In recent years the terms “‘Murica” or “‘Muricanism” have made their way onto the world-wide scene, usually being the basis of satire of modern American beliefs. While it’s all good practice to poke fun at strange social situations, the unfortunate fact regarding ‘Muricansm is that it’s a worse social cancer than Twitter or violent video games will ever be. ‘Muricanism affects all demographics in the U.S, whether it’s immigrant families who are victims of social ridicule and rejection, or young Americans who are subject to indoctrination by their ‘Murican elders.
‘Muricanism takes the idea of patriotism reminiscent of fundamental beliefs that the United States was founded on, and corrupts it with modern bigotry and arrogance that only we could manufacture and consume. Putting it as simply as the television show “The Newsroom” does, America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. ‘Muricanism is the arrogance in seeing the evidence of this and refusing to believe it. Either that, or believing it and putting the blame on anything BUT the American people. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one.
The American people aren’t always so innocent as ‘Murican beliefs would claim them to be. The fact of the matter is, there’s been way too many instances in the past of the American public being just as morally wrong as the entities they so claim to be fighting. McCarthyism, racism, ignorance, fear-mongering, and even being plain unconstitutional; the American people either have been or still are living examples of these faults and more. Some of these we’ve moved past, like Cold War tensions (for the most part anyway), and some we’re still clinging to as if they were sacred, such as misogyny or racism. The point is, there’s still much that the American people need to work on.
The danger of ‘Muricanism, is that it takes all these faults that could otherwise be forgiven, and embraces them, creating a romantic ideological policy of plain arrogance. An example of this can be seen in uber-conservative beliefs today. Now there’s nothing wrong with thinking conservatively, it’s a legitimate social stance. The risk comes when ‘Murican extremists use titles such as “conservative” or “patriotic” to hide behind, when in fact they are pushing their own racist or outright ignorant agendas. An unfortunate trend indeed, but one clear as crystal to anyone who simply looks for it. Statements like “Keeping America American” seem harmless at first, then ‘Muricanists go at great lengths to supplement the word “American” with “white christian male.”
The result? Shotgun-toting weapon enthusiasts hiding behind the second amendment, racist xenophobes trying to keep the U.S “American,” and extremist capitalists looking to make a quick buck off of anyone they can, whether people can afford it or not. All of these traits and more can be found in a modern-day ‘Muricanist, and all of them are extremely un-American. The sick truth is that unfortunately, being American now in much of the U.S’ mind-set, is really being ‘Murican. Such beliefs can be extremely dangerous in a single individual alone, but the fact that a substantial portion of America’s 1%, who hold 99% of the country’s wealth (and therefore 99% of the country’s power) are ‘Muricanists means that they are now capable of doing an extreme amount of economic, political, and social damage in a very small time-frame.
You know what’s really un-American? Pushing for legislation that robs people of their constitutional rights, such as the Patriot Act. Telling immigrants to “go home” when the only real “Americans” are the Native Americans, not the white conquerors who came and claimed their lands first. Ridiculing people for their religious beliefs, like Muslims, because of extremists like ISIS. Willfully ignoring the need for urgent change for the sake of money, like the global climate change issue. Stopping progress simply because it means change. All of this can be found in today’s ‘Muricanists and all of it is constantly threatening to permanently erase what it means to really be American. There is still hope however, as Americans can put things right just as fast as we may have ruined them. We can make being “American” a badge of honor once more, but first, we have to see that there is a problem in the first place.
More on the speech from “The Newsroom,” which puts why America isn’t the greatest country in the world anymore into better words than I ever could.