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America - Love it or Leave it
Doubting Thomas
I submitted this article for the articles page, but wanted to share it here as well.

America - Love it or Leave it

Often in political or religious discussions or debates on the internet, you will see someone on the conservative side say something to the effect of "If you don't like the way we do things here, then go live somewhere else." It's very much the same "America - love it or leave it" attitude of the 1960's. This usually pops up whenever conservatives are discussing things like forced prayer in school, gay marriage, or whenever there's a legal challenge to religious displays on public property or the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I'm sure perhaps at some point in time the "If you don't like it then leave" non-argument has been used by someone of liberal persuasions, but this is very rare. More often than not it always comes from the conservative side, aka the "silent majority." And for that reason I will focus this article as the statement coming from conservatives, though it's wrong no matter who says it.

It's highly unlikely that anyone will actually leave the country and go live somewhere else because they dislike conservative policies and were told that they either have to put up with it or leave. I certainly don't plan on leaving the country of my birth just because some right-wing extremist believes I should. But while they may actually think that you or I should go ahead and leave, they really don't expect us to. Rather, people like to say this either out of frustration of not actually being able to change society or because they feel a sense of entitlement due to their conservative Christian beliefs. You'll often see the claim that America is a Christian nation (it's not) or founded as a Christian nation (it wasn't), so anyone who disagrees with these ideals aren't true Americans and as such don't belong here, regardless of their citizenship. But those true red-blooded Christian Americans seem to have special privilege to not only stay and live here in the country of their birth, but also to dictate the way everyone else should live their lives here as well. Funny how this right only applies to them, and anyone who disagrees with their views needs to "get the hell out."

It is interesting how the idea of "love it or leave it" usually comes up when the person using it tends to have weak or invalid arguments. It's almost like they're saying, "I can't refute what you say, so you should just leave the country so we can run it the way we want without opposition." Actually, this is what they're really saying, whether they want to admit it or not. And whether they like to admit it or not, this is in direct conflict with the United States Constitution. Freedom of speech is one of our most cherished and important freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution, and with it freedom of expression. Having differing political or religious views is important to a democracy. It doesn't do any country any good to only let one viewpoint be heard and to quash all others. Without democracy, minority voices suffer. The idea of "love it or leave it" vainly tries to stifle all opposition and doesn't care about any minority or majority idea. It's the same as "my way or the highway," as if any other opinions don't count.

As stated above, "love it or leave it" is usually always used by Conservatives. However, wouldn't it be funny to see their reaction when you turn it back on them? You say you don't like not having prayer in school? Then leave. You say you don't like a country that has safe & legal abortions? Then leave. You say you don't like not being allowed to post the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols on public property? Then leave. Yet you never see the argument turned around this way. It's probably due to the conservative Christians' sense of entitlement and because they think that they're the ones who get to decide, not to mention that it's always been the position of the "silent majority." Yet when it comes to something they don't like, they think they get to change it by passing laws or challenging court verdicts all the way to the Supreme Court. Yet when liberals do the same thing, they are seen as trying to change the status quo to something terrible with the help of "activist judges." And since they're trying to change something Conservatives hold dear, the old "get out" argument is trotted out.

Perhaps conservative Christians could just all leave and start their own country, I'm guessing a theocracy by the way they want to instill Christianity into our American government. Then they'd have every right to say, "If you don't like the way we do things here, then get out." Perhaps there's an uninhabited island somewhere they could all go to. It would be interesting to see what a Christian theocracy would be like. It has been tried before on a smaller scale as a place called Jonestown, but we all know how that turned out.

Now I really don't think that anyone should seriously try to use this argument toward Conservatives, since as I stated above it goes against what the U.S. Constitution stands for. But if we could only hold up a mirror to them and show them how inane this statement really is, perhaps maybe they'll get the point. And if they don't, then maybe they need to just get out.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Sinny
I think today it mainly pertains to people from other Countries coming into the US and won't abide by the US laws, Culture, etc. But it's also said to US Citizens when they can't or won't admit when something is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated.

I for one hate when it's said to women in reference to how much harder women from other Countries have it. It makes more sense to me to correct problems here and maybe eventually help women and men from other Countries rather be told go live "there" like "them".
 
Cynic
Give 'em hell, DT! Good article.
 
catman
DT: Very good article. I couldn't agree more.
 
Hypatia
Great article DT, and I like your point of 'mirroring' back to those who will purport the sentiment of, 'If you don't like our way, and don't want to live by it too, then go somewhere else', though I agree we don't really want to do it as they do.

 
Doubting Thomas
Thank you very much. I often think of things like this while working and try to type it up when I get a chance. I typed this up rather hurriedly and did a cursory reread, so I hope it's coherent enough.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Cynic
It's plenty coherent, if a little loose. As the King of over-verbosity, I say that without prejudice. Smile Have you considered tightening it up to whatever the word restrictions are and submitting it to some newspapers?
 
Hypatia
I think it's perfectly coherent DT.

 
Doubting Thomas
I'm pretty sure no newspapers around here would print it.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
derF
DT Said: But if we could only hold up a mirror to them and show them how inane this statement really is, perhaps maybe they'll get the point.


They wouldn't get the point if it was shoved up their ass. (sorry)
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Sinny
I'm sorry DT I didn't let you know I thought your article was very good. I haven't been with it lately and didn't mean to disregard the fact that I did like your article.

Also I am one of those people who say if you don't like it leave. Yeah I'm one of them when it comes to people who come here and dump all over over our culture, laws. I won't change when it comes to certain attitudes people have towards me, us and our Country. I understand they were raised a certain way and have their own culture but fuck when they come to live here and bitch about us I just don't think it's right or should be tolerated.
 
Hypatia
DT would have to be the one to say for sure, but I think he was talking about people who tend to say, 'America, love it or leave it' in regards to religion and/or patriotism, and especially the two lumped together - 'If you ain't religious and 'god' fearing, you ain't a real 'mercan', so you can just git out'.

 
JohnH
I live about 1 mile from where I was born. All my family is near by, except my brother, and all of them were born within about 20 miles from where they live. The idea that if one does not agree then one should leave where they are from is insulting to me.

I love the place that I have lived in all my life. I will defend that place with my life. Someone who suggests that because I do no agree with them I should move elsewhere may get punched.
 
Doubting Thomas
Yes, Sinny, I wasn't referring to immigrants or foreigners living here and complaining about our society, I was referring to conservatives on message boards in political debates who, knowing full well or at least should know that the person on the other side of the debate is an American, claims that if they don't like the way America is then they should find another country in which to live. And my main point is that they always seem to think that if there's something they don't like they have every right to change it, while if liberals don't like something they should either just put up with it or leave.

Oh and I use the term "liberal" very loosely here, in the thinking of conservatives who believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a liberal.
Edited by Doubting Thomas on 01/08/2010 09:31
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Sinny
Doubting Thomas wrote:
Yes, Sinny, I wasn't referring to immigrants or foreigners living here and complaining about our society, I was referring to conservatives on message boards in political debates who, knowing full well or at least should know that the person on the other side of the debate is an American, claims that if they don't like the way America is then they should find another country in which to live. And my main point is that they always seem to think that if there's something they don't like they have every right to change it, while if liberals don't like something they should either just put up with it or leave.

Oh and I use the term "liberal" very loosely here, in the thinking of conservatives who believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a liberal.


I know DT I was merely pointing out not everyone says it for the reasons you stated and I meant to acknowledge while I do agree sometime's people don't say it for the reasons you may think they do.
 
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