There are people in the world who hate the United States. Our shining beacon of open, representative government has proven the fallacy of autocracies of every stripe.

Russian Vladimir Putin hates Americans for exercising the freedoms that he denies his subjugated subjects. Our open society is a dangerous example for people he would rather keep under his thumb.  Humiliated when his KGB failed to prop up the Soviet Union and stop the first Russian push toward democracy, Putin’s new secret police wages an unrelenting campaign of disinformation to discredit our government at home and abroad.  It is designed to create anti-American sentiment, and some clueless Americans even abet in the process. Even the Trump White House finally acknowledges that the successful interference in our elections was a primary goal of Russia last year.

National security expert Malcolm Nance has documented their attacks on the American way of life in recent books. Look him up. Also among those who hate the U.S. are many in the Arab world, who will never forgive us our support for Israel and who view our debacle in Iraq as an example of an old crusader mentality. In their world, religious zealots set the tone, as demanding in their insistence upon conformity as any commissars. Our open, representative government, our joy in living as individuals as we see fit, threaten their power.

Over the past 40 years, a home-grown coalition opposing American values – abetted by foreigners who have never had our best interests at heart — has formed around the globalization of the economy. Once-American industries are now international outfits with loyalty only to their bottom lines.

As with the Russians, they, too, employ legions of propagandists to sway Americans to vote against their self-interests.  First, they convinced American workers that unions, which would protect their jobs, were enemies. Then, with the workers at their mercy, they convinced them that governmental protections were detrimental to their well-being. These companies fly their own flags, and often from distant locales. Their rise as international profiteers has glorified the rampant, rabid greed among many of our once loyal citizens.

While mulling over this column, I happened upon Merle Haggard singing, “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” in which he echoes the conservative sentiment of the Seventies: “If you don’t love it, leave it.”

How many folks who sang along with ol’ Merle, now spend too much of their time bashing this greatest country in the world? Much of their rhetoric is supplied by propagandists for the corporations who take their profits and hightail it out of here. The over-regulation they decry represents the well-considered defenses our government established to protect the great majority of us from blatant, dangerous exploitation.
Convincing their victims to join them in their anti-American crusade is one of the true coups in history.

Thanks to our Constitution and the government it created, we have a great and wonderful country – regardless of what our privateer-in-chief or an Australian-owned propaganda machine might claim.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.

U.S. principles threaten autocrats

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