Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Patriotism

Here it comes, again. The Fourth of July. The day when Americans flock to the lakes and streams and mountains or the back yard to have picnics and shoot off fireworks, celebrating our independence.

I think some people have a curious way of proclaiming their patriotism. They put bumper stickers on their pick-em-up trucks and wrap themselves in material that appears to be made from American flags. They put humongous American Flags in their front yards, and then let them stay up through all weather, and all night without proper lighting.

These are the same people who loudly criticize others for not wearing flag pins or placing their hands over their hearts during the singing of the National Anthem, as if either of these actions would prove one's patriotism.

General Wesley Clark made the rather mild comment, during an interview, that merely flying a fighter jet and getting shot down did not make a man qualified to be president. Of course, the national media jumped right on it, and tsk, tsk, tsk'd for about three days under the heading "Breaking News".

Another tempest in a teapot.

Which do you think is more patriotic - sitting back and letting the government do whatever it wants, and never making waves, or seeing things the government is doing that are damaging to the citizens, and speaking out, even though you know that people with the opposite opinion will attempt to shut you up by either making fun of your opinions or just plain censoring you?

The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they insisted upon protecting every citizen's right to free speech, short of "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater", for instance. In other words, you have a right to your opinion, and a right, and even a duty, to express it aloud.

The Fourth of July would probably be a very good time to think about our freedoms, and why they had to be protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

9 comments:

kenju said...

AMEN!!

"These are the same people who loudly criticize others for not wearing flag pins or placing their hands over their hearts during the singing of the National Anthem, as if either of these actions would prove one's patriotism."

I hope each and every one of them sees this!!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm actually commenting on your entry of June 26th but you might not go back and look at it!
I have just written a couple of poems about my parents, one serious, the other very much not so! You might like to read them.
I, too, write a daily journal but all in verse and aimed at Wrinklies. I'm Australian
My blog is 'Rinkly Rimes' and my URL is
http://rinklyrimes.blogspot.com/
Brenda Bryant

Nancy said...

"General Wesley Clark made the rather mild comment, during an interview, that merely flying a fighter jet and getting shot down did not make a man qualified to be president. Of course, the national media jumped right on it, and tsk, tsk, tsk'd for about three days under the heading "Breaking News".

Yes, Betty, Television has an insatible appetite and must be fed crap constantly. Just think, there are 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Every minute of that time has got to be filled; I mean, what would Chris and Keith and Dan and Pat and Larry and Anderson,PHEW! have to talk about?

Angelina and Britney and Paris only go so far, so General Wesley Clark goes right to the top.

As that Russian guy in Branson would say,"What a Country"!

Karen said...

I think General Clark should have been smarter than criticizing or questioning someone's service as a POW. He should support Obama if he wants and be public about it. But talk about the issues!

Just my 2 cents.

Newt said...

kinda like the hoo ha about obama plagerizing speeches. Daily Show did a word by word comparison of the so called similar speeches and the only words in common were of, the, and we.

Ya know, that little post you just did would have some people telling you that if you dont like america get out and go live in a country with no rights, go live with the terrorists.

Which I never understood. How does questioning what you are told rather than blind stupid sheep following put you in bed with terrorists?

People are SOOO stupid.

Newt said...

Oh,and HAPPY 4th of July!

Betty said...

kenju: We agree on so many things! Thanks.

rinkley rimes: I'm so glad you dropped by. I just visited your blog and loved it! I meet so many interesting people on the internet!

nancy: We could stand to go back to the old test pattern from midnight to 6:00 a.m. most days, I think.

karen: I have heard that the various branches of the service tend to criticize each other - this may have just been one of those moments. You know, the Army and Marines don't think the Navy and Air Force put themselves in as much danger, generally. At any rate, General Clark was there, too, so probably feels he can say whatever he likes. I agree with you that he might have been better off keeping his mouth shut this time, but, like I said, "Freedom of Speech", etc.

Thanks for your comment. We may not agree on much philosophically, but I always enjoy having your opinion.

newt: There are times when I think I DO live with the terrorists, right here. lol

Big John said...

I have often wondered about the great 'show' of patriotism put on by the American people, because we have nothing like it here in the UK. No flags flying on homes (or even on most public buildings, no lapel badges, no oath taking, etc.
They are not important, but what is important is that, unlike you, we do not have a written 'Constitution' and it's beginning to show !

Happy 4th July.

Raven said...

Well said... I've never understood why some people think its unpatriotic to want other people's children not to get killed in an unnecessary war. Strange. I think wanting my country to do and be her best is the best I can do for her. Regarding General Clark's remarks. Media Matters had a very interesting article about how McCain said very much the same thing about Kerry some years back when he was running for president.

I've said it before but it's worth repeating. I like the way you write - and what you say.