It's often assumed that it is good to be "proud" of being American, but anyone who ever feels "guilt" for past injustices is portrayed as a silly liberal drama queen. How are these two irrational emotions really any different? Conservatives are quick to point out that "I never owned any slaves/killed Vietnammese babies/put Japanese citizens in camps/gave native Americans blankets infested with smallpox, and so on. But then these same people seem so quick to make a DIRECT connection between themselves and the great, positive things in America's past. Thus reading the Declaration of Independence or watching Saving Private Ryan makes them feel "proud." Why? They didn't write the Declaration. Most didn't storm the beach at Normandy. In truth, the individual deserves neither respect nor criticism for either side. Such emotions are tied to the religious nature of Nationalism, which arose out of the ashes of the huge state churces in pre-Enlightenment Europe. IMO, such irrational emotions get in the way of democratic citizens actually doing their jobs as our founding fathers intended. And there's a reason why pride is one of the 7 Deadly Sins.