Red, White, and All-Around Wrong

I was reading a new post on another great blog, Globally Rational, about the notion of “supporting our troops.” The basic premise was that if we really supported our troops, we would care enough about their well-being to understand the effect this war is having on them and, consequently, bring them home.

It got me thinking about phrases like “Support our troops!” and about patriotism in general. A popular criticism of the Left and of those who seek to end the war is that they are not patriotic and that, by questioning and evaluating the actions of our country, they are somehow less “American” than those who don’t.

This is absurd and every time I hear such stupidity uttered, my blood boils just a little and I start to think that selective suffrage might not be such a bad idea. (Really, if you think thoughtful, fact-based analysis is equatable to treason, you ought to be disenfranchised.) Supporting your country blindly, without any deep understanding of the facts, is one of the most dangerous things a person could do, and, in my opinion, is about as un-American as it gets. A country needs its citizens to be educated, to engage in intelligent debate, and to keep its leadership in line so that they steer the country down the best track possible. When citizens neglect to be informed and critical, they become nothing more than pawns and they give their government power to make unilateral decisions that may be rooted in less-than-admirable motivations.

Another thing I can’t stand is people who insist upon taking fashion cues from our flag. Aside from adding nothing to the debate, this color palette is just plain unattractive and serves as a signaling cue to me about the relative level of that person’s intelligence. (Excepted from this comment are children. If you are under the age of ten, red, white, and blue apparel is perfectly fine.) Our country is not a sports team. You need not show your support by wearing our “team colors” and talking about how much “better” our country is than all the rest. Please stop rooting for the home team just because of where you live. If your “team” has problems, talk about those problems and propose solutions until the leadership has no choice but to listen.

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9 Replies to “Red, White, and All-Around Wrong”

  1. Thanks for the link. I agree… the fear of being seen as “unpatriotic” is an easy way to do some pretty unusual things.

  2. Erica,
    I agree with you on your patriotism comment: Being a dissident does not equate hating your country. I always remind people that protest/dissent is an integral ingredient of being an American.
    And as far as giving “their government power to make unilateral decisions.” Well, you know where I stand on that;)

  3. Well said, Erica.

    The inalterable fact that this country was formed by dissidents, doesn’t seem to impress those whose opinions are often uneducated, and usually set in stone.

  4. Amen, sister! I would say the worst offense is the Star Spangled string bikini, with camouflage being a close second. I HATE it when parents put their children in camo. Wrong on so many levels.

  5. It is sometimes harder to fight for freedom, than for war.
    If all the money what was spent in war would be spent for schools, medical treatments, new jobs, infrastructure etc. Many americans would get older, than they will by now, because the money is spent otherwise.
    If you sum up these spoiled years of life, what amount would it be. Maybe a year per American citizen? 300.000.000 years. Divided by 100 years for one life it yields 3 Million dead people. Is war worth wile hurting one’s own citizen?

  6. Very well put. I’m not American, I live in Norway, but the rest of the world is also quite dependent on American politics. It’s a bit of a paradox, I think, that the state of afairs in so many countries depends on how far away the next election in the US is…

  7. Great post and well said.
    I have always been perplexed as to where I stood on the war.

    I for one would scream the loudest if we did nothing after 911 and had another devestaing attack.

    However, I also feel that the war is not the answer. I wish I knew what was.

    I couldn’t agree with you more that the people need to speak up when the government makes decisions with these devestating consequences. Those who say that it is anti-american need to dig out the history books. 7th grade I think!

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