Monday, January 19, 2009

A different kind of patriotism

Those of you who know me would probably not use the word "patriotic" when asked to describe me. I don't say the pledge, or, if I do, it's just so my students will do it so I don't have to. I don't wear anything red, white, and blue--ever (it's tacky, no matter how much you love America). I don't have a flag, look forward to the fourth of July strictly for the blowing up of stuff, and only care about Veterans' Day because it means I don't have to go to work.

But lately I have been getting all sappy. First, the plane crash in the Hudson river last week made me all "Go America!" because we can sure do infrastructure. There may be problems with our government, but it is directly responsible for enacting the systems that keep us safe on a daily basis. It's like someone has child-proofed the entire country. I am still amazed that on September 11, only three-thousand-something people lost their lives, when places like Turkey or India can have earthquakes or mudslides that kill ten thousand. Then today, on the way to my test, NPR broadcast the entirety of Martin Luther King's speech on the national mall in 1963, pointing out how fitting it was that, the day after what would have been King's 80th birthday, Obama will take the oath of office.

(I still can't believe he's going to be president. It's like what I imagined democracy was supposed to be like back when I took government my senior year.)

Even better than my sappy feelings of goose-bumpiness and gushing, teeny-bopperish rhetoric about coming changes is seeing other people who are this excited, too.

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