Patriotism

Conservatives spanked President Obama for not wearing a flag pin. Which raises the question, what does a flag pin signify? The wearer believes it’s patriotism. It isn’t. The pin is no more than a biker patch – his ‘colors’ if you will. The pin wearer declares himself to be no more than a nationalist wearing patriot’s clothing. Worse, in today’s America, a white nationalist.

What’s the point? Why do it? To rally the troops. America is a battleground. On one side the plutocrats and their poodles in Congress. On the other, trouble-makers like ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and elitists, urbanites, coastal types and other liberals.

The plutocrats need foot soldiers to win elections. In turn to ensure an environment conducive to the fleecing of the regular guy. Their enablers – the craven politicians who pass or block legislation benefitting the richest amongst us – signal the confused, scared, and fearful white working class that they have their backs.

Wall-to-wall flags. Lapels full of pins. Days in uniform: Zero. The dickless duo.

Wall-to-wall flags. Lapels full of pins. Days in uniform: Zero.

The pin sends the message: You can have your great (white) America again. Trust us. We’re wearing a flag.

And consider this, if you are the patriots, the other side must be the traitors. And if they are traitors they can’t be trusted. Their every protest is a protest against America. Their dissent is a product of some blend of socialism, Islam, immorality, and atheism.

And therein lies the second meaning of the pin. What goes with country – like vanilla ice-cream with apple-pie? God – naturally. It is no surprise there are no atheists in Congress. Or are there?

God is an outsized presence in the American imagination. There is no bigger totem. It is no surprise there are no atheists in Congress. Or are there?

Do you think that most politicians are true believers? After all, these are people who lie for a living. If you believe their bios, every congressperson is a person of faith with the exception of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Which, in a country that is increasingly non-religious, seems statistically improbable. We are even witnessing a rash of pastors losing their religion.

Of course, the talk of religion has nothing more to do with God than talk of patriotism has to do with country. Even evangelicals are not a religious group. As their support for Donald Trump clearly showed, they are America’s largest white supremacist organization.

Distracting the needy from their need, the lacking from their lack, has been the treasured goal of every demagogue, and his trusted propagandist, since one man decided he ought to have more than the next guy. Even if it meant taking stuff from the next guy.

We like to think that we are rational beings. The type of people who laugh at the poor primitives who sold Manhattan for trinkets. But many of us are no better. In case, those who cede authority to men who say that they are doing God’s work. Men whose only evidence for this ridiculous claim is merely their word. Thin gruel indeed. And we claim the Indians were naive.

Let me just say this in conclusion. Flag pin wearing is not universal. A casual survey indicates that those who have served do not wear them. And those who dodged it – had other priorities so to speak – do so.

Considering that, make your best judgment as to the character of the wearer versus the non-wearer.

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