Mike Kueber's Blog

July 28, 2011

America – love it or leave it

As I was driving along Loop 1604 a few days ago, I was passed by one of the ubiquitous vehicles in San Antonio with Mexican license plates.  I have also noticed that, during my morning workouts at Lifetime Fitness, most of the women working out communicate in Spanish.  These observations suggest to me that news reports of well-to-do Mexicans deserting their country en masse for America are true.

America must be doing something right because it has been, and still is, the destination of choice throughout the world.  But there are signs of trouble in paradise.

Back when I was a kid, the phrase, “America – love it or leave it,” was thrown by conservatives at people who were protesting in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam War.  In fact, many draft-age kids did leave America for Canada to dodge the draft.

It’s ironic that today it is the conservatives who talk about leaving America.  Texas governor Rick Perry has famously suggested, mostly in jest, that Texas may rely on some illusory treaty power to secede from the union if America continues its leftward tilt.  And I have a well-connected conservative friend who says the same thing – i.e., when the people looking for government handouts attain majority status in this democracy, it will be time to begin looking for another country that is less of a welfare state.  When I ask him to name that country, he says he’s not sure – maybe Australia.

My friend is no more serious than Governor Perry (or Alec Baldwin, who threatened to leave if Bush-43 were elected), but I wish people would be more willing to accept the democratic notion that we have elections to determine the will of the majority and that losing an election is not just cause for wanting America to fail (as Rush Limbaugh comes close to doing).



  1. Mike, do you actually listen to Rush or do you just accept what the leftist media say about him? Rush has never said, or even hinted, that he hopes America fails. What he has said is that he hopes Obama’s leftist policies fail–and America wins.

    Re “Mexicans deserting their country en masse for America is true”: It is my observation is that too many of them do not come here to become American. Instead, they bring Mexico with them. This quote from Theodore Roosevelt is just as relevant today as it was when he said it in 1907:

    “In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag…. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    Comment by Semolina Pilchard — July 28, 2011 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

    • I don’t listen to Rush at home, but I have started listening to him (and Beck, Hannity, and Levin) during long driving trips. I have found that them to be quite stimulating, even better than caffeine. When you and Rush hope for Obama’s so-called leftist policies to fail, you are hoping for America to temporarily fail. Just like KB saying he doesn’t want the market to go up too much, or Obama will get the credit.

      I agree that a lot of Mexicans seem to be moving here temporarily. Indians are known to come and go, too. Because of enhanced modern mobility, there probably isn’t as much commitment in moving here, but even in the olden days some immigrants returned home in disappointment.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — July 28, 2011 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  2. I disagree that if Obama’s leftists policies fail (meaning they never get enacted) that America fails even temporarily. Why should we want to become a quasi-socialist state like many European nations are? Their welfare-state policies “are coming home to roost” and are failing them.

    As Winston Churchill said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. ”

    As Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    Comment by Semolina Pilchard — July 28, 2011 @ 9:01 pm | Reply

    • I wasn’t referring to Obama policies that never get enacted; I was referring to enacted policies, like the stimulus. Rush and KB probably wanted it to fail – did you?

      Comment by Mike Kueber — July 28, 2011 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  3. I just don’t get it. Those that go one and on about Obama’s “leftist” policies, and penchant for “socialism” are draining words of their meaning.

    Obama’s policies have been standard center-liberal. And the new definition of “socialism” seems to be anything that diverges in any respect from straight-line Laissez-faire capitalism. Remember, that on an ideological spectrum, untrammeled capitalism lay at one extreme, and the true socialist extreme has all of the means of production in the hands of the government (as a proxy for “the people.”) The current fashion among the right is to call anything that’s two degrees separated from absolute markets “socialism,” when it is actually the same thing it’s always been: reform liberalism.

    Likewise with the absolute assertions that the European welfare state has “failed,” or that the stimulus accomplished “nothing.” These are polemical assertions, and I would hope that people who choose to engage on a political-social blog like this one are at least open-minded enough to understand and consider the views of others.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 29, 2011 @ 12:23 am | Reply

    • Anonymous, I agree that the traditional definition of socialism is no longer operative. When conservatives talk about socialism, we are referring to the modern welfare state in Europe. I agree that it is debatable whether the modern welfare state in Europe has failed. Time will tell. Because Europe is democratic, it should be able to shift left or right over time, depending on what succeeds or fails for them. Similarly, the success of the stimulus is debatable (I endorsed it), but politically it has been an unqualified disaster for President Obama, especially since it comports with conservative characterizations of him. (Emanuel’s line didn’t help – “no crisis should go to waste.”)

      Comment by Mike Kueber — July 29, 2011 @ 12:43 am | Reply

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