I was born in the South in the mid-50s. I spent my formative years going through the turmoil of the civil rights movement and the peace movement of the 60s in the South. Many of the men (and women) who were portrayed to me as heros during that time turned out to be no more than racist and bigots or opportunists riding the segragationalist bandwagon of the time. I’ve come to expect my leaders to have feet of clay.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I excuse my leader’s failings, I just know that regardless of how good of a job they are doing as a leader at any time a skeleton could pop out of their closet. They will be held accountable for whatever that skeleton represents to the extent that they should be held accountable but I’m going to recognize that the good they have done is going to stand on its own just as the bad.
What am I rambling on about? Well, some folks lately have been pointing out how much they dislike America because of the evil that we have done when all along America was suppose to be the good guy in the white hat riding in to save the day. They hate America because of their disappointment in it. I can understand this, when someone disappoints me it is hard for me to remember what accomplishments they made that makes their shortcomings a dissappointment.
Anger toward my country has always made me feel uneasy, especially when it becomes as venemous as it is becoming on some weblogs these days. The cynicism directed towards the US and its leaders, though perhaps deserved, is especially disheartening because I’m not in complete disagreement with what my leaders are doing. So I’m stuck feeling a need to defend a leader who has done things that I find indefensible but who is also doing things that I believe are necessary in order for the US to meet its obligations to the world.
I guess what I’m really hoping for is for some of the folks who have becomes so disenchanted with the US to stop and try to think of one world leader, current or past, who didn’t prove out to have feet of clay at some point in their life. I can’t think of a one.