America: Love it or ________?

2009 April 27
by ruleoflawrestoration

The more you think about things, the more you realize what you’ve missed before.

Recently I was driving about the countryside in central Alabama on a business trip when I chanced upon a sign that said:

“America: Love it or Leave It!”

I could not possibly count the number of times I have heard this sentiment expressed.  I remember hearing it as far back as the 80s, though.  What struck me this time, however, is just what a counterproductive and manipulative slogan it is.

In cult language, this phrase would be called a “thought stopper”.  That it, it has the effect of curbing critical thinking and redirecting the thinker to some other place.

And what are we to learn from this phrase?  What’s the “take-home message”?  The message is that criticism and concern have no place here.  I imagine  a conversation like the following:

“I”m really concerned about the way this country doesn’t even care that our government is not following its own laws.”
“Hey, buddy, this is America.  Love it or leave it.”

“Well, what I had in mind was that we’d actually fix it.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Love it or leave it, buddy!”

“I’m not saying I don’t love the country; I’m just saying that I think we could get back to its foundations and turn some things around.”
“Oh, so you’re wanting to mess with the foundations, eh?  What are you….some sort of communist?”

I suppose the genius plan is that if everyone with rational criticisms will actually leave the country, then we’ll somehow be better off.

But that dog, as they say around these parts, won’t hunt.

America: Love it or Fix it!

That’s what I say.

Yes, I understand that a big part of our current problem is that Congress has done so much to “fix” things.  So I guess I’ll have to go with the more specific version:

America: Love it, or if you don’t love it as it is, then amend the Constitution to allow for whatever kind of “fixing” you have in mind, provided you can get the support of 3/4 of the states to do so, and then love it after you’ve fixed the way you like it.

Not quite as catchy, I know, but it’s the thought that counts!

Jack Pelham


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