Forrest BurtnetteToday I read a tweet from Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran (supreme leader means about as much to me as a supreme burrito). Here’s his tweet: “It’s ridiculous that even though US President is black, still such crimes against US blacks continue to occur.” And then after the tweet he added “#BlackLivesMatter and #FreddieGray. I’m not even sure I know how to respond to that. It’s like Charles Manson telling Justin Bieber that he needs to change his deviant hair style and slow down when driving. These words of such compassion, such understanding, are coming from a leader of a state, Iran, where tattoos and spiky hair are outlawed, and solarium treatments are illegal, as is plucking eyebrows. Any kind of male adornment is prohibited. Western music is taboo, as are Harry Potter and Gmail. Homosexuality is punished by death. Even tweeting is verboten, but guess what – not for the supreme burrito leader – just for all you Iranian “citizens” under his control.

Oh, by the way, this same leader also says that there is no other option to dealing with Israel than to eliminate the Jewish state. Let’s face it, this supreme leader is way more like the devil than all the people he’s criticizing. It’s just laughable how anybody takes him seriously. But here is the sad part – we Americans have been putting America down for so long, he and other terrorist leaders see this strange behavior and they love it. They are overjoyed to see riots in America. They love to see American citizens stomp on the American flag. They see Americans destroying themselves – they are just trying to help speed the destruction along. It’s crazy to think about early May 1940 when German Socialist Nazis invaded France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the U.K. The allies were coming together to defend the liberty and sovereignty of their countries from the encroaching Luftwaffe and Panzer tanks. It was a nightmare – it was pure hell, and the allies had to muster all their strength to fight the evil that was spreading. In that effort, which the U.S. would later join, over 500,000 died or were wounded, 1,900,000 people were captured, and 2,233 aircraft were lost.

Fast forward to May 2015. One of the big things in the news today is Rutgers students demanding black, female and third-gender representation among school mascots. In a way, it can be seen as good news. We live in such a free, prosperous society that young people can devote time to such frivolous matters. Almost all young people today, especially children of middle class liberals, have never experienced conscription or fought in a major war and have had no reason to band together to support American principles. Instead young Americans have the luxury to sit around and criticize America every chance they get. You may ask why am I bringing up World War II and comparing it to modern times. To that I would say, realize that you are in a bubble, a Truman-show environment where police and the military personnel risk their lives to keep you safe. With evil showing its face in the form of ISIS, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, let us all realize what a great country we live in and remember all who have fought and died fighting aggressive foreign enemies and the toxic ideologies they espouse. Close your Firefox window showing last night’s Daily Show and open up YouTube and watch a long documentary on WWII. Then try to piss on America. I’ll bet you can’t.

It’s fine to be critical of American policies and leaders, but when we start demonizing our country to the point that we believe there is nothing great or exceptional about it, that is dangerous. We are basically giving the go-ahead to the Ayatollah of Iran and to Putin and all the other crazy leaders out there to replace America and her beliefs with the beliefs and impulses of their autocratic regimes. That’s a terrible idea. We are like cancer cells attacking our own country, and the tyrants of the world absolutely love it.

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Forrest is a James Madison University graduate and has lived in Albemarle County for the last 15 years. He is married with kids and likes economics, history, politics, traveling, languages.and music among many other things.


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