Monday, November 03, 2008

Patriotism

I'm trying to come to grips with the concept of the word "patriotic". It's certainly easy enough to score a traditional meaning of the word just by whipping out the nearest dictionary and checking out what it has to say, which is a good place to start, but even then the word doesn't really resonate with me. The reason I'm even thinking about it at all is because of what is going on with our friends to the south (the United States) this past while. Now maybe it's just because I'm a silly old Canadian and just am not capable of understanding such complicated matters as are being brought up south of the 49th, but there seems to be an awful amount of fretting (mainly, it would seem, by Republicans and their fellow travelers) about who is patriotic and who isn't. I mean, who is a "real American" and how do you tell when you have a fake one on your hands? It all appears to be getting weird, especially when you think about it a little bit.

What is a "real American" and what are the standards one uses to make this determination? What happens if you don't quite make it, if you are right on the edge of being a real American. Can you still get a US passport? What if you are one of these not quite real Americans and you go out and buy yourself a nice US flag lapel-pin. Would that be enough to boost you into real American status, or would you have to buy maybe two lapel-pins and keep one in your pocket because wearing two would look dumb, and how would you know? Would one of these right next to but not quite real Americans be considered patriotic? A recent Gallup poll asked the question about what was patriotic and it turns out that many of our US friends consider serving in the military to be very patriotic. I seems that since Senator John McCain, who served as a Navy pilot during Viet Nam, would be more patriotic than Senator Barrack Obama who has never served in the armed forces. I find this ridiculous because if that were the case then in 2004 Senator John Kerry, who also served in Viet Nam, would have been considered more patriotic than Governor George W Bush who spent the Viet Nam years being drunk. Yet GW is president. Weird.

As I understand it, the US Constitution protects the right to free speech (I believe it is the First Amendment, so it's pretty high up there), yet when the US press uses that right, the current vice-presidential candidate complains about it. Does this mean that Governor Sarah Palin is unpatriotic? Shouldn't she be actually defending the Constitution? Wasn't there some guy from US history who said, "I might not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Patrick Henry or something like that and isn't he considered a patriot? If so then how is it that a Congresswoman from Minnesota can say that the US Congress is bursting at the seams with anti-Americans just because they may not agree with her on some things. Isn't that unpatriotic?

It all seems a little arbitrary to me. I probably just don't understand. Oh well. Ice cream for desert.

Anyway... Humouroceros


Minnesota Congresswoman, Michelle Bachmann giving the president a good tounge-lashing

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