Every morning, I see you while I take my morning run. Every morning, you glare at me reprovingly as you hang your American flag proudly in front of your garage. Every morning, you avoid the friendly hello I want to give you because you are so preoccupied with your patriotic duty to raise the flag.
Now, I know there is no way for me to know what you actually think about me, but due to the way the scene always unfolds, I feel like you are judging me for not being as patriotic as you are. Perhaps you are concerned that I care less for the country and its ideals than you do. Perhaps you had a stint in the armed forces and feel that I am not dedicated enough to lay down my life for my country. Perhaps you are right.
You see, when someone dismisses me as you are for not vowing myself to a set of ideals, I am much less motivated to abide by the aforementioned ideals. Especially when these ideals that they promote are the opposite of the ideals they say they are promoting; Christian government leadership abolishes religious freedom, reduced taxes increases big business's control of the government, and "family values" threaten to tear apart the nuclear family as we know it. In addition, creating a set of ideals which separates itself from the people inherently dismisses the people as somehow less than human; it is a method by which governments gain more and more control over the lives of its citizens. By creating a set of ideals, you create a way by which we can deem who is "worthy" of calling themselves American--and I've always learned that America is a refuge for people considered unworthy by their own nations.
So pardon me for disapproving of your totalitarian agenda, disguised behind your mantra of freedom and liberty. Pardon me for thinking of my country as a beacon of hope for all of the oppressed citizens of the world. Pardon me for assuming that when the founding fathers set up our government, they meant for our government to represent its people, who all have different opinions and have a right to them.
Perhaps you want me to leave the country for thinking differently than you. Well, if this is the country you live in, so be it. And I hope you cling tightly to your American flag; soon, it may be all you have.
God bless America. We need it.
Clarinet: after lunch
German: after lunch