“Ashamed to be an American”

Apparently all the rage in some circles these days seems to be disassociating oneself from 1) being proud to be an American and 2) being thought of as one who voted for George W. Bush:

After spending 10 days in London with friends who were outspoken about their disdain for President Bush’s policies, Berns Rothchild came home wishing she had a way to show the world she didn’t vote for him.

“I sort of felt ashamed, and didn’t really want to be associated with being an American,” said Rothchild, who lives in New York City and voted for John Kerry.

Her mother had a suggestion: bracelets, inspired by the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s popular “LIVESTRONG” bands, that would signal opposition to Bush.

Thousands of miles away, two women in Idaho had the same idea. So did a woman in Kansas. The result? At least three separate bracelet ventures targeting left-leaning citizens who want to wear their political affiliation on their wrists β€” and at least one competitor bearing the opposite message.

What’s very, um, interesting about all this is that I can remember the attitudes myself and many other Republicans held during Clinton’s tenure and that is, while we didn’t like the man, we weren’t ashamed to fly the flag or to be identified as being an American. To stay it baffles me why people who didn’t vote for Bush are somehow now ashamed of being thought of as being American would be an understatement. I guess merely disagreeing with the outcome while still being proud of being an American is a thing of the past to some.

Oh, but there is an upside to this, believe it or not:

Rothchild, who is selling the bracelets on the Web in packages of 10 for $20, plans to give part of her profits to UNICEF, and Adams has donated money from the sale of her $3 bracelets to Save the Children and Habitat for Humanity.

The McKnights are auctioning their bracelets on eBay and selling them for $3 each on their Web site, where buyers can vote for one of six organizations that will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Rothchild’s father seems to have the right idea, though:

John Rothchild, a Miami Beach, Fla., resident who voted for Bush, has invested in 5,000 “COUNT ME RED” bracelets.

You know, stories like this want to make me start one of this silly “apology” websites in order to apologize to our fellow Americans and the world for how embarassing some of our fellow citizens can be.