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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Left's Patriotism, or taking my ball and going home (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The Left's Patriotism, or taking my ball and going home
Everard
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Yup. Those who object to the destruction of our national ideals and attempt to prevent that destruction certainly qualify as patriots, then, for defending our country from internal destruction.
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Jesse
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Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself and for some one you love, is to leave.

Generally advised: A trial seperation. I'll be leaving for Australia Dec.12th on a one year work visa.

You ought to be thankful that your ancestors didn't see Patriotism the same way that you did, that they put their love of family before their love of Country, or else with very few possible exceptions, none of you would get to call yourselves Americans.

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jasonr
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You know, this reminds me of the discussions we have often had regarding OSC. He claims to be a Democrat, and to believe in the values that the Democratic party supposedly stands for, but has abandoned. Yet, he clearly has nothing in common with the current Democratic party. At a certain point, some people have rightly questioned whether it is disingenuous for him to call himself a Democrat.

Similarly, you have Michael Moore et al. claiming to be patriotic Americans, and to love America. However, by their own arguments, current America evidently does not resemble the America they supposedly love. So what is it that they love, if not current America? An America of the past?

Was there ever a time when America was less racist than it is now? By his own argument, racism was at the core of the founding of this nation. (Remember the South Park style cartoon from BFC?) Were you less violent a country one hundred years ago compared to today? Again, based on Moore's own assertions, it's hard to argue this. As for corporations, they have certainly grown larger and more influential, but then again, they are alot more restricted today than they were in the past vis a vis pollution, for example. Let's face it, corporations of the past were free to pollute and despoil with impunity. If the evils they caused were less severe than those around today, it was because they were smaller and less powerful, not because they were more moral or responsible. Was the America of the past big on gun control? Was church and state more seperate than it is now? Were gay rights more advanced. Did we have same sex marriage? Were poor people better off being left to fend for themselves, as opposed to the current welfare system? Were the rich and poor close together? Was everyone equal? Honestly, the America of the past not only doesn't jibe with Moore et al.'s ideals, but on the whole (with few exception) it actually resembles them less than what we have today. The America of today is probably closer to Moore at al.'s ideals than any in history, yet he attacks it with every breath in his body?

Unlike OSC's Democratic party, Michael Moore's America not only doesn't exist now, it never existed, even in the distant past. I'm sorry, but when people like Moore claim to love "America", and to want to protect it, they are being disingenuous. They don't love America; they love their own ideology, and want America to be remade in that image. I'm not sure what to call that, but I don't think patriotism is appropriate.

[ November 16, 2004, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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towellman
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I sort of think that "Patriot" is a one of those terms that can only be bestowed and not claimed. It's kind of like saying "I'm cool!"--the more you say it the less people believe you.

It's when people look at your actions and the sacrifices (a necessary part of being a patriot) you have made for your country and decide to bestow that title upon you that you deserve it. But even then it's still not appropriate to refer to oneself as a patriot.

[ November 17, 2004, 01:54 AM: Message edited by: towellman ]

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towellman
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Bye Jesse. Have fun! I lived in Sydney for a few years--lovely place...if you stay near the ocean. Cities don't come any nicer than North Sydney or Chatswood. Great train system there too and excellent diverse food. If you're going to bail on America, I couldn't recommend a better place! [Smile]
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towellman
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"our national ideals"

Perhaps you should say "my national ideals."

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Everard
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No, towellman, I don't think I should.
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potemkyn
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Ev,

"Yup. Those who object to the destruction of our national ideals and attempt to prevent that destruction certainly qualify as patriots, then, for defending our country from internal destruction."

I agree for the most part, but I think the catcher is what is their "attempt to prevent that destruction?" A vote and a protest, does not a patriot make. Sacrificing maybe two hours total of your life to this is not patriotic. Patriotism is a life long dedication. It shouldn't be diluted to include fair-weather protesters or idealistic posters. Patriots are few and far between, and what they do should not be undermined for the sake of other's self-esteem.

Potemkyn

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EvanWeeks
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quote:
Originally posted by potemkyn:
Patriots are few and far between, and what they do should not be undermined for the sake of other's self-esteem.

I beg to differ on the "Few and Far Between" bit. I work day in and day out with hundreds of true patriots, and still more like me wear my uniform and carry the flag and American interests overseas, sometimes giving their lives in the ultimate sacrifice. Few and far between? Nah. Only about 1.4 million of us. Granted, some don't serve for love of country, but all share the same situation: we're giving up freedoms and years of our lives to support this nation.
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TomDavidson
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As do postal workers.
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EvanWeeks
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Granted, Tom. Add in firefighters, policemen, paramedics, etc. if you like. They all serve, support and defend.
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TomDavidson
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And yet I'm reasonably confident that not all firefighters, paramedics, postal workers and military men are in fact patriotic, even though they're paid by the federal government to do important work.

It's not the nature of the work. It's the nature of the workers.

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potemkyn
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Evan and Tom,

My point was not to say there were no patriots, but that they are few and far between in America. 1.4 million...out of 300 million? less than 1 in 200 are patriots? Add in the firemen, police officers, postal workers, etc and maybe you get 1-2% of the country is patriotic. And that requires that all of them be patriots. That's what I meant by few and far between.

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Everard
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And yet you rule out everyone who's not in those jobs, for no real reason. There are probably millions more who do work for love of country.
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Everard
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Ok, that deserves a longer response.

I think there are millions more patriots then you give credit for. Anyone who would, under the circumstances, pick up a gun and fight if we are invaded, counts as a patriot in my book, as well as those who work as volunteers for political campaigns, people who send in columns or letters on a regular basis to their local newspaper in the hope that they will get published, without worrying about the pay. I count teachers as patriots, and social workers, and EMT's, emergency room doctors, and anyone else doing the work they do for our future without requiring very high pay. And the list goes on...

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Godot
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A true patriot is Margaret Hassan.

Irish-born.
Married Iraqi engineer.
Been in Iraq >30 years.
Learned Arabic.
"...pillar of support in local communities, often helping the needy in the face of opposition during Saddam Hussein's regime."

If I'm wrong and there is a God, he'd better treat her right!

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flydye45
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One thing missing is the understanding that someone who doesn't believe "my" way might also love his country. I suppose there are some on the Left who falls under this penumbra, but damned few. As JasonR did better then I ever could, most of the Left seems to love this homophillic, kumbaya, socialist, atheistic utopia that has never existed anywhere. Michael Moore does not love America. He loves his ideology and America (it saddens me to say) is the closest wealthy example he can find to whine at and make millions. Some people are just natural bomb throwers.

Ev, there are more ideals in America then yours. I do not love the welfare state of nationalized health care, with victimization and grievences driving public policy. This is a broad brush negative characterization of some of the Left's beliefs. Like all such, it is not that simple. But am I a patriot? I serve militarily, I vote, I write letters, I volunteer politically. And a whole lot on the Right fit into the definition bandied around on this thread. Why do you think Bush won?

That being said, sometimes the minority opinion is correct. Stonewall was justified. MLKJr. was a hero. That is why we need both types of patriots. But the Left has to love America the warted, not America the Utopia.

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Everard
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"Ev, there are more ideals in America then yours."

I didn't say there were not. If you read my statement, you'll see that it can apply equally to people of all different belief structures. The fact you choose to read it in a certain context, does not mean it doesn't fit other contexts.

"One thing missing is the understanding that someone who doesn't believe "my" way might also love his country."

And yet, its those on the right who accuse the left of lack of patriotism, rather then vice versa. I would suggest this is because the left recognizes that the right loves this country as much as those of us on the left love it, and that we don't insist that only those of us who think one way are american, unlike the right, which, as a collective whole, has been trying to label the left as unpatriotic for at least 10 straight years now. Prior to that as well, too, probably.

[ November 17, 2004, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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towellman
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Towellman: ""our national ideals"?
Perhaps you should say "my national ideals." "

Ev: "No, towellman, I don't think I should."

Flyde already provided some of the reasoning behind my suggestion. Perhaps you could share the values that you hold that you are sure we all hold as well, specifically those that you think are are currently being destroyed and leading to this country's "internal destruction."

I hear all these lefty people freaking out about how "our" values are gone and it's time to leave the country (Not saying you're one of them, Ev). I'd say it's about time they got some of their own medicine. Have they ever considered how the people that see abortion as murder felt when 7 people decided it was hunky-dory to kill babies? There are 1.6 million abortions a year in this country. The fact is that there are groups that will always feel like "our values" are being destroyed, it's part of being in a Democracy.

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potemkyn
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Everard,

"I think there are millions more patriots then you give credit for. "
OK, I was responding to Evan and Tom's posts. I wasn't intending to say that no one but those people are patriots, just that even if all those people are all patriots, there are not a whole lot.

"Anyone who would, under the circumstances, pick up a gun and fight if we are invaded, counts as a patriot in my book,"
I would agree...how many people do you know who would really do this? I'm assuming from my experience that there aren't all that many of them.

"as well as those who work as volunteers for political campaigns, people who send in columns or letters on a regular basis to their local newspaper in the hope that they will get published, without worrying about the pay."
Alright, here we disagree. This is nothing. It comes with being a citizen. The fact that this is considered "patriotism" is just proof of how little America understands the concept. What is sacrificed? A few hours? A couple of days? Maybe a few bucks? That's all you need to contribute to be a patriot? That's a fairly shallow definition in my opinion.

"I count teachers as patriots, and social workers, and EMT's, emergency room doctors, and anyone else doing the work they do for our future without requiring very high pay. And the list goes on..."
This, I think holds much more water than your letter writing patriot. But these cases are still a bit different than a soldiers case. The question is, why are these people EMT's or teachers? Is it because they like people? Are they motivated by a desire to help people? If so, they aren't patriots. They're heros alright, but not patriots. If they are doing their job because they love their country and want to serve it, then that would make them patriots.

Potemkyn

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Molonel
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The left is constantly, and now more often, accused of being unamerican, unpatriotic, and if you read Ann Coulter, treasonous.
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Lewkowski
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"The left is constantly, and now more often, accused of being unamerican, unpatriotic, and if you read Ann Coulter, treasonous. "

Reminds me of a funny Hannity and Colmes show. Talking about liberals and Colmes asks Ann - "So do you think all liberals are stupid" She smiles a little and says "Oh you should know me better then that, many of them are traitors" [Wink]

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Everard
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Towellman-
The reason I used "our" values above, is because no matter who is saying that values are being destroyed, is that, assuming love of country etc, they are acting to defend the country, from their own perspective.

For example, I might think that our national values are being destroyed because we have an administration that acted as an agressor nation in terms of warfare, something we've never done before. If I attempt to prevent that from happening again, I am defending our nations values, from my perspective.

Alternatively, someone else looking at the war in Iraq might see those opposing the invasion as destroying our national values by being opposed to the spread of democracy and freedom, and work to make sure that we always spread freedom and democracy.

Both of us have a valid point, and, even though we're looking at the same set of data, view the other side as destroying "our" national ideals. "OUr" in this case referring to the ideals that each of us holds that we believe are central to the idea of america.

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Zyne
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I hate the subject line of this thread.
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Godot
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I haven't read anything by Coulter and only heard snippets here and there so perhaps someone can tell me:

Is she as much of a bee-yatch as she seems to be or does she have good ideas to go along with her attitude?

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Zyne
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Godot, she'd say you're a traitor for asking.
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Lewkowski
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She's pretty smart. *Very* Sarcastic and *Very* funny. Also pretty harsh on the opposition. You can read her articles... they are achived at www.anncoulter.com
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Godot
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Lewk,

I'll check them out if I get some time.

But you didn't answer the question of whether or not she has good ideas to go along with her acerbic wit.

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towellman
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Ev,

I figured that that is what you meant and I would agree that there is a shared set of national values, the state of which is interpreted by the individual. I would also say that there are more idividual "values" that are not shared by all.

"For example, I might think that our national values are being destroyed because we have an administration that acted as an agressor nation in terms of warfare, something we've never done before."

Never in any conflict this large, no. There are examples of smaller conflicts in which we were indeed the aggressor. I would recommend a book called "The Savage Wars of Peace" by Max Boot. You may disagree with the portrayl or some of the authors conclusions (I questioned some), but it is very informative. Amazon link with synopsis and reviews

You do bring up a question worth discussing, that is: "Should America ever start a war as an aggressor?"

Our national anthem certainly does not rule this out--"And conquer we must, when our cause it is just"--self-defence is not the rationale, justice is.

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Everard
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"Never in any conflict this large, no. There are examples of smaller conflicts in which we were indeed the aggressor."

Maaaybe. I'd be willing to discuss it [Smile] Either way, though, we've certainly, for the last hundred years, talked the talk about not being an agressor, and worked hard to prevent aggressive warfare throughout the world.

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witless chum
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If Michael Moore is unpatriotic, then how about the pro-life protestors who stand by the side of the road with the dead fetus signs and all? Hell, some of them seem to suggest their country is wicked because it allows abortion. Some even say God might smite our country for such temerity. (Although, if God did smite us, that'd make them traitors for adhering to our enemies)

I'd submit that neither are unpatriotic. Moore is trying to make his country as good as possible (while getting paid). Or maybe he's not, only he knows for sure. The Operation Rescue people are doing the same thing, but presumably being paid less well.

And the ideals expressed in, say, the declaration of independence don't conflict with socialism, national health care or laissez fair capitalism. Maybe with Godlessness, but the greatest ideal of American is that everyone only has to agree on the basics, ie. the constitution.

Dan

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by witless chum:
If Michael Moore is unpatriotic, then how about the pro-life protestors who stand by the side of the road with the dead fetus signs and all?

Yea, read my longish post above. I make a distinction between people like Micheal Moore and people like Sean Penn (or your protestors).

Micheal Moore deliberately spreads lies to win - to make his morals into law. By doing so, he underminds the ideals of democracy, undermines the constition, and therefore is not a patriot.

On the other hand, those pro-lifers are just loud about their beliefs, and that's a good thing. If Micheal Moore didn't propegate mistruths, I would aplaud his efforts.

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Everard
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"Micheal Moore deliberately spreads lies to win"

I'm not sure that you can prove he's lying. I think, first, perhaps you should find instances where he states things that aren't true, show that they aren't true and that Michael Moore KNOWS they aren't true. If you can do that, then you can show he's lying. Until that point, I'd really appreciate if you don't call him a liar. In the same way that people accusing Bush of being a liar need a high degree of proof, so do you when calling Moore a liar.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"Micheal Moore deliberately spreads lies to win"

I'm not sure that you can prove he's lying. I think, first, perhaps you should find instances where he states things that aren't true, show that they aren't true and that Michael Moore KNOWS they aren't true. If you can do that, then you can show he's lying. Until that point, I'd really appreciate if you don't call him a liar. In the same way that people accusing Bush of being a liar need a high degree of proof, so do you when calling Moore a liar.

Micheal Moore's lies have been debunked numerous times, examples here and here. Whether or not his factoids are true is irrelevent, he weaves those factoids into a misleading and deceptive story; The viewer walks out believing a lie.

The story is too well crafted for Micheal Moore to claim innocence. He misrepresents interviews and facts as a matter of course, and does so reapeatedly and with no modesty. I believe it is clear that his intent is deception, and I don't see how any informed person could disagree.

Here is one of the examples you asked for, there are many more located at the sites I linked to above.

quote:
Fahrenheit shows Condoleezza Rice saying, "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." The audience laughs derisively. Here is what Rice really said on the CBS Early Show, Nov. 28, 2003:

Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York. This is a great terrorist, international terrorist network that is determined to defeat freedom. It has perverted Islam from a peaceful religion into one in which they call on it for violence. And they're all linked. And Iraq is a central front because, if and when, and we will, we change the nature of Iraq to a place that is peaceful and democratic and prosperous in the heart of the Middle East, you will begin to change the Middle East....

It's very clear Dr. Rice meant, and said, something much different from what MM portrayed. I simply won't buy that MM watched only the first 7 seconds of this video. He clearly took the 7 second clip that helped his case, and left the rest on the floor of the editing room. To do that is to create a lie, plain and simple.


While reviewing this argument, I recalled this thread, where you rather strictly defined a lie as "[A] deliberate statement of something known to be false at the time the statements are made." It apears from your 4th post in that thread:

quote:
For the purposes of discussion on ornery, "What is the deliberate twisting of individually truthful facts to give a false impression?"

this is usually referred to as "spin." If we start calling people liars who do that, we must simply make it a general rule that all politicians are liars, and therefore there is no need to call any of them a liar, individually, because it is known that all politicians lie, under that definition, on a constant basis. Which is why saying that such a thing is a lie is next to useless, and also itself misleading.

that you would define Micheal Moore's videos as spin. I contend they are much more than that; they go far past any reasonable definition of spin, at least as far as I can see it.

I don't see any way to define MM's tactis besides as a lie. He's not showing just his side of it; he's showing his side, and augmenting it with falshoods. To claim Dr. Rice said there was a connection between Saddam and Al'Queda, while she said something entirely diffferent, is clearly far above and beyond spin, deceit may work, but I call it a lie.

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Zyne
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quote:
Whether or not his factoids are true is irrelevent...
quote:
It's very clear Dr. Rice meant, and said, something much different from what MM portrayed.
So, you're saying that we shouldn't listen to the actual WORDS someone says because they're not relevant to what they really meant.

[ November 18, 2004, 09:49 AM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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Doug64
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quote:
For example, I might think that our national values are being destroyed because we have an administration that acted as an agressor nation in terms of warfare, something we've never done before.
The Mexican War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish American War, umpteen Latin American "interventions," Grenada and Panama spring to mind.

[ November 18, 2004, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: Doug64 ]

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KidA
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I remember when I was in high school (this was about fourteen years ago), and the nation was going through one of its many "should we ban flag-burning?" debates. Even though this was in in the ostensibly ultra-liberal Massachusetts, many of my fellow student were for a ban (my town was actually majority Republican - we had an air force base, and lots of military families).

I'll never forget what one student said, in response to the claim that flag-burning was a protected form of free-speech: "If you burn the flag, it's like you're burning that which gives you the freedom of speech." Many, many times have I heard similar arguments coming from pundits on TV, in magazines. I also get a whiff of something similar when people talk about patriotism, and "working FOR one's country."

My view is this - "gives" me freedom of speech? Gives? The declaration of independance states that my freedoms are "self-evident", i.e., that they exist by virtue of the fact that I am a human being. They exist regardless of what institution does or does not govern me. They are universal. They belong to every human being that lives. They are "endowed" by me "Creator", and they are "inalienable".

American government was unique in its time because it proposed that the goverment was the people's servant, not their master. America was great because an individual was permitted self-rule, and could act according to one's own conscience.

America was deliberately founded as a nation-in-conception. It was designed to change and evolve. The founding fathers had a certain humility - they knew that they could not completely forsee what future generations, would require, and how they might live. That's why the constitution has always been a work-in-progress.

America has also always been about an ideal. Not one ideal, but a collection of varying ideals from different people. The very structure of our government is anti-conservative - it was designed and built for change and improvement. It was meant to be challenged.

If you raise a child, you have an ideal for that child, that you must use as a template to compare against reality. "Raising" America works the same way. Every American in history has had major issues with the goverment, and with fellow Americans. That's how it's supposed to be. America is great insofar as it is a peaceful collaboration of numerous individuals with divergent opinions. Individualism, not collectivised nationalism, is what makes America great.

Now, our common language of discourse refers to "Patriotism" and "country" in a what that seems to me the language of tyranny.

Charging that someone is viewing America through "ideology" rather than historical reality is charging them with being American. We are a forward-looking people.

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flydye45
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I am interested in the the case for the Left with regard to Communism. Despite what many have "heard" about the McCarthy era, the fact is that many actors, union reps et al WERE working for the Soviet government, as the opening of their archives has revealed. Dare I question their patriotism? Most rational people would accept the fact that they are not patriots.

Now what about such people as that NYT reporter of the '30's (I forgot his name). He went to the USSR, saw the oppression, saw the policy of starvation, and did a Michael Moore fluff piece on how it is a great egalitarian society. Is someone like that a patriot? I don't think so.

On a more slippery slope is someone ala Kerry, who argued for unilateral disarmament in the '80's, one who apologized for the massacares in Niceragua by the Communists there.

Perhaps they were patriotic, but for which country? Even moreso then now, their ideology, which seemed all important, was WAY out of kilter with America the Real.

The Left, Ev, has had a very poor record with regard to defending America. When the most frequent statements one makes is to defend the other guy, that is not supporting one's country. The Left(individuals in the ideology) defended the Soviets, the Maoists, Sandanistas, and the worst have stated Al Qauida had valid reasons for killing us. Not patriots.

This does not apply to everyone by any means. But as a Conservative, I have been painted as an abortionist killing theocrat who hates colored people of all stripes. The broad brush paints both ways.

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flydye45
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Universal American values?

Individual liberty (the problem is how much and in which directions)

Pursuit of Happiness (how much does the government help)

Equality under the law (hate crimes, yes/no?, affirmative action? Jim Crow laws?)

Rule of Law decided by the Majority (Roe v Wade? Dredd Scott? Seccession? Monicagate?)

The control of industry by government (how much?)

Fair work for a fair price (a sweeper who gets $26/hr, a doctor who needs to work only 10 hrs a week?)

Any others?

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flydye45
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Zyne, two points.

First, the Left, after big wins in the '60's has slowly been losing the ideological war of ideas. Every win has made the bomb throwers seek the next big cause. They have since moved into tinfoil hat crowd ideas. Peter Singer and his "trial period" for infants. SSM (rational but rejected). After decades of getting their own way, the Left is now pouting, picking up their ball and moving to France. No one is listening to them. How dare they!

Second, I dislike Pentacostals who take snippets of scripture and apply it to every situation. It seems dishonest. Even worse in Mikey Moore, Maureen Dowd of the ellipse, et al. If you do it, you are a liar. Now, Kerry voting "90 times for tax increases" is also over the top. It is one thing to take such a long drawn out explaination and reduce it to a sound bite. It is another to cut out only the inflammatory sentence to make a false inference.

You know better then that.

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