The New Un-American
(Please Read This Because You May Be It)
The pejorative term un-American goes way back. The Oxford English Dictionary dates it from 1818. Obviously, by necessity, it has morphed in meaning to vilify different groups at different times.
I used to be un-American. In recent decades conservatives used “un-American” to ostracize liberals who questioned, among other things, police conduct and military spending. But this usage has lately become diffuse and leaky. Video phones increasingly show conservatives that, yes, police conduct is at times very bad. And, beginning in the 1990’s, Democrats in congress stopped questioning military spending, while balanced-budget conservatives in recent years call for reductions.
So, the time is ripe to redefine what it means to be un-American, and, in the time-honored tradition of the insult, I intend to do so in a way that encompasses others, possibly you, but not me or people who think like me.
Henceforth, the term will be applied to people who claim that America’s governing systems are, in one way or another, hopelessly broken.
Here’s a checklist:
Do you believe that money in politics is corrupting the legislative process? Do you think that our educational systems are failing students? Do you believe that the roads and bridges need massive repairs? Is it your opinion that major media outlets (the fourth branch of government) intentionally lie to the public?
If so, you are perfectly fine, not un-American, until you cross the new red line and profess that the problem can never be fixed. When you do that, it is now considered un-American.
Since imaginary governmental problems cannot be fixed, a belief in them will likewise be un-American. So, if you believe that our government is actually run by a small number of unelected people, or if you believe that the military is spraying chemicals out of jets on us to make us stupid and sterile, or that FEMA is buying coffins because they plan on executing large numbers of citizens at some future time, with much zeal and loudly I proclaim you un-American.
For those who are with me, I implore you to call out the new un-Americans whether online, in the checkout line, at work or around the house. It is now your duty as a good American to tell other Americans that they are not American.
To newly unfortunate solution deniers, I urge you to change your ways. But, if you choose not to, or simply can’t, all is not lost. The definition will undoubtedly change in the next few decades, and when it does, you may receive favored status.
That’s what happened to me.