Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Being, roughly speaking, on "the left," I have of course been accused many times, one way or another, of "hating America." You know, me and my good buddy Chomsky who I apparently worship though I've never really read. I've never quite known what this meant, actually. It's easy to dismiss it simply as rhetorical bludgeoning by one's political opponents, I suppose - a pee-wee league version of a Hitchens polemic. It is more than that, of course. I've posted before about the underlying source of this belief - roughly, conservatives believe they have a unique claim on the "true America" which has been tainted economically by that liberal FDR, politically by activist judges and states' rights violating Civil Rights and Voting Acts, and socially by homosexuality. Or something. If only one could remove the stain of the liberal legacy, we could truly return to the glory days of our untainted past.

But, still, what does it mean to "hate America?" I'm sure David Horowitz would inform me that by voting for Democrats I was advocating a Stalinist takeover of America. Or something. But, assuming there are some marginally more reasonable person than the fuzzy loveable Horowitz who would accuse me of hating America, what is it they think I desire to happen to my country? Presumably to hate it is to desire, in some sense, its destruction. Maybe that simply means a destruction of those values which in their minds ARE America.

Jokes aside, however, could there be anything more "America hating" than the desire for its political disintegration -- a desire for a segment to secede? Aside from wishing its physical destruction, could anything be more anti-American than the belief that it had gone so far astray that the desired political change from within was impossible? That the only hope was to end the Union?