Monday, April 21, 2008

#388 She's a Grand Old Pin

#388 She's a Grand Old Pin

Picture this. George Washington comes back to life and the first thing he does is get one of those flag pins and sticks it in his lapel.

Don't hold your breath for that one. George didn't need one. He was a walking symbol of patriotism, and try to imagine ABC's Charlie Gibson trying to make George look small by asking him about one.

The flag pin has been around a long time, but it was Richard Nixon who made the thing popular. Great Patriot Nixon, who brought us Watergate, was the first guy to make a fashion statement out of the American flag.

Nixon was the least secure individual in American politics in the lifetime of anyone reading or hearing this. And the people who wear them are cut from almost the same cloth.

Digression: do you know why the 9/11 attacks failed? It's because the nutcase terrorists confuse symbolism with reality. the brought down two of the ugliest structures ever built. They killed a lot of people. They killed the symbol. They did not kill the spirit behind it.

We Americans know the difference between symbol and spirit.

The Trade Center towers were a symbol of America. They were a government sponsored monument to American Capitalism. They were destroyed. American capitalism lives.

The Trade Center collapsed. What it represented did not. We're still Americans, we're still capitalists. We mourn our human losses and rebuild our destroyed buildings. the symbol matters only to the extent that we were attacked and lives were lost.

The attackers didn't understand this about us then, and they don't now.

The ultra-conservative US Supreme Court has said burning the flag is protected communication. It's reprehensible, but legal. That's because we don't need the symbols.
The symbols and what they symbolize are two different things, and even this court understands that.

So what of the flag pin?

They're hammering Barak Obama for not wearing a pin. And what does that mean? That he's unpatriotic? No. It means he understands the differemce between a pin-on button and real patriotism.

You want to wear a flag pin? Fine, wear it. You're in good company, symbolically: Osama Bin Laden and Richard Nixon.

It's not your flag pin that makes you a patriot. It's your thinking.

Does any sane American question Obama's patriotism? Does any sane American believe that jsut because you wear a flag pin you're a patriot?

Wearing a flag pin is like driving a Hummer and keeping an Uzi under your bed.

It shows you're a Real Man and a Real American. And it also shows you have a "size" problem.

I'm Wes Richardws. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2008

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