Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Get the hell out!"

I'm out of town, so I've found some of my favorite old postings to recycle.

I've been following the stories of Tea Partiers (unknown in 2007 when this blog was written), and of firebrands complaining loudly about placement of mosques, the president, the Democrats, blah blah blah...

I've heard all of it before, of course. It just takes different forms. Remember a few years ago when some yo-yos wanted to rename French fries "Freedom fries" because we were mad at France? Things haven't much changed.

From March 22, 2007:

Wandering around the Internet I found this ridiculous statement appended to the American flag. This is the descendant of the decals and bumper stickers we used to see during the time of the Vietnam War, "America Love It Or Leave It."

I always wonder about people who create these sorts of images, wondering exactly what is in their minds. Is patriotism standing up in front of a flag and issuing a challenge, "If you don't love FREEDOM then you GET THE HELL OUT." Is it patriotic to kick people out of the country if they don't agree with you? And who doesn't love freedom? But exactly what "freedom" are the people who created this image talking about?

Are they talking about their right to make ridiculous pronouncements and by positioning them next to an American flag give them some sort of credibility? Or is it just a handy symbol to hang onto a threat? Are they talking about the freedom of speech, which means that I can disagree with them? I can tell them when they say things like this I think they're stupid?

I wonder what people in other countries think when they see this sort of provincialism on the part of Americans, or are they used to our arrogance and our "we're the only people that matter" attitude toward the rest of the world's population? Have you ever seen a bumper strip that says anything like this originating in Great Britain or even Botswana? I'm sure their citizens feel every bit as patriotic about their countries but they don't go about making total asses of themselves like some folks in our country do.

"If you don't love freedom, then get the hell out of the U.S.A.!" isn't patriotic. It's idiotic. It isn't thinking, it's just a jerk and his knee, and it's jingoism in its rawest form.

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