Originally Posted by jazzguru
I am anti-statist. Does that make me anti-American?
No, it makes you anti-statist. You want better for your country.
Originally Posted by tonton
It can be, when your wish is to make America a better place. Is that too hard for you to comprehend?
That's not what Bill Maher said at all, and I think you know it. He didn't say "there are a lot of things wrong in this country and lot of people that don't understand out political system. which is why X, Y or Z happens." He derided the nation. That's not wishing for America to be a better place.
Originally Posted by jazzguru
It is a valid question, isn't it?
I believe the U.S. has become an aggressive, authoritarian, imperialist nation-state and I am opposed to that.
Does that make me anti-American?
I guess it comes down to how you define what it means to be American.
Now THIS is what tonton means, which is completely different. You don't want the country you love going down this road. Totally different sentiment.
Originally Posted by MJ1970
There are a couple of things here:
1. Stating an observation (or claim of an observation) of a negative trait about something doesn't necessarily make one anti-that thing. The claim could be wrong of course, but making the claim doesn't, in an of itself, make the claiming person against (anti) that thing.
2. When speaking of America one should be careful because people often conflate at least a couple of different things into this broad label:
a. The American people
b. The American government
c. The American idea
3. I'm not sure Maher is necessarily 100% wrong here. The American people often, collectively, behave in some dumb ways. Re-electing Bush and electing Obama are only two most obvious and recent examples. They are often taken in by slick marketing, fallacious propositions, vacuous speeches and eloquent speakers. The American public, collectively, is often both hypocritical and schizophrenic. It has an incredibly short memory and often a very simplistic appraisal of complex issues. Having said all that, I don't know that this is an ailment limited to the U.S. Though perhaps it is.
The thing is his comment can be taken to mean the American people are dumb, and that our entire system/way of life is dumb. This is no different than the Dixie Chicks lead singer saying "I hope we lose" wrt Iraq. Are we going to try and explain her comment as well? I can hear it now: "But SDW, she was only trying to say she didn't want the country she loves going to war."
As for Americans in general, I don't think I would use the word "dumb" for most (they are obviously out there, however). I think what you're referring to is the mood of the country. We seem to be a very moody country in many ways. Both good and bad times are going to last forever in many people's minds. Like all humans, we tend to act on emotion at times. This is not lack of intelligence. I think that your example of electing Obama is one of these times. Many people got caught up in the energy, the personality, the Hope and Change, and even that we might elect our first black President. Many smart people ignored his radical associations, statements and lack of executive experience. We'll have to disagree on Bush. Elections come down to a choice. In my view he was a much better choice than was Kerry.