and beauties. But I will always return to the United States, my home.

Dodger, I am sorry to disagree with you but I do not think being a patriot means supporting every policy that is passed. I support the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. There are several policies in place in this great nation of ours which fall far short of the ideas presented in these documents. I think a true patriot works to better our country and will not accept anything less than what is best for her and her people. We must all try to work against policies that hurt the United States -- just not through treachery or treason.

For that reason, as much as I disagree with the views of liberals, some of them must be considered patriots for their willingness to fight for what they BELIEVE is best for our country. They're wrong, but their courage in defending their convictions is admirable. If those of us who are right would be as courageous, we would have little to fear about the direction our country is headed in.

Natalie Maines' statement, however, is just a sad, sad example of how pampered, spoiled and blind some Americans can be.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Here's what some Republicans said about Clinton and Kosovo ……..

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy." -Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy." -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy." -Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning...I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area." -Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo." -Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years" -Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee, so you can trust me and believe me when I say we're running out of cruise missiles. I can't tell you exactly how many we have left, for security reasons, but we're almost out of cruise missiles." -Senator Inhofe (R-OK )

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today" -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"I don't know that Milosevic will ever raise a white flag"-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?" -Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99


"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)


"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem." -Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

"The two powers that have ICBMs that can reach the United States are Russia and China. Here we go in. We're taking on not just Milosevic. We can't just say, 'that little guy, we can whip him.' We have these two other powers that have missiles that can reach us, and we have zero defense thanks to this president." -Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)


"You can support the troops but not the president" -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do." -Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)


For us to call this a victory and to commend the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief showing great leadership in Operation Allied Force is a farce" -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly." -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


"Once the bombing commenced, I think then Milosevic unleashed his forces, and then that's when the slaughtering and the massive ethnic cleansing really started" -Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)

"
Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode" -Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country" -Pat Buchanan (R)


"These international war criminals were led by Gen. Wesley Clark ...who clicked his shiny heels for the commander-in-grief, Bill Clinton." -Michael Savage


"This has been an unmitigated disaster ... Ask the Chinese embassy. Ask all the people in Belgrade that we've killed. Ask the refugees that we've killed. Ask the people in nursing homes. Ask the people in hospitals." -Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL)


"It is a remarkable spectacle to see the Clinton Administration and NATO taking over from the Soviet Union the role of sponsoring "wars of national liberation." -Representative Helen Chenoweth (R-ID)


"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country" -Pat Buchanan (R )


"By the order to launch air strikes against Serbia, NATO and President Clinton have entered uncharted territory in mankind's history. Not even Hitler's grab of the Sudetenland in the 1930s, which eventually led to WW II, ranks as a comparable travesty. For, there are no American interests whatsoever that the NATO bombing will
either help, or protect; only needless risks to which it exposes the American soldiers and assets, not to mention the victims on the ground in Serbia."
-Bob Djurdjevic, founder of Truth in Media

10:37 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Dittohead: Yes, yes, yes.

Many of these same vicious partisans are now feigning shock (!) over how ANYONE could POSSIBLY not fall in lock step with the worst president in our history, lest they be gutlessly unpatriotic villains.

More hypocrisy from the right.

10:48 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

I can't say I give a rat's rear-end what Natalie Maines says about any topic. Sorry. I just don't.

But it's great to see Democrats standing up for military intervention abroad. I haven't heard about Kosovo in a long time. How are things there today? How about Bosnia?

11:07 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

So any lying president who cooks up a bogus reason for war with the WRONG country (one who did NOTHING to us) and covers up the guilt of the right country--the one that actually did attack us--gets a free pass because (get this, irony fans) WE ARE AT WAR!

What is to stop every fascist who comes down the pike from doing the same thing..... lying to start wars, then preventing people from criticizing because we are at war. I believe Machiavelli is the one who originally suggested this ploy. Too bad there are so many Americans who haven't caught on yet, even after 500 years of scumbags killing innocents by using this exact same tactic.

11:13 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

I'm sorry, but are you talking about Kosovo still? Or Bosnia? Or what?

12:19 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

"Dodger, I am sorry to disagree with you but I do not think being a patriot means supporting every policy that is passed. I support the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. There are several policies in place in this great nation of ours which fall far short of the ideas presented in these documents. I think a true patriot works to better our country and will not accept anything less than what is best for her and her people. We must all try to work against policies that hurt the United States -- just not through treachery or treason."

Response: This is a copout. I have said previously that when policy is being debated one can dissent. Vigorously. But when it is adopted one can continue to "carp" but beyond that you either want the policy to succeed or you want it to fail. How can you claim to be a patriot and at the same time vigorously join our enemies' efforts to defeat the policy.

People had little patience with such as Tokyo Rose, whose prose was less offensive than that of Jack Murtha and John Kerry (she was hanged).

12:38 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Dodger said:

"We can disagree with whether this policy or that policy is good for the U.S. but once the policy is adopted a patriot will support it."

By this logic, it was unpatriotic to fight to end slavery in this country, since slavery was the policy of the US. It was unpatriotic to fight to end racial discrimination. It was unpatriotic to oppose throwing Japanese-Americans into camps, sterilzing people against their will, or jailing people for criticizing the government, as these have all, at one time or another, been the official policy of the US.

If you ask me, this is the opposite of patriotism. As American patriots it is our duty to demand that our government be better than it is, that it stand for all the great ideas that it claims to fight for.

What you are describing is not a patriot, but a toady and a lickspittle. It is the kind of "citizen" who stands by and lets the Nazi government ship 6 million Jews to their death because to oppose it would be unpatriotic.

1:41 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

"What you are describing is not a patriot, but a toady and a lickspittle. It is the kind of "citizen" who stands by and lets the Nazi government ship 6 million Jews to their death because to oppose it would be unpatriotic."

That's kind of despicable. Because what we are debating here is whether one should take the side of declared enemies of the U.S. Or, as a patriot, engage the enemy. As the U.S. did against the Nazi ideology. Who the hell knowingly stood aside while 6 million Jew were shipped to their death? Was the issue of said shipping debated in some legislative hall where it could have been opposed? Or was it done secretly? I want to know, lickspittle.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Dodger, what you and so many others are trying (unsuccessfully) to do is conflate disagreement with our government's inept, even counterproductive, "war on terror" with siding with of the terrorists. This is simpleminded rubbish and deep in your heart, you know it.

wrabkin's point is an accurate one, including the silence of the average German citizen who watched as his fellow countrymen, some of whom fought for Germany in WWI, were being taken to "relocation" camps as the Nazis began to cement their grip on the state apparatus. The existence of these camps, though they did not begin as death camps per se, was no secret as they were used by the state as a coercive tool to keep the as-yet undetained Jews in a state of fearful submission.

Vilification, stripping citizens of their rights, followed by their property, and then their lives, required the quiet aquiescence of the average German who probably considered their "looking the other way" to be their duty.

Germany has been slowly coming to terms with this harsh truth in the intervening decades.

8:48 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

"used by the state as a coercive tool to keep the as-yet undetained Jews in a state of fearful submission."

Duke, thank you for a cogent, reasonable contribution to the debate. I would point out that coercion was directed at citizens who might have protested, just as Muslims who cooperate against terrorists themselves become targets of the terrorists.

"disagreement with our government's inept, even counterproductive, "war on terror" with siding with of the terrorists. This is simpleminded rubbish and deep in your heart, you know it."

Might be, but I'm simple. Let's see, we are fighting terrorists whose avowed goal is to spread destruction and death upon the U.S. Our legislative body decreed we should do this. The enemy, (terroristsas), does not want us to fight.

You might be suggesting we should only fight on our soil. This is where we went wrong in Viet Nam, we only allowed the battle to be conducted in South Vietnam. Now, that is simpleminded. Meaning, in war you attack the enemy where he is. Where he is in training. Where he is staging.

This is a suggestion that was debated long ago. It was decided to attack. Now you want to re-fight the policy? Or do you want to join in the attack? To not join in the attack is to surrender.

That's how simpleminded I am.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

"If history teaches us anything, it teaches that simpleminded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, and the squandering of our freedom."

President Ronald Reagan
March 3, 1983

President Reagan says it beautifully. The left and MSM today are guilty of simpleminded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries". The plain and simple truth - the betrayal of our past and the squandering of our freedom is their goal!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

dodger, I am NOT saying do not fight the terrorists. I AM saying: fight smarter; find bin Laden (hint to Bush: AFGHANISTAN!); and find a way out of Iraq that IS NOT "CUTTING AND RUNNING" but also does not continue to create more new terrorists than we can possibly kill.

Bush and Cheney's blunder has left us no choice BUT to leave Iraq a stable country. You can scour every bit of Carol's site for the past seven or eight months and you will find no record of me advocating "cutting and running," as the guileful wordsmiths of your party are fond of characterizing it.

But even if I am trapped into supporting some sort of continuation of engagement in Iraq, it will NEVER be a moot point as to how we were misled into this debacle. And I will repeatedly speak truth to power until this whole episode is accurately portrayed in our history books for future generations to learn from, if only they will.

11:51 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

find bin Laden (hint to Bush: AFGHANISTAN!

I don't think that's necessarily true. He could be anywhere from North Waziristan to The Sudan. At any rate, if he can't even pick up a sat-phone for fear of finding a J-DAM on top of his head, that's not a bad start.

find a way out of Iraq that IS NOT "CUTTING AND RUNNING" but also does not continue to create more new terrorists than we can possibly kill.

While I don't accept your premise that we are creating more terrorists than [the US] can possibly kill, I would like to hear what your definition of Victory in Iraq is. Seriously.

12:16 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Duke...lame, but honest. I don't know what a semi-attack would be. Similar to a semi-surrender? A semi-pregnancy?

3:17 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Just for chuckles, O Pacifist leftists, what should our response be if N Korea successfully tests its missle that an reach CA with a nuclear device? Move out of reach to Nevada?

4:47 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Just for chuckles, Pete, what's your response to the same scenario? Now that Bush has wasted five years by refusing to negotiate with N. Korea and thus allowing -- encouraging -- them to build nuclear bombs, what would you do about it? Invade? With what army, since we all know we can't cut and run from Iraq. Bomb them? We all know that if we do, they'll wipe South Korea off the map, and may do their best to take Japan out, too.

Tough talk is a lot of fun, as W has shown. But tough talk with no brains behind it just gets you into trouble. As W has shown.

So what's your brilliant solution?

8:21 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Dodger,

I guess I was unclear when you talked about "policy". That was a general term to me and did not refer specifically to military policy. In the current War on Terror, I think the best thing for our country is for people to support our operations since to go back on them now would be folly. I agreed with going to Iraq from the get go, but even if one didn't, I think now is the time to shut up about it and do whatever we need to do to succeed. But this is a specific argument about a specific case and says nothing about a general idea that one should always support every policy passed by their government. If every "patriot" did that, nothing would ever change in this country and there is a lot that needs to be changed.

1:05 PM  

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