I'm not a soccer fan. Actually, I'm not an any kind of sport fan. I don't mind watching a game now and then, but I don't even have cable, much less the sports channels that some find necessary. I'm not following the World Cup. I didn't see the goal. I heard about it on NPR, but I am pretty sure that it's not the same as watching it with a bunch of devoted fans at a neighborhood pub (wait, does the United States have pubs or just United Kingdom?).
This brought tears to my eyes. Why?
Because we are in a time, under an administration, that is teaching us to hate our country. We are to be citizens of the world, we are to think globally, we are to apologize to anyone who may be poorer, less educated, or more oppressed than American citizens. Our president kowtows to leaders of other nations, as if he were the leader of an inferior nation. If we are proud of our country, we need to repent because we are no better than any other country in the world. But, you know what? We are better than many other countries in the world. If only for the fact that I am typing this without fear, we are better than other countries; for the fact that I will be pulling out four pairs of pink church shoes on the same day that my neighbor sits at home, drinks his beer and watches COPS. I can be proud of my country because we have a volunteer military (and volunteer military spouses) during war. Most major inventions and human advances have found their roots here, in this free land. Yes, we have problems and we have certainly made mistakes, but I don't understand why it is wrong to be filled with a spirit of patriotism for my beloved USA. We are a land of good people who have been blessed with a good form of government.
When Walter Mondale was running against Ronald Reagan, he was way, way down in the polls. At one political gathering, he touted a long list of desires that he shared with that particular group, yet they refused to give him their vote. Mondale, exasperated, finally asked the audience why they were going to vote for Reagan, despite disagreeing with most of his policies. One man in the back spoke up, "Because we feel good about ourselves." (Just a few years before, Jimmy Carter gave his famous "Malaise Speech" where he lectured Americans on the need to be better instead of inspiring the hope and confidence--as a President should.)
So, today, on my sometimes political blog, I give you the reaction to one goal. Millions of us are chanting "U.S.A.!" not just because the ball went into the net, but because The United States of America rocks . . . and we are proud to shout it out to the world.
Please, feel free to disagree with me. (Pun absolutely intended.)