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Winning by Losing The Sub-prime Blame Game

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Democrats Say: We Are Too Patriotic

by Christopher Chantrill
March 04, 2007 at 1:42 pm


AMONG THE NUMEROUS issues on which Democrats are hypersensitive to criticism—or as you and I might say, critique—is patriotism. Do not dare question a Democrat’s patriotism, at least not like Vice-President Cheney:

"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."

Speaker Pelosi was having none of that:

"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," Pelosi said.

That is odd, because a real Democrat ought to be proud of dissenting from the president’s policy, like Howard Zinn, who said back in 2002:

While some people think that dissent is unpatriotic, I would argue that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. In fact, if patriotism means being true to the principles for which your country is supposed to stand, then certainly the right to dissent is one of those principles. And if we’re exercising that right to dissent, it’s a patriotic act.

So why didn’t Speaker Pelosi come right out and say it: “I am dissenting from the president’s policy and that is the highest form of patriotism?”

We know why she didn’t. Despite the ingenuity of historian Howard Zinn Democrats aren’t patriots. They don’t like patriots and they don’t believe in patriotism. They quote Dr. Johnson out of context: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” They inveigh against “aggressive nationalism,” and its inevitable wars, just as they inveigh against religion and religious wars. They believe in supranational institutions like the European Community and the United Nations.

But Democrats know that Americans are patriotic, certainly Republicans and independent voters. They know that they cannot afford to be seen as unpatriotic. That is why the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 2004, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), opened his acceptance speech with a military salute and the words: “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.”

The whole thing was as false as a three dollar bill. Democrats hate having to do stuff like that, but they know that they must, for they cannot afford to concede the patriotism thing to the Republicans.

Democrats are wrong about patriotism and the nation state, as they are wrong about many things. The nation state is not something to be ashamed of. It is a remarkable achievement. It is the largest successful attempt at human community that transcends blood kinship.

The stunning achievement of the nation state is to draw the boundaries of trust not with blood but with language, and then to pretend that we are all related by blood. We still use the language of blood kinship when we talk about the nation: mother country, spilling American blood, our American family, patriotism (from the Latin: pater, father).

Not only do Democrats not believe in patriotism, they also don’t believe in dissent. Whatever Howard Zinn may say to his pals at TomPaine.com about dissent being the highest form of patriotism, don’t try to practice dissent any time soon, at least not around Democrats.

Try to suggest that we should reform Social Security and see where it gets you.

Try to suggest that we should give parents the right to send their children to the schools of their choice and see where it gets you.

Try to suggest that maybe the best place for a child is with its married biological mother and father and see where it gets you.

If Democrats don’t believe in patriotism and they don’t believe in dissent, what do they believe in?

Oh yes. Equality.

Now there is a curious thing about equality. You could line up all the people in the world, share out all the goods in the world, and make everyone equal. But the next morning the world would be unequal again. Some of the people would have used their goods to start a business, and others would have blown it on a great big party. It is impossible to obtain human equality without the micromanaging power of government.

And that’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans want to use the power of government to control Al Qaeda. Democrats want to use the power of government to control Americans.

Which is more patriotic? You make the call.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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presented by Christopher Chantrill

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