“OMG OMG OMG!!!! USA USA USA USA U!S!A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“WOW. Go America.”
These are just a few of the Facebook status updates right after the USA win over Algeria earlier this week. We’re only a few games into the World Cup, and I’m not sure if I can take the USA chanting for much longer. Not because I’m unpatriotic—I think it would be pretty damn cool if the US won. But, what really upsets me is what is causing our country to unite in patriotic chants.
A victory over Algeria = euphoric pride. A victory over a history of racism by electing our first black president = a lot of anger, hate, and, ironically, more racism.
A near defeat on the soccer field against England = universal “good effort” attitude and resolve to do what it takes to win in the future. A near defeat on the battle field against Afghanistan = universal apathy and, apparently, resolve to continue down a path that has yielded few results other than a lot of lost lives and a lot of lost dollars.
Why can’t we unite and work toward the things that actually matter? Toward better education for our nation’s kids … toward a healthier and happier society … toward creating the best country possible.
In fact, when it comes to the things that actually matter, so many people are actively trying to divide our country, marginalize entire populations, and further the hate. Unfortunately, I have to include myself in this group for all of the hateful (albeit funny!) things I said about former President George W. Bush—and I’d like to take this opportunity to officially apologize for the hate I spewed. Ultimately, it did no good for the country—the same way Bush did no good. Sorry, I promise, that was the last dig!
Anyway, back on topic… One thing I think we can all agree on is that our country has become more and more divided recently. Now, our leaders aren’t working to find good solutions for our nation—they’re working to defeat the other party. It’s a massive game of politics.
It follows, then, that we haven’t gotten much accomplished in the last decade—or longer. The little that has been “accomplished” reflects a long political battle, instead of a long look at what is viable and needed (health reform, I’m talking about you).
It’s time that our nation’s patriotism means more than winning a sporting event. I sincerely hope that we can turn this fervor for an American victory on the soccer field into a fervor for an America that is victorious for its people.