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October 08, 2007

Questioning Patriotism, Again

How many times do I have to return to this topic? I guess it's never-ending. The left wants to be credited as "patriotic," at least as they would prefer to define that term, while engaging in the most anti-American impulses and invective possible.

The latest offender is noted by Winds of Change. An "intellectual elite" holds forth on true "Amerocan idea" in The Atlantic:

If the American idea was to subdue Native Americans and place them at the disposal of European settlers, to import several million Africans to the New World and subject them to a lifetime of slavery, to impose on Asian immigrants a lifetime of discrimination, then perhaps the American idea was not so admirable.

If the American idea, once the Civil War had concluded, was to sentence the freedmen to a lifetime of racial segregation, discrimination, and humiliation, then perhaps the American idea was not so praiseworthy.


The American idea is the nation’s holiday garb, its festive dress, its Sunday best. It covers up an everyday practice of betraying the claims of equality, justice, and democracy. It calls for Thomas Jefferson to advise his young protégé Edward Coles to abandon his plan to emancipate his slaves and migrate to Illinois, and to reconcile himself to his country’s "unfortunate condition." While Coles did not accept Jefferson’s advice, many of his contemporaries did, thus strengthening the American idea of inequality and injustice.

It is fairly late in the game, but one hopes that there is still time to grasp the reality of American life for those of different racial and national backgrounds and to embrace the country’s professed ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.

Winds of Change likens this supposed "love of country" to the "love" of a mother who abuses her child. I've previously called this the Ike Turner Model of Patriotism -- "Baby, baby, come on now baby. You know I wouldn't beat the shit out of you every day if I didn't love you baby. Now cover that shiner up with some makeup and make me a sandwich."

David Thompson notes a review of Todd Gitlin's The Intellectuals and The Flag, which I have to assume is full of this sort of crap:

The left embraced the smug disassociation from existing society epitomized in the sweeping call by Herbert Marcuse for a ‘Great Refusal’ of the confining ideals and crass manipulations of the modern capitalist political economy. But the embrace of Marcuse's slogan has amounted in practice to a ‘great withdrawal,’ a narcissistic retreat into self-proclaimed ‘marginality,’ an obsession with ever more minute forms of identity politics and the infinite ‘problematizing’ of ‘truth,’ a reflexive opposition to America and the West, and an immurement in ‘theories’ whose radicalism is so pure that they never quite touch down to earth - follies all underwritten and protected by the perquisites and comforts of academia.

Jonah Goldberg weighs in as well:

Anyway, the point I'd been trying to make was that liberals routinely and righteously condemn the "questioning" of anyone's patriotism — until they have a chance to do it themselves....

John Kerry was the all-time champ of this sort of thing. He routinely insinuated that criticisms of his positions on national defense were tantamount to McCarthyism.... This in itself is a backhanded way to question the patriotism of your opponents. After all, to liberals, Joe McCarthy is synonymous with "un-American." So, by preemptively and wantonly declaring any criticism to be McCarthyite dirty pool, Democrats are questioning the patriotism of their opponents in order to silence dissent (they play a similar preemption game with charges of racism as well).

But Democrats did worse than merely question the patriotism of their opponents; they flat-out denied it. Sen. Bob Graham called Bush's war policy "antipatriotic at the core." Kerry dubbed Bush's "creed of greed" — you guessed it — "unpatriotic."

Howard Dean, the nearly invisible chairman of the Democratic National Committee, used to get himself into those I'm-turning-into-the-Hulk rages over the merest hint that Republicans questioned the patriotism of Democrats. But he saw nothing wrong with righteously proclaiming that John Ashcroft "is no patriot. He's a direct descendant of Joseph McCarthy."

And now with Limbaugh, Democrats, starting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are lining up to call the radio host "unpatriotic" and do whatever they can to discredit him.

There is some dishonesty here as conservatives fall over themselves to claim we're not questioning anyone else's patriotism. As the left compensates for their own hatred of America by constantly questioning the patriotism of the actually patriotic, it's well past time we dropped this rhetorical tic and simply said, "No, we don't question your patriotism so much as we assert, with a rash of citations, that you are unapologetically unpatriotic and in fact America-hating and often in sympathy with America's enemies."

Bonus: Meanwhile, the multimillionaire celebrity Bruce Springsteen whines that he's being repressed.

Dude, your albums suck. That's not repression. That's just you jumping the shark sometime around Dancing in the Dark.

Instapundit makes the comparison between Springsteen's narcissistic craving of martyrdom with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who's actually in danger of being murdered due to her expression of thoughts unpopular with certain people.

If Springsteen wants to brave real oppression on speech, maybe he should stop mumbling crap songs about how distraught he is that his candidates don't win and write an anthem to someone with real courage in the face of murderous rage.

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posted by Ace at 04:15 PM

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