I’m about to admit something that could possibly get me a lot of hate mail. I am not proud of my country. And though a lot of it has to do with the current political climate, it’s something I’ve felt for most of my life.
I’m talking about the rabid, deep-seeded “America is the best country in the world!” kind of pride. I love America. I love living here… most of the time. But I’ve never been able to feel that whole “Proud to be an American” emotion people go on about. Because I can’t be completely loyal to this country, because I’m a child of two.
I’m a dual citizen of America and Australia. I’ve never lived in Australia, but I’ve been there several times visiting family. When I was a child, forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance in class, I would most often just move my lips, because I felt like I was betraying my other country, which I love just as much as the one I live in. I didn’t realize back then that I didn’t have to say the pledge if I didn’t want to. It really wasn’t until I got into college that I realized I didn’t have to say it at all. So I stopped. Because I’m loyal to both, not just the one.
The only time I ever feel conflicted is during sporting events or other competitions. I’ll root for the Australians. I’ll root for the Americans. And when they’re up against each other… I can’t really choose. It’s tough, living in a divided household sometimes.
Lately, however, I’ve been wishing I did live in Australia. Australia’s prime minister is nutty, but the political climate Down Under doesn’t seem to be nearly as bat-shit insane as it is here in America. I will never be one of those people who promises to leave the country if something they don’t like happens, but I will admit, it is nice to have the option, if things get even more insane than they already are.
The way the politicians are acting in Washington actually makes me ashamed to be American at the moment. I wish there was a way to reach through my TV or the Internet and just shake some ever-lovin’ sense into them. This country is in trouble and our so-called leaders are too busy playing partisan politics and acting like spoiled children to care about us. The American people. Or half-Americans in my case and permanent residents in my mother’s.
Sadly, I think this is something we’re going to have to deal with for a long time. And I’m afraid it will only get worse before it gets better… if it ever does. So many Americans have stopped thinking for themselves, allowing television and radio personalities to do their thinking for them. And until they are willing to turn the TV or radio off and check out the facts for themselves instead of parroting what is often wrong or misleading information, I’ll be clinging harder to the Australian flag. And eating more Vegemite, which, trust me, is only good in small doses.