I should preface this by noting that I’m a Canadian living and working in the US. I’ve always admired America and not just because your dollar seems to be worth about 50% more than the colour coded Canadian funny money.
What I admire about America and Americans in general is their indominable pride. Yes all that flag waving and overly developed sense of self importance can be annoying on the surface but underneath it all is… well, the basement… but under that is something we Canadians just don’t get. It’s pride in one’s identity. Yes, yes, many of my fellow Canadians will say they are proud of being a Canadian. So am I. But it’s not the same type of pride I sense from the Americans.
I’ll use two examples…Firstly, my four year old daughter (Canadian as well) recites the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Now I could do without that “…one nation under God…” shite but what’s cool (and scary) is that all the little tykes in her class take it so seriously. I’m not about to try to explain to her that she is under no obligation to recite this speach - most obvious reason is that she is not an American.
Secondly, I admit that I delight in watching The West Wing TV show. Now I know it’s a very loose interpretation of how thing happen in the White House. I’m sure somebody here will come along and tell me how really loose it is. I’m under no illusions here. But consider this… we Canadian don’t have a show that even remotely rivals this. We don’t have a show (to the best of my knowledge) that makes us feel in any way proud or even remotely nationalistic about being Canadian. I would love to see a show about our PM kicking ass and taking names. Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen any time soon (have you seen our PM?.. the man is an embarassment when speaking publicly!)
Now to a great extent I like not being overly nationalistic because I know that extreme nationalism can lead to some very unpleasant consequences. On the other hand I can’t help but admire you Americans. It must be great to believe (to some extent) that you really are “…One nation under God…” - whatever that means…