And I am damn proud of it.
My heroes are other Yankees like Teddy Roosevelt, Ben Franklin, Rudy Giulani, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sam Clemens, Walt Whitman and Jon Stewart.
I’m tired of GOP politicians and revisionists of southern history denigrating my rich heritage. Yankees fought to preserve the Union while Southern elitists fought to tear it asunder.
Yankees built universities, research centers, libraries, schools and accepted immigrants because we knew the truth of our history. We mined the coal, granite, iron ore, oil and timber that build this nation. We made steel, glass, rubber and the machines of industry.
Yankees and immigrants built canals, railroads and Clipper Ships.
We left New England and planted universities, seminaries, libraries and civilization across along the midwest and the Ohio River Valley. Our wives and daughters started the suffrage movements and planted the seeds for feminism and civil rights. We traded and traveled the world.
We Yankees did all of this and more.
We build cities and industry while slave owners sat on the porch sipping mint juleps, complaining about the heat, untrustworthy Yankees and fucking their house servants.
Today politicians and sophists like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the Religious Zealots suggest I don’t “know” my country’s history. They accuse me of undermining god’s will for a christian nation. They misquote Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin and Hancock and call me a traitor. They argue for a strict interpretation of the Constitution and then support dragging the judiciary in-front of Congress for a rebuke. They changed the Pledge of Allegiance and the motto of the United States and squawk about strict Constitutionalism. They cry about the infringing of their rights but reject any discussion of responsibility as being un-American, un-christian and un-democratic.
They ignore, ridicule and reject sound sciences, embrace revisionist world history and spout mythology and mysticism and then call me ignorant.
I have news for you – America is exceptional because of the Yankee.
We are exceptional because of the immigrant.
We are exceptional because we are a secular nation.
Being secular, inclusive and tolerant is what keeps us from being another theocracy like Iran, the Taliban, early Mormons or Puritans. It is what keeps us from being a monarchy like Saudi Arabia or a dictatorship like Syria or Pakistan. Being a secular and inclusive REPUBLIC is what keeps fundamentalists from having a national inquisition deciding who are “real Americans.”
It is why the litmus test for being a good American isn’t the same as being a good christian. It is why we no longer burn witches, put heretics on the rack or stone adulterers.
It is the Yankee that makes the United States exceptional.
I am not afraid of the muslim, the mosque, the government, the jews, a nuclear Iran or a nationalistic China. I do not fear the future. I am not ashamed of the past. I do not drape myself in the flag as proof of my patriotism. I save words like fascists, communists, socialists and Nazis only for the fascists, communists, socialists and Nazis.
I’m not afraid because I live in an exceptional nation that is progressively moving forward and not longingly, wistfully holding on some romantic, half-baked idea of the United States.
You live in the past. The rest of us are moving forward.
Yes. I am a damn proud Yankee and this is my nation.