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Boston Globe Comment Board Greatest Hits: What Are Readers Saying About Neal Gabler's "One Nation, Under Illusion"

 

Only one thing pulled me out of my depressed post-holiday mud-bath this morning: Neal Gabler's poignant Boston Globe op-ed about how this truly is a nation full of overgrown children. The premise - that there's nothing lamer than the old "America is the best country on the planet" line - is hardly new, as comics and contrarians have been stating the obvious for years (Chris Rock's opponent in Head of State said it best: "God bless America, and no place else"). But Gabler injected an original, compelling argument, which has excited thinking folks and enraged confused flag-wavers. Here are some of the loudest barks (italics mine):

It's called patriotism. That explains why the French think France is the greatest nation on Earth, why the Chinese think China is the greatest nation in history,and why Russians think they should have won the Cold War. As Americans we are supposed to have pride in our nation, no matter who is running it. Are there things we can fix? Of course, but that doesn't mean we have to go emo and claim this nation is the worse thing to ever happen in history.
 
As a followup to this article, the author should write, "One city, under illusion" about the Boston area. I've lived in many parts of the US and I have never witnessed the arrogance anywhere else that permeates the native Boston populace. I've met so many people here that have never been out of the area but think that the best of everything can be found here.
 
JBrighton wrote:
Wow...this guy is embarrassed by us?

The fact of the matter is that this is the greatest country in the world because if you work hard, you can achieve so many things that would be impossible in other countries. In other countries, politics or classism (ie = India, England) hold people down.

But I am in agreement with his comments about Boston - it is full of rude and arrogant people.
 
BeanoEMilton wrote:
There is a simple solution to this Mr Gabler Move!! We dont need your American Hating types here. Be thankfull for what you got, and for what our forefathers fought for.
 
RJG33 wrote:
Feel free to leave, Neal. Unlike some other "exceptional" nations, we don't need to build walls to keep our citizens in, nor limit citizenship based upon race or religion. But you and your ilk are so much more enlightened than us poor patriotic sheeple...

Don't let the door hit your a** on the way out.
 
Aquarianus wrote:
Another spineless, self-hating American has been heard from. Mr. Gabler, if you are embarrassed to be an American, please move to Europe. But please get off your knees and stop embarrassing the rest of us who are proud to be what we are, and where we are.
 
skinec wrote:
The conservative ignorance and immaturity on display in the comments is just pathetic! I guess the bars haven't opened at the veterans halls yet and the patrons are cranky!
 
fastphil10 wrote:
Maybe the next tsunami survivors will have the Canadians send massive amounts of help. Or maybe the Norwegians will come up with an AIDS cure or the next great drug break through. Maybe the Europeans and Japanese will pay for their own defense. Maybe the Israelis and Egyptians will get huge amounts of foreign aid from the Chinese? Perhaps the French will pick up 30% of the UN budget? Maybe it is time for the Kumbaya crowd to point out another country for its
exceptionalism.
 
baldinoc wrote:
This is a great article which I will e-mail to all my conservative blockhead Republican friends who subscribe to the theory that any criticism of America is unpatriotic. Conservatives descry black people playing the "race card," but seem to ignore the "anti-semite" card, the "anti-Catholic" card, and the card they play most frequently, the "anti-American" card.
 
Richmond12 wrote:
Mr. Gabler is one of those rare writers who write so well, they can make really inane arguments appear to be serious. The one deal breaker for me was when he described American exceptionalism as the reason for policies he dislikes, ie the liberation of Iraq, the "foot dragging" on global warming. This implies that if we could only admit we were no better than any country, we would act in ways he accepts. Are you laughing yet?
 
Globereeks wrote:
How anyone can call this well written is beyond me. The logic is so flawed as to be laughable.

Romantico wrote:
All this self back slapping about how we are greater than all other countries has lead to complacency.
We are too good to do manufacturing jobs.
We are too good to do farming.
We are too good to work hard.
 
PowerCord (whose picture is of a pimped out Hummer) wrote:
Is this a call to some kind of action or simply a complaint?
A great country is not built on apologetic self-loathing. The notion that America's 'image' somehow needs to be restored speaks loudly of the policies of liberal democrats who are more concerned with pleasing foriegn populaces than advancing and protecting our own.
 
alibaba62 wrote:
There is nothing worse than rampant, blind nationalism. It smacks of the Nazi party. The best defense is an educated people who can think for themselves, and who participate in the democratic process and are active in their communities. There is an old saying that "people get the government they deserve".
 
This guy is an imbecilic buffoon!

America is indeed the best in most areas for many different reasons. Humanity would be well-served by following our lead.

This clown should self-deport himself...
 
BadChile wrote:
As a number of comments above show, there is something Americans are best at: fighting the notion that perhaps we are not "best" at something.
 
neobserver wrote:
Thank you Mr. Gabler for making us THINK.

Unfortunately, I don't believe we rank very high in that category either.
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