Tuesday, April 29, 2008

PATRIOTISM AND BUTT HURT LIBERALS


I love America. I know it has a somewhat dark history, but the tools to change and progress were given by the same men who equated the black person as three fifths of a person. These men who said "all men are created equal" who undoubtedly meant white men only, gave us the ability to amend and give literal meaning to the phrase. I don't claim that America is perfect. I don't claim to love America more than you because I am conservative and religious. However, I do wonder about a persons "love of country" when spitting in the face of white Americans on a regular basis. I also question a persons patriotism when in the face of disagreement they criticize the government on foreign soil. I also question a persons love of country when they have nothing good to say about her. I question liberals who whine about accusations of anti-patriotism after calling the U.S. evil. They spew their hatred of the President and then defend terrorists in the same breath. I do question the patriotism of some liberals. Patriotism is the love of country. You can love your country and be critical of its policies and practices. But at what point does the freedom to criticize step across a line into hatred of country? Is America only "good" when she agrees with our individual ideologies?
I am a Webelo's leader for the Boy Scouts of America and we teach our boys to be good citizens, to respect the flag and to pledge honor to God and country. They take an oath to do their duty to help and serve in their communities. They are taught to be self-sufficient, responsible and neighborly. They are not taught to hate and distrust as forms of true patriotism. They take Americas greatest ideals and practice them in there greatest forms.
There are those who would demean the outward showing of patriotism and would state that it doesn't prove anything and is not needed to be a patriot. I disagree. There is something to be said about the old veteran who fought in WWII or Vietnam that gets tears in his eyes when he hears the Star Spangled Banner. They are a dying breed. A generation that knows without doubt that this is a country with freedom of self-determination. John F. Kennedy asked not what our country can do for us, but asked what we can do for our country. Where are these democrats? Where are the democrats that are not demanding more and more from their government? Americans in both parties take her for granted and don't know the lessons of sacrifice. How do I know this? Because undoubtedly there will be those who will downplay the need for outward displays of love of country or patriotism. They will say that it is of no worth to display flags in a showing of patriotism. I long for the generation of the non-entitled. Liberals are patriots too, but I am not going to lie. Sometimes I wonder.

30 comments:

Khaki Elephant said...

Well said.

Freadom said...

This is the kind of deep, thought provoking writing that I love about blogging. I might have to read this again it was so well written.

namaste said...

nikki, GREAT POST! i can add nothing further in commenting. LOVE your passion!

:)

~m

Nikki said...

Thanks Khaki! :)N

Freadom, what a compliment! thank you...:)N

Maria, I feel like its a love fest and I am getting a cavity haha! thanks chickie! :)N

Anthony Palmer said...

The soldiers who stormed Normandy or fought at Iwo Jima weren't wearing any flag pins.

The firefighters who hoisted the flag over Ground Zero weren't wearing any flag pins.

My uncle was not good enough to drink from the same water fountain as a White person, but he was good enough to die for his country in Vietnam. He wasn't wearing any flag pins.

I teach English to future military translators. You could say that I am directly related to homeland security. I don't wear any flag pins.

How many of these flag pins were made in China anyway?

The point of what I'm trying to say is that some expressions of patriotism are more superficial than others. This is not to say that flag pins are superficial, but people on the left get irritated when people on the right accuse them of hating their own country when they don't do so.

It's not patriotic to say that if you disagree with the President, you hate America. If that's the case, then we might as well just find half of the country guilty of treason and execute them for their disloyalty.

It's not patriotic to say that one political party loves this country more than another political party. If that's the case, then we should just have one party. Heck, we might as well make one of the parties illegal and not have elections anymore because Washington is not a place for America-haters.

It's not patriotic to say people who do not conform to your own view of patriotism are unpatriotic.

I can understand your post and find it to be well written, but I don't agree with much of it. But even though I disagree with what you said, I will wholeheartedly defend your right to say it. And to me, that is patriotism.

Mike said...

Hey, Nikki. I don't want to shake your confidence in the scout organization's ability to properly shape our nation's youth, but I was a Webelo back in the day. Seriously, I learned to "do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and obey the law of the pack." It's funny I still remember that.

Anyway, I think that Americans who burn the flag in protest are just as patriotic, and care just as much about their country, as people who wear a flag pin on their lapel. Only by speaking out against tyranny can we protect ourselves from it.

And Anthony, well said.

Nikki said...

Anthony, I appreciate your comment and the passion you displayed. My only question is why do liberals feel the need to defend their patriotism when faced with this question? I clearly stated that both sides were patriotic even in disagreement. Why is it that part was not heard and was over shadowed by the defense of not wearing a pin made in China, defense of criticism of the President when I didn't specify which President and I only said calling him evil and defending terrorists when referring to him.
You tok that as anyone who criticizes is unpatriotic.
There is a loyalty factor missing among young americans on both sides of the aisle. America does not need the constant nurturing of our ugly past to get passed the historical ills of so many. America needs men and women who look at things differently to find common ground in the constant battle over a percieved political superiority. Both sides are guilty. But you chose not to see that part of my post, you chose to see it as an attack on your personal patriotism. To me that is the crux of the problem. So many hear what they want to hear. The point is that liberals have to constantly defend their patriotism and there is a reason why. And it isn't as simplistic as criticism of the President. Thanks again for the comment and the opposing point of view! It makes for great conversation. :)N


Mike, I think it is so cool that you were a scout! Now I know why you are such a great American! But if you burn the flag I don't think you are and I wonder about the term tyranny...Should I have used this term to describe the Clinton administration when I disagreed with them? just asking. :)N

namaste said...

anthony, i disagree with you. far be it from me to say how patriotic anyone is or isn't. HOWEVER, if i may offer an analogy: say i am a player on a baseball, basketball or football team and i notice a few of my teammates refusing to wear their uniform or demonstrating an OUTWARD appearance of lack of team spirit. to me those players weaken the strength of the team. action (appearance) speaks louder than words. there are many ways to show patriotism. people should pick one. telling me something like, take my word for it, is akin to a student in one of the high schools i used to teach in, saying to me when asked why he's not writing like the rest of the class, "don't worry, mrs. n, i got it all up here," with the insolent bravado of the knucklehead he is. hey, i'm just saying.

DB said...

I live on an American military base and am one of the very few (only one in my 56 house neighborhood) who fly the Flag everyday. I don't question their patriotism one bit for not flying the flag though. Patriotism is in one's heart.

Liberals feel the need to defend their patriotism because you said liberals are not patriotic when they dissent. You generalize someone as non-patriotic, they would respond. Would you respond if I said Mormons (or any other persons religion) are not patriotic because they put their faith before country? I am not saying that, but it would invoke a response denouncing the assinine statement.

I do question the 'patriotism' from those who would silence dissent. I think your passion-filled post is nothing different than the passion of those are the far left. You and they believe in America and have their own vision for it. Disagreement is fine, just as I disagree with hard-right conservatives, but I will be the last person to call Rush Limbaugh and Company unpatriotic for the hateful attacks they wage on fellow Americans. In fact, I call them (and the hard-left) the truest patriots are country has to offer.

DB said...

PS. Was a scout too. Got my Arrow of Light! Worked my *ss off for it too! Then I quit scouts to concentrate on America's pasttime full-time.

Nikki said...

DB...Your point is well taken, but I disagree that I referred to dissent as the crux of my argument and none of the reasons I mentioned were about dissent. I said certain things and or statements make some conservatives question patriotism in liberals. I do wonder about the appreciation of country by some in our country. There is a certain disrespect by some liberals that I find unpatriotic...those who demonstrate patriotism are not superior. But why can't we question the loyalty of those who call America evil etc. It isn't necessarily liberals, liberals are the ones who get the most defensive.
all these faltering scouts...what can we do. I'm kidding. :)N

Mike said...

Nikki, the reason I use the word tyranny in reference to the Bush administration is that they have made a concerted effort to consolidate power in the Executive branch. They have fought to diminish our Constitutional rights (ie. against unwarranted search and seizure, self incrimination, equal protection) as well as take away our Miranda rights. They have illegally spied on Americans. They have crippled the White House press corps to the point that nobody dares to ask Bush a tough question. I could go on, but the point is that the Bush administration (Cheney, mostly) hates the way our government is supposed to work. They would just as soon have Bush rule as king. That, to me, is tyranny.

Clinton made some poor decisions, but I don't recall his administration trying to shift the balance of power or dismantle the Constitution.

And for the record, I have no desire to burn a flag. Keep in mind, though, that the flag is merely a symbol. If people are obligated to wear one, what does it represent? If it is against the law to burn one, then what does it represent?

Nikki said...

Mike, a picture of a flag, or a pattern of a flag on material and an actual flag are 2 different things. I also don't require it for patriotism displays. This is the point I am trying to make. My points have all been turned into extreme ones. I am sure the Tyrannical Bush administration will be impeached soon with all the evidence of constitutional disregard. Also I do think liberals think conservatives follow blindly and love their country blindly...this is unfair as well. I am sure the same people who want to burn the flag want the same freedom to fly the confederate flag as well. :)N

DB said...

Liberals are no less/no more patriotic than Conservatives. You can site examples from the far-left, as I can cite examples from the far-right of anti-patriotism, but it doesn't justify a broad generalization, which I know you aren't trying to make (purposely). At least the left is using rhetoric and not blowing up federal buildings to make their point.

I would prefer someone buring the Flag carrying the Constitution than someone burning the Constitution carrying the Flag.

Nikki said...

DB...the title of the post is patriotism and butt hurt liberals and sure enough I got posts from butt hurt liberals...all of whom I respect immensely and appreciate hugely. However, the defending turned into statements not made and points ignored. :)N

Khaki Elephant said...

I'm always a bit taken aback when somebody identifies something as merely a symbol. A wedding ring is merely a symbol, but contains tremendous importance in identifying the ever-presence of a beloved spouse. A cross is a symbol that can bring peace to a dying soul or despair to someone who sees it scorched on their front lawn. The editor of a golf magazine was fired for printing a lynch noose on the cover. People have been beaten for displaying rainbows. Symbols are powerful. That's why flag burners aren't torching cinnabons in protests. (FYI, flag burners really don't bother me either, but when they do it the message is powerful).

I don't wear a flag pin and, to be honest, I don't think Obama's empty lapel is the reason so many people are really angry about his take on the issue. It was Obama's condescending response on the pins during that ABC interview.

"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest."

Many flag-pin wearing Americans took that as a slap from Obama that their patriotism was somehow shallow compared to his more sophisticated take. And I don't blame them. I mean, do you think this guy ever actually listens to himself?

Anthony Palmer said...

Nikki,

Three points:

1. In your original post, YOU are the one who originally referred to "the President," so even though you didn't mention any names, it's quite obvious who you were referring to. And besides, I don't think most people were thinking about terrorism prior to 9-11. And since we're talking about "the President," remember, he did not ask us to sacrifice after the terrorist attacks or during the Iraq War. Instead, he told us to "go shopping." And in the 2002 elections, it was the GOP, lead by "the President" who was saying "if you don't support the President in a time of war, you support the terrorists/you hate America." What kind of "President" would pit Americans against each other? Is that really leadership? You can blame the Democrats all you want, but the President is the one with the megaphone. Are we only "Americans" if we agree with "the President?" Sorry, but not even "the President" can tell me how to think. I think it will be very interesting to see how you and a lot of other people on the right behave in the event that Obama becomes the next President because somehow I believe all those arguments about "supporting the President in a time of war" and "not supporting the President means not supporting the troops" will go out the window. I'm not an Obama lover, and I know you aren't either. But if Obama wins, I bet you'll be doing the exact same things you're criticizing "liberals" for doing to Bush right now. It sounds more like a partisan thing than a patriotic thing.

2. Regarding "spitting in the face of White Americans," this remark shows the gulf that exists between Blacks and Whites. I specifically mentioned my slain uncle in response to this point. He was treated like a second-class citizen in his own country by "White Americans," but was still expected to be a first-class warrior and fight for it so other people could have the freedom to be offended when they harbor a bit of resentment towards them. Here's another example: I was walking with my Hispanic roommate from college one day and another (White) student asked us to go fix a broken toilet in his dorm's bathroom because he thought we were maintenance workers and not students. This same roommate and I went to a political event by former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms and wanted to ask a question. When he took the microphone and looked at us, he said "GET A JOB!" and ignored our question. This was in 1996, by the way. It's not so easy for some of us to just let go of some of this stuff. Why would some of us not find fault with this country in light of our own personal experiences at the hands of our fellow "patriots?" Saying America has a "somewhat dark history" comes across like nails on a blackboard to people whose life experiences don't match up with that. No Japanese person ever called me a n----r or said I wouldn't be where I am today without affirmative action. No Japanese person ever told me "my kind" wasn't welcome to live in a certain neighborhood or turned fire hoses on my parents. This kind of stuff leaves a sour taste in people's mouths who feel that they are not really valued in their own country. Not everyone is guilty of giving others the short end of the stick, but some people are (and still are) and the resentment is going to come as a part of the package with it.

3. I'm not a liberal, and I have nothing against flag pins. However, Timothy McVeigh, the Columbine killers, or any random person who gets off an airplane could easily put a flag pin on. Would that make the person a patriot? Osama bin Laden himself could put a flag pin on too. Would that make him a patriot? This is not to diminish the millions of good Americans who do wear flag pins out of pride and respect, but I think someone could be just as patriotic by volunteering, enlisting in the military, helping the homeless, running for public office to pass laws to make our lives better, providing the best possible medical care for our veterans, or becoming a teacher, for example. It's a lot harder to fake volunteering. It's a lot harder to fake joining the Army and risking your life in Iraq. It's a lot harder to fake picking up garbage on the side of the road just to make your community more beautiful. It is easy, however, to fake going to Walmart and putting on a pin. Again, this is not to say that everyone who puts on a pin is faking it, but it is true that it's a lot easier to do so for superficial reasons. If I had to choose a guy wearing a flag pin and a guy without a flag pin volunteering at a homeless shelter, I'd take my chances with the guy without the pin if I had to bank on his patriotism.

Namaste used the analogy of wearing team uniforms to illustrate the importance of symbols. I don't think that analogy fits because first of all, teams are required to wear uniforms. Being an American doesn't obligate you to show any outward displays of allegiance or pride. And secondly, some of us don't need this kind of affirmation from others to know of another person's loyalty or pride. I know I certainly don't. If I'm playing a pickup game of touch football or something, I will KNOW who my teammates are. The pride is fine, but when we're on the court, some of us will be thinking more about how to defend the goal or how to get some points and not focus on our jerseys. Why? Because at the end of the game, those jerseys will come off. But even when we're off the field and wearing civilian clothes, I will know we're still on the same team. Pride in the team shouldn't die when the jerseys come off. That's why I think loyalty and patriotism can also come from the inside. Oh, and some people who have actually worn the "team uniform" (e.g., our military uniform) have disgraced this nation by their despicable actions at Abu Ghraib. But mentioning that to conservatives might make it seem like I'm bad-mouthing the United States. There are a lot of great things about the United States, but the fact is, this country has some serious problems, and if we keep the mentality that we're #1 just because we're Americans or keep focusing on the easy things instead of the hard things, the rest of the world is going to pass us by while our own ship sinks. The dollar is weakening, China is flooding our markets with garbage, gas prices are rising, children are falling behind in schools, wages are stagnant, and nobody really knows what our endgame is in Iraq these days. But as long as we have our flag pins and freedom fries and U-S-A chants, I guess none of that matters.

Anonymous said...

Anthony-wow! nice post. unfortunately it exposes your true colors and they aren't red, white & blue. "watch closely what a man denies. as it is often evidence of who he is" Save your I'm not an Obama supporter and I'm not a liberal rant. Mr. Pot, I'd like you to meet Mr. Kettle. After reading your rambling, I forced myself to go back and read Nikki's post again. Not a single flag pin reference? but I guess you found your soapbox. Nikki, your post was well-written, even if misunderstood by some anxiously waiting with sharpened knives and other agendas.

Nikki said...

Anthony, I can't defend myself anymore. I stated my opinion and you read into it what you wanted to. Period. I have re-read my post a thousand times and I don't see where all your accusations are coming from. I don't mind you calling me out on my opinions but don't put extra meaning into what I said because you know what conservatives think. I am sorry that you have been victimized but I have too and that is life. I don't go around spewing the mistreatment of others as a defect of America and an indoctrination of governmental policy. I fail to see how your mistreatment by others validates America as an unworthy country. MY understatement of history as you stated was like fingers to a chalkboard...this is offensive to me. I don't go around wondering why Mormons aren't treated better after all the US government and fellow americans did to my people. Raping, murdering, tar and feathering, extermination orders ordered by governor Boggs of Missouri in 1838. I don't hate America because of the actions of a few. I appreciate that America was able to overcome the wrongs of the past and move on. I am able to practice my religion as I see fit and for that I am grateful and I would never take that for granted. Admitting that America has progressed out of the passed does not condone nor ignore the civil rights that were denied to so many. But certainly don't act like that life is yours. I am not a black person but I am a woman and I have had my fair share of discrimination and unequal treatment. This is not a victimization contest. I don't seek out people who think I am a whacked out religious freak and spit on America because of them...America stands for good, some people in America are bad. I think you are dead wrong. This is my opinion. You have the right to yours but do not inject into mine what is not there nor that has ever been there. That is completely unfair. :)N

Nikki said...

Anthony, Mike called Bush a tyrannical leader with the policies of a King...I consider him a patriot. So your point is moot... I am with anonymous...what is up with the flag pin reference? did I say something about a flag pin?

Nikki said...

Anonymous, If you are going to directly respond to someone please be courageous enough to use your name, especially when delivering personal attacks. N

Anthony Palmer said...

Nikki,

You are the one who said "spitting in the face of White Americans on a regular basis," which makes it sound like Whites are the ones who are being victimized by non-Whites, and you question their patriotism because they do so. It is true that some Whites are indeed victimized. But obviously this is not a victimization contest and that's not the direction I was trying to take this argument in. But if you inject race into your post, you're probably going to get people injecting race into their comments. For the record, America is a wonderful country that has done wonderful things. I have a pretty good life here too that would have been harder to achieve anywhere else on Earth. But there are more than enough people out there who are oblivious to the bad things, and I think it's good that others bring these issues up because nobody wants to talk about that stuff. And since you brought up Mormonism, I bet if you switched the religions of Huckabee and Romney, I bet it would be Romney who is looking for a VP now, not McCain.

Why did I mention flag pins? Well, since you talked about all the ways people can show they potentially hate America (you said "you question their patriotism"), I figured that wearing a flag pin is one way someone can show that they love America. My point is that there are other ways to show one's love for their country other than silence or wearing a pin.

And finally, you said you don't agree with my accusations. But which accusations are you talking about? I didn't make any accusations about you or put any words into your mouth. If you can find an accusation I made, I'll apologize immediately. The closest thing I made to an accusation is:

"If Obama wins, I bet you'll be doing the exact same things you're criticizing "liberals" for doing to Bush right now."

That's the closest thing to any accusation in my comment. But after all, you claimed that "Jimmy Carter loves terrorists" a few days ago and don't have anything positive to say about Al Gore either. Why should I expect you to sing praises to Obama? Since you commonly bash these former and possible future presidents all the time, if Obama wins, it makes it sound like your patriotism should be questioned for the exact same reason you criticize the Bush-bashers today.

Anthony Palmer said...

One other thing:

If you think my "accusations" are that list of paragraphs in my first comment that start with "It's not patriotic," that is said in reference to the people on the right who criticize people on the left for not being patriotic. That was certainly what was going on in 2002 and 2004, at least during the elections then. Any usage of the word "you" in those paragraphs is rhetorical, not personal. So please don't take offense to that. But I'll apologize for offending you in any event.

Nikki said...

Anthony, my blog is free reign to rip on candidates, former Presidents and the current President. I rip on Hillary Obama Carter Al Gore Al sharpton Bill Clinton you name it any democrat or idiotic person. I am a partisan I don't claim to be objective.
Here is what I said
"I do wonder about a persons "love of country" when spitting in the face of white Americans on a regular basis. I also question a persons patriotism when in the face of disagreement they criticize the government on foreign soil. I also question a persons love of country when they have nothing good to say about her. I question liberals who whine about accusations of anti-patriotism after calling the U.S. evil. They spew their hatred of the President and then defend terrorists in the same breath."
1. spitting in the face of white people:Jeremiah Wright does not get a pass on this. He on sunday bellyached that people questioned his patriotism and yes quite frankly I do. unpatriotic.
2.criticize US on foreign soil:Dixie Chicks. have enough courage to say your piece to americans and not the Brits it is lame.unpatriotic.
3.nothing good to say: there are those out there who want to live in another country if they don't like the Pres.on both sides. unpatriotic.
4.Pres is Evil: Bush is Hitler and worse than the terrorists and a terrorist. untrue and unpatriotic.
5.hate pres. Bush and say he is terrorist. sorry unpatriotic.
I find terrorist accusastion of the Pres. to not be criticisms and over the top. call him stupid,retarded, moronic, simple minded or call him the worst President in the world or ever I don't care you can maintain your patriotism status in my world, but don't call him a terrorist or a hitler. that is my opinion. I hope I clarified. I still wonder about the explosivevness of my post. I don't think whites are victims I just don't think crazy black preachers get a pass when calling us all "rich white people" and spewing hatred which is what the rev does and it isn't ok. It doesn't take away from the passed ills america did to black people but he certainly not doing a whole lot for current race relations. I don't think every topic needs to be about racial inequality or prejidice. You have the right to feel the way you do but don't take on statement on Wright and turn it into a forget fest of passed crimes against black people. And I will continue to rip on Obama because he is a democrat so get used to it no one gets a free pass. I hope I have clarified. :)N

Nikki said...

Anthony, one more thing I appreciate your courage in saying your piece, few have those guts. I think it is great to see your passion in this topic. Maybe you should write your own piece. :)N

namaste said...

anthony, my sports analogy is an EXCELLENT one. it is about team spirit and pride. if that doesn't work for you how about spirit/pride day held in schools? where students wear the school colors. i guess you're one of those students who would refuse to wear the colors and insist we all take your word for it about how much you love your high school. whether you're talking about american citizens or sports players, it's all the same thing: pride & spirit. somewhere along the line, i get the feeling, one of your raw nerves was stepped on. i'm just saying. and i see that you like to have the last word, so i invite you to come back and say something here again. and i promise, you've heard the last from me on the subject of this particular post.

Anthony said...

No worries, Nikki. And now I see where you were coming from regarding JW, the Dixie Chicks, etc. That extra bit of context changes things and you may be surprised to know that I actually agree with you in both of those cases. It is unseemly for the Dixie Chicks to blast the US in England and JW should not get a pass for his ripping on Whites while absolving Blacks of any guilt for their circumstances.

This blog is a good sounding board. Looks like you're getting more popular too. And because of the good and intense discussions, I can see why.

Rob said...

Maria - I like your sports reference. It made me think of the Seinfeld episode where Puddy paints his face and chest to go to the Devils game. You can watch ESPN every night right now during the playoffs and see grown men wearing jerseys for team spirit. Funny! Rob

Thomas said...

Nikki, do you think David Vitter should resign?

Nikki said...

Thomas to be honest I don't know much if anything about the situation. I googled it before my response and it looks like something he did several years ago and claims to have cleared it up with God and his wife. I will leave the resigning calls to the people of Louisiana, I have no opinion either way. :)N