Monday, July 19, 2010

Is This the Worst Song Ever?

God Bless the USA

British author Samuel Johnson is famously noted as saying, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."  In the present day United States, I think it is better stated that patriotism is the best refuge of a scoundrel.  Or maybe it should say, patriotism is the last refuge of a hack.  Lee Greenwood's song stirs up plenty of emotion in our post 9/11 world, but let us get a few things straight about this song.

Greenwood says that he is proud to be an American, where at least he knows he's free. And he won't forget the men who died who gave that right to him.

The biggest flaw in this is that no person can give another person any rights.  I do not know which men he is talking about.  It may be the founding fathers or the soldiers of the many wars we have fought, but I assume that the men he refers to are connected to our government.

Depending on what you believe, your rights are either natural or god-given.  They are not given to you by any man or by any government.  Government can only take rights away.  They all do this to some extent.  The Bill of Rights in our constitution protected certain rights, but it did not give any rights. 

Greenwood also states that he knows he is free.  He may think so, but anybody who lives under a powerful government is only as free as those in power allow him to be.  Considering we live under arguably the largest, most powerful, most intrusive government that has ever existed, his position is tenuous.  Then considering that this country not only has the largest prison population on the planet, but also the largest percentage of the population behind bars, maybe we are not as free as we have been told we are.

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