I'm proud of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in particular. I am proud of our founding fathers and the early settlers- their courage, their determination, and their commitment to freedom. I am proud of my country's ongoing commitment to freedom-- an essential element of human dignity. How can anyone read the words. "We the people..." and not feel proud.
I am proud of the civil rights movement, the strong American commitment to justice.
I'm proud of our strength and leadership in the world.
I'm proud of our technology and our commitment to education.
I'm proud of the beauty of my country-- purple mountain majesty and amber waves of grain.
And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head.
Are there things I'm ashamed of? Of course! This is not heaven. But there is no other country in the world I would rather be a citizen of.
On any day I could be asked if I was proud of my country and the answer would be "Yes!" However much there is wrong with it, there is a LOT to be proud of.
I don't know where Michelle Obama is coming from. I now understand that her comments were not extemporaneous either. It was a written speech that she has given twice!!