I am a proud American, and this sentiment has taken many forms over my few decades.
I was raised to believe America was a superhero, a boyscout, a beacon on the hill, and I did believe that.
We were taught that we did some bad things, and that caution was in order, but overall we were the best there was.
Over the last decade and a half I’ve learned that America has done, and continues to do, some horrible things. It does them in its own interest and it does them for the greater good.
But it does evil, without question.
So when people say that America is evil, I at least know that they’re partially correct.
A Mature View
My current (and final) stage of understanding with regard to America is as follows:
America is one of the most powerful forces for evil in the world
America is one of the most powerful forces for good in the world
Life is complicated and nuanced, and sorting out the math on whether America is “ultimately” good or evil is non-trivial at best, and impossible at worst.
I remain proud of our export of liberal viewpoints into the world. Our promotion of equality for minorities, women, and for homosexuals. Our willingness to send trillions of dollars per year in aid. And our general good nature towards others.
But I remain ashamed of my country as well. I am ashamed of our using other countries to further our aims. I am ashamed of our ignorance to happenings outside our country, and even within. I am ashamed of our apathy to the running of our government, and the soulless shell that our lobbyist-powered “representation” has become.
So I sit angry at America, and ashamed of her. But I love her. It is on us to help her through these dark times. And I will not give up.
She is worth saving.