GNH Community

nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information

 Charles M. Blow is a New York Times columnist

He writes on: Politics, Public Opinion and Social Justice.  In this piece he is addressing the comments made recently by Ruddy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York.  Those comments have generated a significant amount of responses from various people.

In this essay Mr. Blow takes us to task -- he wants us to think. What does American  exceptionalism really means and to whom? How does one prove love of country and to whom should such proof be offered? Do those in positions on national leadership have a responsibility to be judicious in their utterances? Is there a price or cost for malicious and irresponsible histrionics? What exactly is "free" speech and for whom? Lastly, there are different types of love - sophomoric (poorly informed, immature, pretentious, overly confident), and committed love: that grows and deepens and strives for a fuller understanding; a love that holds on and strives to evoke the maximum potential as in America being its best self.

We have arrived at the point where the utter tedium and desperation of personal attacks against the president about his life story and his loyalty are no longer news. The histrionics have shed their ability to shock. Most right-minded Americans — ethically speaking, not ideologically speaking — have moved on. But occasionally the insults prove to be accidentally instructive.

Take for instance what Rudy Giuliani (“America’s mayor”) said about the president last week at a dinner for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin (a contender for America’s president). At the dinner — attended, according to Politico, by “about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types” — Giuliani said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” He continued, “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Yes, Mr. Mayor, it was a horrible thing to say, which is why you backpedaled. On Fox, Giuliani gave a meandering, mealy-mouthed defense of this vile statement, claiming, preposterously, that “I’m not questioning his patriotism,” explaining that he hears Obama “criticize America much more often than other American presidents” and questioning the president’s faith in American exceptionalism.

Ah, American exceptionalism again.

This is in part about a fundamental difference in views. It is a definitional difference, not about the meaning of love but about the meaning of America and its place in the world. Does exceptionalism — if one accepts the premise — bestow exemption from critique? Is uniqueness perfection? Does our difference require some sort of arresting of development?

As the Pew Research Center pointed out in July, “the view that the U.S. is exceptional — standing above all other countries in the world — has declined 10 points since 2011.” At that time last year, 58 percent of Americans believed America is “one of the greatest countries in the world, along with others,” while only 28 percent believed America “stands above all other countries in the world.” (Whether this is truly a measure of exceptionalism or diminished standing isn’t completely clear to me.)

And what does it mean to love the country? We’re not talking about touristic love of the place — not the mountains and the valleys, the cities and the suburbs, the mighty rivers and the shores that kiss the oceans — but a love of the idea of America.

In a way, this is an ideological battle. Conservatism is rooted in preservation; progressivism advances alteration. These are different love languages. These languages turn on your view of change itself: When you think of America, do you see a country struggling to be maintained or one striving to be made better?

The president not only ran for office on the idea of change, but his presence — in both visage and values — is the manifestation of change. He not only represents a very real affront to the status quo and traditional power but is also not shy about pointing out where America can improve.

Our allegiance needn’t — mustn’t — be blind to be true. We must acknowledge our warts if we are to proclaim our beauty. Our aggrandizement must be grounded. We must be willing to laud America where it has soared and rebuke it where it has faltered.

America is a great country in many ways. But it is far from perfect.

America is a living idea. It isn’t only the tenets of its founding, but also the terms of its future. Every day, we make America.

Seeking to preserve and enshrine one vision of this country from one period of its past robs it of what makes it magical: its infinite possibility for adjustment.

“All men are created equal” is an exquisite idea, but one that wasn’t fully embraced when the words were written. We, the American people, have pushed this country to consider that clause in the broadest possible interpretation for hundreds of years.

We are engaged in a constant struggle to force America to “be true to what you said on paper,” as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it.

The concept of forming “a more perfect union” has embedded in it the idea of ambition but not perfection itself. There is room for betterment. America is not static. America is striving.

And sometimes, America requires critique. Jingoism is an avoidance of realism.

You can simultaneously love and be disappointed in the object of your love, wanting it to be better than it is. In fact, that is a measure of love. Honest critique is a pillar of patriotism.

As James Baldwin put it, “I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

You may visit Charles Blow on: Facebook and follow him on Twitter, or e-mail him at chblow@nytimes.com 
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/opinion/charles-blow-who-loves-am...?
OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our Civic Engagement section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/index.html We are about Civic Engagement & Public Good.
http://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos - OneWorld’s YouTube – See us also on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OneWorld-Progressive-Institute-Inc/151551484879941

Views: 38

Comment

You need to be a member of GNH Community to add comments!

Join GNH Community

Welcome (Bienvenido, Benvenuto, Powitanie, Bonjour! Willkomme,歡迎, ברוךהבא أهلا وسهلا, Bonvenon) to GNH Community. Traducción de esta página

Imagine. Inform. Invest. Inspire.

Working together to build a stronger community - now and forever

 

 

Open Street Project

An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit

By Ryan O’Connor, Director of Programs, 8 80 Cities Recently 8 80 Cities wrote a blog post about open streets being a labour of love. That being the case, the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans felt like a family reunion of sorts. It was rejuvenating to see old and new friends who share our passion for open streets and are working tirelessly to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities across the world. The event, which took place on September 15-16, brought together more than 50 leaders who currently organize open streets programs or are interested in bringing the...

The post An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda

We hope you are getting ready and feel excited about the Open Streets Summit in Gretna/New Orleans! Taking place from September 15-16, 2018, the Summit will feature tours, presentations and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Attendees will learn about the nuts and bolts of starting or scaling up open streets programs, including: Route design and planning Partnerships with business and officials Social inclusion Safety and logistics Marketing and promotion Program evaluation through measurable goals and metrics If you haven’t done it yet, click here to register for the Open Streets Summit only or...

The post Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced!

The Open Streets Project is proud to announce that Ed Solis from Viva Calle (San Jose, CA), Romel Pascual from CicLAvia (Los Angeles, CA), Jaymie Santiago and Charles Brown from New Brunswick Ciclovia will join us as speakers for the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans and Gretna! Taking place from September 15-16 2018, the Summit will feature: Behind the scenes tour of the City of Gretna’s inaugural open streets program. Workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Training and inspiration for both -novice and experienced- open streets organizers and supporters...

The post Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced! appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

LISC Indianapolis Awarded $6.5M from Lilly Endowment

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis has received a grant of $6.5M from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis. The grant will support LISC to enhance and expand the Bridges to Career Opportunities Network.

Give a Ride, Close a Gap

In a blog describing the new $11 million Vaccine Access Fund, a partnership of LISC, Uber, Paypal and Walgreens, LISC's President & CEO Lisa L. Glover details how the fund tackles more than the transportation gap that is keeping tens of thousands of Americans from accessing COVID-19 vaccines. "The fund offers a practical solution to an immediate problem," writes Glover. "But this is absolutely part of our larger efforts to address equity as well."

A Letter to the White House Announces $11 Million Vaccine Access Fund

In a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration, which has called for corporate America to help in the fight to end the pandemic, the CEOs of Uber, Paypal, Walgreens and LISC announced a new Vaccine Access Fund that will connect people with free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites. LISC will administer the fund, helping close the gap for thousands of people, many of them seniors and others living in under-resourced communities, who have not been vaccinated yet because of lack of transportation.

© 2021   Created by Lee Cruz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service