Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where's the Beef?

Where's the Beef?

Or, rather more properly stated- where's the patriotism?

I'm not honestly surprised to see no patriotic impulse in President Obama. That would be like expecting him to know that the National Anthem has 4 verses. He's some form of post-statist (or at least post-America) progressive and patriotism isn't really all that compatible.

That's okay, I understand the impulse to be a global humanist- but it always devolves into a command authority system. "The right people know better. and we're the right people because we say so and those rednecks don't know who to vote properly anyhow." Ask me how I'd solve hunger in Somalia, and you might get a different answer.

I'm a little bit surprised that there's no overt patriotism from any of the major declared republican office seekers in the Presidential Primary race. Greenspon had some, yeah- but he's a Marine. I think his campaign needs a strong dose of professionalism and some help with the idea of being president of a lot of people (you have to listen to)- but at least he's a Marine, yknow?

Hunstsman? Well, when he gets done lovin on the chinese, maybe he'll have some time for the US. Shame, I'd really like the guy if the 12th article of faith had a bit more oomph in his campaign. - The 12th is generally interpreted to mean that a strong patriotism- or civic nationalism - is called for- at least in the LDS churches I grew up in.

Romney, Cain, Perry, etc? Yeah, well. I'm a bit surprised, but not much. Bachmann is a loon, the rest are Machine politicians and patriotism isn't in the mix. Except Perry, where- aside from the scary crusader/spanish inquisition act, you'd expect him to bring some good old fashioned Americanism in.

But what's really getting me is District 2, Nevada.

Amodei, who at least is a veteran, versus Marshall- the Democrat who would "never vote to raise taxes" even if every other state officeholder in the democratic party did/does/will unitedly vote for them. (She can get away with this because as treasurer she never had to vote.)

Amodei's closest approach in orbit:

"I am proud to have served in the United States Army, and even prouder to have a daughter who has recently served in the United States Navy. For the Amodei Family, supporting the men and women of the Armed Services is a way of life."

Okay. It's not front page patriotism- but at least his front page does have the state flag on it. And hey, a veteran is a veteran. Some sense of civic duty and pride are demonstrably present.

Marshall.... Oh, man. Kennedy, Clinton- even Carter would weep. No red, white, or blue on her website, no Nevada logos or symbols. and the closest approach to patriotism is "supporting VA medical care"

In fact, her webpage focus is on multiculturalism and middle class jobs.

I suggest she look at the district she's running to represent.

Enough of that- Patriotism.

"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. "
George William Curtis

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president."
Teddy Roosevelt

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
Adlai Stevenson

"There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream."
Archibald MacLeish

"National honor is national property of the highest value."
James Monroe, first inaugural address, 4 March 1817

Patriotism is a loyalty to the nation- in the peculiar thing that is America, it is loyalty to the principles and dream of America.

Regardless of where you stand on a specific issue- the government's role in the economy, Medicare funding, corporate taxes, abortion- if you are running for an en elective office, you need to be able to be trusted to hold onto patriotism. And in particular, the peculiar American Patriotism of belief in our founding principles.

From the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

From the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The blessings of liberty. This stands at the core of our American Patriotism.

Talk to me about taxes, about economic reform, about job creation and foreign relations.

But talk to me about these after convincing me the securing of my Liberty is in your mind at all times.

Candidates- all of you- step up to the plate and take a swing at it. It will take less time than designing yet another attack ad.

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