Deepak Chopra: What It Means To Be Pro-American
Often, when we hear the term “pro-American,” the automatic response is that it must mean to be conservative or right-wing. Remember when Sarah Palin said she loved campaigning in “these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation”?
Deepak Chopra addresses the concept of being “pro-America” in at Beliefnet.
…if being pro-American isn’t part of right-wing ideology for you, what does that leave? A new kind of Americanism is being shaped right now. President Obama exemplifies one aspect, the desire to look out on the world and accept it rather than look inward to America and reject everyone else. He doesn’t panic over security or instill fear of “the other,” especially Muslims. This stance goes back to an Americanism based on progressive ideals. There has always been a historical struggle between two value systems, with the progressive side valuing toleration, free markets, open immigration, extended civil rights, and no color barrier.
The great ideological divide in America has seen the demonization of the left, whose commitment to American ideals has been questioned by the right when it differed on key issues.
…the first Pres. Bush could call his first campaign opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, a card-carrying liberal, echoing the terminology that Joe McCarthy used against card-carrying Communists. During the second Bush administration, when progressives had to duck and cover, the reactionary world view pointed the finger of anti-Americanism at anyone who didn’t want to batten down the hatches and turn this country into a fearful, anxious place full of electronic surveillance, incipient terrorists around every corner, and an expanded military fed on unlimited funding for new weapons systems.
So how about this for being “pro-American”:
- Being open to change without fear and suspicion.
- Seeing the rest of the world as our backyard, not as a set of faraway places.
- Accepting the trend toward faster and faster global communications.
- Suppressing knee-jerk reactions of fear and paranoia toward immigrants.
- Re-examining on a regular basis the country’s need for a standing military of enormous size and scope.
- Not labeling someone who disagrees with you as anti-American.
Copyright 2009 Liberaland