September 24, 2005

Blame America First

The phrase “Blame America First” is used by (often jingoistic) people who dislike criticism of this country’s policies. It is a play on “America First” which is a nationalistic, isolationist movement.

“Blame America First” means: “You people are first to blame America for pretty much everything.” The first time i am aware of it being used was when Jeane Kirkpatrick used it in 1984 at the Republican National Convention, before she switched over to the Republican Party.

Today I hear it all the time online in useless missives by folks who think dissent is a form of weakness and disloyalty. It ignores the concept that you can love America but hate what the government is doing to it. It equates America with its government.

However, the thought process at work here is a lot like saying that people who hate what happened on 9/11 are people who hate airplanes. Airplanes aren’t responsible for what happened on 9/11, it’s the people who hijacked those planes who are responsible.

Likewise, when critics let fly their words against the policies of our government, we are defending America, not denigrating it. Who else but dissenters will be here to defend America from the people who took power on a thin margin and called it a mandate?

Posted by James at September 24, 2005 10:29 AM
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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." —Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: Karen at September 24, 2005 6:05 PM

Hey, Jean Kirkpatrick! Whenever I see her name, I think of Bill the Cat!

Posted by: Patti M. at September 24, 2005 8:43 PM

Today I hear it all the time online in useless missives by folks who think dissent is a form of weakness and disloyalty. It ignores the concept that you can love America but hate what the government is doing to it. It equates America with its government.

Right on, James.

To those who would equate dissent and critial thinking wih disloyalty, I quote their esteemed Vice President and say "Go fuck yourself."

Posted by: Patti M. at September 24, 2005 8:53 PM

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