Obama: Mexicans Here Before Americans

President Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, "Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. The British and French, the Dutch and Spanish, to Mexicans, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land."

The RealClearPolitics gang has this video of President Obama addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:

The money quote:

“Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. The British and French, the Dutch and Spanish, to Mexicans, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land.”

RCP notes, for the record:

Mexico declared its independence on September 16, 1810. It was recognized on September 27, 1821.

The United States of America declared its independence in 1776.

It may well be that Obama was speaking off the cuff and simply didn’t understand this.  It’s commonplace, even among educated people, to think that the United States is one of the newer countries in the world when, in fact, only a relative handful of existing states predate us.  Perhaps, though, Obama meant “Mexicans” in the more abstract sense of “Spanish speaking mestizos living in the southern portion of North America.”   Most of us think, for example, of the German and Italian peoples outside the context of their relatively recent organization as nation-states.

In any case, what’s amusing to me is that the bloggers writing about this so far are focusing on the dates issue rather than the more fundamental flaw in Obama’s remarks.  Except in brief instances, we were in no sense “sharing” the same land.  The history of the settlement, establishment, and expansion of the United States is one of pushing out the others through a series of wars, real estate transactions, ethnic cleansing, and other behaviors not taught in kindergarten.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Billy says:

    James,
    “Mexica” means “Azetc” in Nahuatl.  And yes, they were here first.
    Thanks.

  2. john personna says:

    Here in California the transition was somewhat clearer, and somewhat more like what he describes.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Billy:  “Mexicans” and “Aztecs” may share a linguistic root in Nahuatl.  They are not interchangeable in American English, however.

  4. c.red says:

    Semantic games, if he had said Hispanic no one could have a technical problem with his statement, not that that would stop most people.

    Some quick research shows that Mexico, or some variation, was used as (part of) the name of the Capitol of New Spain starting in 1524. Sometime over the next century it became the unofficial, and later official, name of the region around the capitol of New Spain. So if there was such a thing as Virginians in the Americas in the 1600s there were Mexicans.

  5. EJ says:

    ” the more fundamental flaw in Obama’s remarks.  Except in brief instances, we were in no sense “sharing” the same land. ”

    That was my intial reaction. No one “shared” the land. They all faught with each other over it. And it wasnt exclusively europeans slaughtering natives. It was Europeans fighting wth other Eruopeans and native american nations fighting with other native american tribes and everything in between.

  6. john personna says:

    “No one ‘shared’ the land.”

    Towards the end of the 19th century, immigrants from around the world were flooding into California. Many Californios married American and European settlers to secure their land and class status. The stately portrait of Dona Ramona Carillo de Pacheco de Wilson is a good example. Her title, Dona, and her elegant attire denote her elite Californio heritage. Her marriage to a Scottish settler and US military official would continue to secure her status in the early years of American control.

  7. john personna says:

    yikes, i went to press quote and pressed post instead.  the above is all a quote from:
     
    http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/themed_collections/subtopic0a.html

  8. Alex Knapp says:

    Ditto C.Red – Mexico was referred to as Mexico, and its inhabitants as Mexicans, long before its independence. 

    I, too, though object to the “shared the land” phrasing.  Pre-1776, the American continents were characterized by wars of conquest by several different powers.  Post-1776, the North American continent was primiarly driven by American wars of conquest.  (Which is why the pre-2003 comments that “America has never waged a war of aggression until Iraq” always made me laugh.  Tell that to the British, the Spanish, the Mexicans, the Native American nations, etc etc etc…)

  9. anjin-san says:

    Well, I am not sure about “sharing the land”, but if you read Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, it is pretty clear that we took a lot of what is now the western United States in a war of conquest against Mexico.

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    While we’re engaging in ridiculous semantic nit-picking, the first attestation of “America” was in 1507.

     

     

  11. PD Shaw says:

    Pushing, shoving and fighting sounds exactly like my kindergarten.

    I think the real issue is how Obama has juxtaposed America as an idea, with America as a people or land.  The conventional view is that America is primarily an idea, so it does not matter what land it covers or what people came her first or second.  The reality is often thornier, but I think Obama departed from the script that for one thing would say that “Mexicans” here before America was founded are no different in our social order from first generation Arabs.

  12. PD Shaw says:

    Dave, didn’t you link to a story at your place a few months ago suggesting white settlements on the East coast before the Native Americans had arrived?

  13. PD Shaw says:

    Ah, here’t the story I was thinking of.  The oldest finds in North America may be in Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania:

    “Stanford’s theory is that people migrated to both sides of the North American continent, and that Meadowcroft’s first inhabitants were early Europeans who crossed the Atlantic in boats as they followed game such as seals.”

    http://theglitteringeye.com/?p=9348
    <!– –>

  14. john personna says:

    I’m going to say that when you look back at history that summarizes centuries you’ll see less sharing than you would see in a lifetime.  That’s the big problem with historical parallels.  We tend to look at some fraction of a year as “now” and then compare it to a quick sketch of what happened over a hundred years in the past.
     
    That photo at the top of the page looks like downtown LA to me.  As in “Los Angeles,” a city not named “The Angles” for obvious historical reasons.  As I’ve mentioned before, I sit and type about a mile from an early land-grant adobe.  As I might have mentioned, I know at least one guy who is descended from land-grant families.  His family kept their ranch for a long time, before selling the last of it off (I think) in the 60’s.
     
    I’d guess that you Easterners are not comfortable with that top photo because to you it looks like an invasion …

  15. john personna says:

    “Angels”

  16. john personna says:

    BTW, I do think those sign-holders should stop and think.  If this is their land, what happened to make thinks work out so much better here than say in Oaxaca?
     

  17. sam says:

    Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the river of Porziuncola). It became a part of Mexico in 1821, following [Mexico’s] independence from Spain. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.

     
    FWIW, I was born in (old) Queen of Angels hospital in LA.

     

  18. Brummagem Joe says:

    “only a relative handful of existing states predate us.” 

    Do grow up Jim. We stole half the Mexican Empire in a war of agression in the 1830s/40’s. I’ve no objection to stealing half the Mexican empire but basically Obama is right we shared the land. When the US came into existence in 1776 we were sharing what is now the 50 states with the Spanish mexican empire, the Russian empire, the French monarchy and sundry indigenous peoples. And if you put us in our peer group of advanced industrial countries we are a relatively new country. At times this nationalistic nit picking what’s most amusing.   

  19. Herb says:

    ““Mexicans” and “Aztecs” may share a linguistic root in Nahuatl. They are not interchangeable in American English, however.”

    Even more exact: The Mexica were only one of several ethnicities that made up what we post-Columbian types call the Aztecs. The terms aren’t interchangeable even in Nahua.

    If that’s picking nits, then so is this: The Aztecs didn’t live north of the Rio Grande.

    Now with that said, vast expanses of the west were, at one time, part of New Spain which, though it wasn’t called Mexico, was ruled from Mexico City and attached territorially to modern Mexico. In all but name, almost all of the southwestern United States used to be part of “Mexico.”

    As to the “shared the same land” stuff, what’s the quibble? Obama’s not re-writing history or even denying some of the less savory aspects of it. He’s not saying the sharing was equitable or even peaceful. He’s just acknowledging that the sharing happened, and given our country’s history, who can deny that?

  20. Dave Schuler says:

    To clarify a few misconceptions about the history.  When the United States came into being in 1776, the territory of Louisiana and what is now the American southwest were the property of Spain.  The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso transferred Louisiana to France in 1800 and France sold Louisiana, the area drained by the Mississippi River, to the United States in 1803.

    In 1810 the war for Mexican independence from Spain began, was completed in 1821, and the territory it claimed was called the “Mexican Empire”.

     

    In 1835 a combination of Texians (Americans in Texas) and Texanos (Texans of Mexican ancestry) began a war of independence from Mexico.  Texas became effectively free of Mexico after the Battle the San Jacinto River in 1836 although skirmishes at sea between Texas and Mexico continued into the 1840s.  Characterizing this as a “war of aggression” by the United States is arguable but a stretch.  There was plenty of aggression on both sides.

     

    A better case for aggression could be made for the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, primarily instigated by Americans in California which resulted in effective independence of California from Mexico, largely a return to the status quo ante.

     

    I agree that the Mexican-American War of 1850, which decided the ownership of California, the territories of Arizona and New Mexico, and adjacent areas was a war of U. S. aggression.  I’m not as convinced that it was so much a war between Mexicans and Americans as between Americans and creoles with Mexicans forming the cannon fodder.

     

  21. Billy says:

    My only point, which has been well fleshed out, was “what’s your definition of Mexican?”

  22. Wayne says:

    You can’t have it both ways. If you want to assume that Obama is referring to America as meaning the U.S. then to be consistent Mexicans would need to mean citizens of country of Mexico, in which case Obama is wrong.  To go your way as using any name reference to Mexico or America. He would be wrong once again since the reference to America exist long before Mexico.
     
    Obama certainly was wrong in trying to make it sound like all those groups “shared” the land peacefully. The Indian tribes themselves fought and killed each other as did the Aztecs, Mayans, etc.

  23. Wayne says:

    Re “We stole half the Mexican Empire in a war of agression in the 1830s/40′s”
     
    And how did the Mexican empire acquire it?  It is amazing how many are quick to strongly condemn the U.S. for doing what everyone else was doing. The U.S. existed in a world as it existed not as we wish it should have been.

     

     

  24. Wayne says:

     
    As for the play on the word sharing, you can’t take one definition in one instance and say it is equal to another definition in another instance.  We share North America with Mexico and Canada today.  We “share” the world with everybody. That doesn’t mean we should have open borders or share our land and assets with them.  

  25. anjin-san says:

     

    >And how did the Mexican empire acquire it?  It is amazing how many are quick to strongly condemn the U.S. for doing what everyone else was doing.

    Brilliant Wayne. We should probably have death camps, mass arrests and martial law. Hell, others have done it to – right?

    I have always thought the concept of America is that we are supposed to hold ourselves to a higher standard…

  26. Wayne says:

    Sorry for so many post. As for the poster, if you sell your house to me, don’t expect to be able to come back at a later date and claim that it is yours then try to live in it.

  27. Wayne says:

    Re ” Brilliant Wayne. We should probably have death camps, mass arrests and martial law. Hell, others have done it to – right?”
    Is that a standard practice now?  When has that been a standard accepted practice among countries?  
    America did and does hold itself to higher standards. We often bought land back then when many countries would have simply taken it. As Napoleon’s Minister stated, we refused to play the bribery game that was common back then. Examples go on and on. Stop hating the U.S.

  28. anjin-san says:

    > Stop hating the U.S.
    Stop being an idiot. Try actually reading some history books and looking at America is it was and is in the real world, not in a PR fairy tale. I am drawing my information on the subject for President Grant’s memoirs. Since he was there, and given his subsequent place in American history, I am inclined to defer to his opinion rather than that of a knucklehead who’s motto is “Everything I know I learned from Fox News”.
    Perhaps one day our paths will cross Wayne. Then you can accuse me of hating America to my face and we will see how that works out for you.  I suspect I love our country as much as you do. But blind love, based on a fantasy of what we wish something or someone to be, rather than what they actually are, is an emotional condition that is endearing in children, but annoying and often dangerous in adults. Most of us outgrow it, those that don’t go on to things like stalking and obsessively reading right wing rant sites.

  29. anjin-san says:

    >Is that a standard practice now?  When has that been a standard accepted practice among countries?


    Habeas corpus is not a standard practice among nations. It is something we created to support our fundamental belief in human rights. The list goes on and on. Vince Lombardi once said “You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”.  I am not interested in what the “standard practice” is among nations. I think we should be setting the standard and hoping other nations follow our lead and raise their standards.
    The interesting thing about the right is how much they love talking about the greatness of America, and how little willingness they have to roll up their sleeves and do the difficult day to day work of actually being great. But why do the heavy lifting when you can just go to a rally and wave they flag, right? Paling is the perfect leader for these folks – lazy and ignorant.

  30. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I got this out of an old encyclopedia, not out of my ass like Brummagem and Anjin.  The Mexican war began in April 1846 and war was declared in the United States on May 13, 1846.  Prss. James Polk sent a diplomat named John Sidell to Mexico to negotiate American claims of damages resulting from the Texas war of independence and to purchase California and New Mexico due to fears of intrusion from England and France.  The Mexican government refused to negotiate resulting in Polk dispatching Zach Taylor and the U.S. Army to the Rio Grand.  Mexico considered this an act of war (the territory was Texas that held our troops) and sent an army accross the Rio Grand.  That was the April 1846 part, the May 1846 part was when the U.S. responded by declaring war in Congress.  History states Mexico invaded the U.S.  Maybe if Anjin and Brummagem Joe had not been bong hitting instead of reading the assignments in History 101.  They would have learned Taylor advanced to Mexico City, capturing the Capital.  Had it been a war of conquest, The United States could have annexed all of Mexico.  There was no power to stop such an act.  Instead the U.S. paid Mexico $15,000,000 for the land and agreed to pay all the claims Americans had against Mexico.  As a side note, California declared its idependence from Mexico in 1846 making it an independent nation.  Only Texas and California were independant nations which joined the United States.
    People like Anjin and Brummagem Joe are either dishonest or ignorant when they make statements indicating agression by the United States.  By the way Santa Anna got his butt handed to him all over Mexico by U.S. Forces.  Maybe if they just had a better general.

  31. anjin-san says:

    Zels,
    Perhaps you should read President Grant’s book. He was, after all, there. Simply reading an excerpt from an encyclopedia does not establish something as a historical fact, unless you are a high school student back in 1953.
    http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Memoirs-U-S-Grant/dp/1598188992
     

  32. anjin-san says:

    Oh and Zels? I don’t think you are going to impress anyone by repeating things you learned in History 101 as gospel. Some folks do the advanced work. At the moment, I am reading Michael Shaara’s seminal work on the battle of Gettysburg, “Killer Angels”, and Julius Caesar’s “The Civil War”.

    If you had ever given a single sign that you were able to engage in an intelligent debate about history, U.S. or otherwise, I would be glad to have a debate. I have yet to see such a sign from you.

  33. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin, your plea to Wayne to stop being an idiot is something I asked of you long ago.  You twist what others say and use arguements which have nothing to do with the subject matter.  You challenge to meet him somewhere?  Would you extend that to me?  I live in Sacramento, CA.  Just think of me as Paladin.

  34. Wayne says:

    Anjin
    When all you do is bash the U.S.  while not acknowledging  the good parts you are a hater and I will say it to your face if our paths cross.
    My question was in response to yours statement” We should probably have death camps, mass arrests and martial law.”  So maybe you can actually answer the questions.
     
    Here are a few more questions. Are you saying we should never have gone to war? Are you saying we should never have acquired more land? Are you saying we should not control and defend our borders?
     
    Re “Most of us outgrow it”
    You need to do more growing. Read some history and try to comprehend them instead of being an idiot.
     
    How’s that for replying in kind?

  35. anjin-san says:

    >  while not acknowledging  the good parts
    How do you know I do no acknowledge them? In fact I do, and you simply are not aware of it. You know what they say about assumptions.  Or perhaps you don’t, but should.  As for reading history, refer to my above post for my current reading list. I would be glad to share the books that are on my nightstand that I will get to when these are done.

    Zels – the rest of us can only feel sadness at your obvious desire for violence. I don’t think I will be addressing you any further. I hope that things get better for you.

  36. john personna says:

    Wayne, Zelsdorf, you’re kind of too into this.

  37. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin issued a challenge to Wayne, I asked him to extend it to me unless he was afraid.  Now he speaks of violence which I did not and trys to escape responsiblity for his own actions.  Those are the acts of a coward.  Here is a prime example of Anjin’s BS.  I stated he missed History 101 nothing about me.  I took quotes directly from an encyclopedia.  Anjin gives us his interpretation of what he says Grant wrote.  Grant was a junior officer during the Mexican war.  I doubt sincerely if he was aware of the politics behind the conflict.  Memoirs tend to be laced with opinion not necessarily fact.  Subject in encyclopedia are ususally reseached by individuals holding advanced degrees in the subject matter.  They did research in places such as the national archives, read memoirs and journals of those on both sides of an issue before publishing.  Anjin, I hope you are an adolescent teen for if you are anything else, you need help.

  38. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    You could be right John, but when I read someone post things that have no basis in history and defended by those who seem to have no knowledge of history.  It kind of give one something to write about.  Anjin has been posting teenage stuff here for quite a while.  He is the oldest teen on record.  Older than Dick Clark.

  39. sam says:

    @Zels
     

    You challenge to meet him somewhere? Would you extend that to me? I live in Sacramento, CA. Just think of me as Paladin.
     

    When are you going to stop threatening people with gun violence?

  40. anjin-san says:

    Last time I will address you Zels – there is a big difference between saying “perhaps someday our paths will cross” and “issuing a challenge”. The former is somewhat rhetorical , the latter is not.
    I am pretty tired of having my patriotism questioned by people simply because I hold political views that differ from mine. I think everyone that cares enough about the issues to be in here on a regular basis loves our country and is concerned enough about it’s future to be here and be engaged on the issues. On the other hand, Wayne’s “stop hating the U.S.” statement is both rooted in ignorance of how I actually feel about our country, and, I think, basically a childish schoolyard remark. These types of comments are fueled by the fact that the poster knows they are pretty much safe behind their computer.

    I don’t think of myself as any kind of badass, but I am large enough that instances of guys actually insulting me to my face have been very infrequent in my life. Hence my comment. I did not “challenge” Wayne – the photo of Mahatma Gandhi that sits on my desk is an indicator of how I feel about seeking violent solutions to problems. My intention was simply to shame Wayne into seeing that he he being both childish and somewhat cowardly in making such a statement about my “hating the U.S.”.
    My feeling is that this country was built by in large by quite, thoughtful men who acted with resolution and strength. They did not need to thump on their chests or speak in slogans about the greatness of the U.S. When the did talk about our country, they tended to do so with elequence and reason, and the realization that our great virtues do not preclude our share of flaws, which we must work with resolution and determination to overcome.


    Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are two examples of the kind of charachter I am referring to. Robert E. Lee also comes to mind – of course the civil war changed his destiny and role in our history.

  41. Wayne says:

    Anjin
    Re “You know what they say about assumptions”
    You mean like all the assumptions you have been making?
    Re ‘Zels – the rest of us can only feel sadness at your obvious desire for violence”
    Did you not say “Then you can accuse me of hating America to my face and we will see how that works out for you.” Pot calling the kettle black perhaps?
    I am just feeding you back some of the same stuff as you are feeding us. Sounds like you don’t care for it.

  42. anjin-san says:

    >  I hold political views that differ from mine.

    Sorry – THEY hold political views that differ from mine.

  43. anjin-san says:

    >  You mean like all the assumptions you have been making?
    Specifics?

    >  “Then you can accuse me of hating America to my face and we will see how that works out for you.”
    I simply don’t think you would be as bold in person as you are on a blog. (to be honest, the reverse may well be true) There is a big difference between understanding human nature and actually looking for a fight.

  44. davod says:

    “I am reading Michael Shaara’s seminal work on the battle of Gettysburg, “Killer Angels”, and Julius Caesar’s “The Civil War”. 

    Seminal?

  45. anjin-san says:

    davod, please refer to #3.
     

    English
    [edit]Adjective
    seminal (comparative more seminalsuperlative most seminal)

    Of or relating to seed or semen.
    Creative or having the power to originate.
    Highly influential, especially in some original way, and providingbasis for future development or research.“The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” was a seminal work in the modern philosophy of science.
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/seminal

  46. Wayne says:

    Re “simply don’t think you would be as bold in person as you are on a blog.”
    There you go with your assumptions again. I will take more than a large size person to scare me especially when they have relied on their size to avoid fights in the past. There are ways to stay anonymous and still meet but as I suspected and you have admitted to, you are just a blowhards who likes to intimidate others.
    I have been in many fights in my life and against some lousy odds. Some of them due to asshole friends who think no one will screw with them because they are so “big”. Keep in mind I played defensive end in college so I am not exactly small myself.

  47. anjin-san says:

    Wayne instead of telling us how tough you are, why don’t you take a look at the comment I put about (I will re-post) and then reconcile it with your allegation about my “hating the U.S.? Football is a wonderful game, I played some myself  🙂
     
    My feeling is that this country was built by in large by quite, thoughtful men who acted with resolution and strength. They did not need to thump on their chests or speak in slogans about the greatness of the U.S. When the did talk about our country, they tended to do so with elequence and reason, and the realization that our great virtues do not preclude our share of flaws, which we must work with resolution and determination to overcome.

    Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are two examples of the kind of charachter I am referring to. Robert E. Lee also comes to mind – of course the civil war changed his destiny and role in our history

  48. Wayne says:

    Anjin instead of telling us how big, smart you are and trying to impress us with your reading material, try answering my questions above.
     
    You are still not getting what I’m doing to you are you?

  49. anjin-san says:

    > You are still not getting what I’m doing to you are you?
    Well, you are distracting me when I should be working…
    >Are you saying we should never have gone to war? Are you saying we should never have acquired more land? Are you saying we should not control and defend our borders?

    It is pretty difficult for anyone that lives in 21st century America to argue that we should never have acquired more land. I think pretty most of us live on real estate that was taken from someone else. And I have no plans to turn over the title on my property to someone from south of the border. What I do try to do is keep in mind the history involved when I see a group of Mexicans out in front of Home Depot looking for work.

    We should absolutelyy defend our borders. Controlling them is another thing. We never have, and we probably never will. There is simply too much border and too much mobility in today’s world. I don’t regard illegals crossing the border as a threat to national security. Drug gangs are a real problem that needs to be addressed, but I think the proper place to start is reform of our outdated and ineffective drug laws.

    I am not trying to impress anyone with my reading, but I do actually do the reading, so if someone starts talking about me being ignorant of history, I am going to have something to say about it.

    Now that I have answered 2 of your questions could you share your thoughts about my above remarks?

  50. Wayne says:

    Re “Now that I have answered 2 of your questions could you share your thoughts about my above remarks?”
    Any of them in particular?
    You don’t like someone accusing you of being ignorant of history yet “you” said “Try actually reading some history books”.
    You don’t like people personally insulting you yet you are quick to personally insult others.
    You claim not to like bravado talk on a blog yet you do it.
    You want others not to make assumptions against you but see no problem with you making assumptions about others.
    Sad thing is, unlike me, I don’t think you can recognize when you are doing those things.

    Do you really think that
    “Perhaps one day our paths will cross Wayne. Then you can accuse me of hating America to my face and we will see how that works out for you”
     is much different than
    “You challenge to meet him somewhere?  Would you extend that to me?” or
    “Stop being an idiot. Try actually reading some history books”
     is much different than
    “Read some history and try to comprehend them instead of being an idiot.”

  51. AllenS says:

    Obama is dumber than Joe Biden.

  52. anjin-san says:

    Wayne this whole rather pointless dialog started when you said I hate the U.S. – a completely bogus, nonsense statement. I don’t mind trading a few insults, but I like there to be some basis in reality. I think that an interpetitation of history that paints the U.S. acquisition of territory from Mexico as being on the up and up results from a lack of real study of what happened. I can support that statement.
    I like to talk a little smack as much as many of the folks here. I like to argue about politics. But I also like to have some substance to the back and forth. I answered two of your questions, I am curious about your response to what I had to say. Also, for the third time, please read this and then reconcile it with your claim that I “hate the U.S.” if you can do these things, fine. If not, the ping pong game of “you suck” – “no, you suck” is starting to make me sleepy…
     
    >My feeling is that this country was built by in large by quite, thoughtful men who acted with resolution and strength. They did not need to thump on their chests or speak in slogans about the greatness of the U.S. When the did talk about our country, they tended to do so with elequence and reason, and the realization that our great virtues do not preclude our share of flaws, which we must work with resolution and determination to overcome.

    Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are two examples of the kind of charachter I am referring to. Robert E. Lee also comes to mind – of course the civil war changed his destiny and role in our history

     

  53. Wayne says:

    Yes there is not a problem with acknowledging your country flaws. However there is a problem when that is all you talk about. Lincoln and Washington both often spoke highly of their country. They also understood that war and protection of its territories were needed at times.
     
    Also saying the U.S. is flawed because it was involved in wars and acquisitions of territories is flawed, especially the territory they bought from other countries. Believing we should have been a pacifist country would only have resulted in the non-existence of the U.S.
     
    As for “you suck” – “no, you suck” deal. I basically repeated back to you what you said to me and others. That was my point. I was hoping you recognize that I was parroting you and realize how silly you sound. Does boasting about your size, intelligence or reading material contribute to the subject? No. Now if you said I read this in a book and it applies in such and such way, fine but that is not what you did.

    Saying that I’m a big guy you wouldn’t say that to my face then get upset when I say the hell I wouldn’t is foolish.
    You talk smack and didn’t like it when someone talked smack back at you.

     

     

     

  54. anjin-san says:

    > They also understood that war and protection of its territories were needed at times.
    Yes it is. Now tell us how we “needed” to go to war to protect ourselves from Mexico. I am sticking with Grant on this.

    >especially the territory they bought from other countries.
    If someone has a gun to your head, and they pay you a fraction of your houses value for the title, is that an honest deal? That is essentially what we did to Mexico. The Louisiana Purchase was something else entirely.

    >Believing we should have been a pacifist country
    When did I say this? I admire Ghandi greatly, but I am not the man he was. Sometimes violence is necessary in this world. Certainly in WW1 & II. Korea could have probably been avoided  with smarter diplomacy, but once the south was invaded, we probably had to act.  Vietnam was simply a mistake. Greanada and Gulf I were justified, as was Afghanistan. Iraq, certainly not.

    > realize how silly you sound.
    Dude, you started this with the “stop hating the U.S.” comment. If you want to claim the high moral ground, you are a little late. Do you realize how silly you sound parroting the ridiculous “Libs hate America” line?  Sorry if I missed your grand parrot strategy, most of my attention today was on debugging some code.

    As for America’s flaws being “all I talk about” – I try not to go through life spending too much time patting myself on the back for the things I have done right. I would rather focus on what needs to be done, where I want to go, and what needs improvement. Does this mean I hate myself? I think not. We can talk about the courage of the Marines at Guadalcanal, or we can talk about the serious problems we face today, and what we need to do to address them.  My personal feeling is that the men who sacraficed so much there would not mind my view on this, and that they would only ask that I keep their memory with me. That’s the way I see it, and if that makes you think  I hate our country that is your problem, not mine.

  55. G.A.Phillips says:

     

    Obama is dumber than Joe Biden.YUP…….

  56. floyd says:

    Reconquista is a war of invasion and reproduction, invited by the left and waged by cowards, facing almost no opposition.
    Mexicans flee to America because they are afraid to stand-up to the tyrants who run Mexico to demand the liberties which they can get for free here, along with other benefits paid for by Americans.
     The victory will be short-lived however since the “gimme” disease is already decimating the host country. Where are they going to run to next? Who will help them overthrow the tyranny in Mexico after America sinks to the level of Eastern Europe before the collapse?

  57. Wayne says:

    “But mom he started it. No he started it.” Which by the way is a play off your statement” basically a childish schoolyard remark”. At least the some of the rest actually contributes to the subject matter.
     
    A much better comparison would be two people in a contest to determine who will own a house which was the custom back then. One won and instead of simply taking his winning which was the custom, he compensates the loser.
     
    You may not like the customs back then or think they were silly but you should look at it from their time period and world not just yours.  There is a big difference between some “one” did it and it being a custom.