Thursday, August 21, 2008

Defiant! Patriotism Defined!

In the election campaign in progress, the issue of patriotism is on high boil. What is it?

The Oxford Shorter Dictionary (2002) defines patriotism as "Devotion to country" and the "quality of being patriotic" which means "devoted to the well-being or interests of one's country."

What is devotion? Devoted is defined in the same dictionary as "vowed, dedicated, consecrated" and "Zealously or exclusively attached to, given up to." Devotion then is "the fact or quality of being devoted to a person, cause, pursuit, etc.; earnest application; zealous or exclusive application to a use or a purpose."

Is anyone questioning McCain's patriotism? I don't think so. I have heard no one questioning him in this regard.

While in the North Vietnamese prison, he chose to be his word and remain in prison rather than leave his fellow soldiers and violate an oath which he took. He was further tortured to the point that he doesn't have full use of his arm and leg. In his speeches, you can hear his call for us to devote ourselves to our country too. I am not a subscriber to self-sacrifice and don't agree with his premises that the government has the right to control citizens' economic activity, but I don't doubt the regard he has for our country and for this I appreciate him.

What about Obama?

"Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country."

Got it. Devotion is not a word he uses now or will ever use.

I have to tell you, Obama's authoritarian "decree" has not a shred of validity in a free country where the Right to Freedom of Speech is My Right to My Life - as it is for every American. Here he being more radical Muslim than American. This is something they do and then proceed tear things up. Remember the cartoons? And thank you, Ezra Levant, for YOUR heroism. For this reason, it had to be said!

McCain touches the sacred in this realm. Obama does not.

And, he cannot. His history is filled with influences and actions dedicated to division and the installation of laws where individual rights are rendered meaningless and maybe even evil. In the Declaration of Independence it is declared for all the world to hear that "We hold these Truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed . . . with certain unalienable Rights among these are the Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness . . . "

Granted, the country was begun with the institution of slavery, but with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties, finally all laws instituting racial discrimination were removed from the books. What was left? Freedom. Political freedom.

And that should be all there is to this story. To institute laws favoring one man over another in his circumstances institutes once again the human bondage this country has struggled against and ultimately eradicated.

Once the legal restrictions were erased, then what is left are all the internalized premises and manifestations that were the result of slavery and Jim Crow but which don't work in a condition of political freedom. These matters work out over time. Individuals and organizations give up the irrational premises because they don't work and alter their manifestations. These are being worked out now and will continue so long as the government maintains the rights of individuals.

Obama, given his choice of church and its advocacy of the Black Liberation Theology, has sided with the reinstitution of slavery. He has had an extended relationship via the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and its projects with the domestic terrorist, William Ayers, who is unrepentant in his hatred of the American system of capitalism and who seeks to institute reverse slavery. Then he got involved with Tony Rezko, a crooked "user", now-convicted developer who, in the name of repairing and improving public housing but ultimately causing its further deterioration to the detriment of the inhabitants, to gain money and valuable connections for pursuing his political ambitions. Beyond that, the dictums and methods of Saul Alinsky, the powerful community organizer guru, influenced by Karl Marx, who advocated gaining power by any means required to get it held intellectual and motivational sway in the law firms and groups with who Obama allied himself.

All of these activities are "me/us over them" activities, oblivious that there is a larger context, such as the one Martin Luther King appealed to, that can include the whole of the country and all people.

Would you conclude that Obama is patriotic?

Ambitious? Yes. Willing to go for it? Yes. Patriotic? You can be nice if you want to, but I say NO!

2 comments:

principlex said...

Consider the above from the viewpoint of a group of people who have voluntarily formed for achieving a purpose, be it a business, an athletic competition or to find a new way to market a product. A participant is judged by the way he forwards the well-being of the purpose.

If one of the members advocated ideas and actions that undermined the purpose, the red flags would wave in the other team members’ heads and his ideas might be debated or summarily dismissed. If that member publicly acted to undermine their purpose, i.e., beyond proposing an idea, he would be kicked off the team. The reason? He was not acting to further the well-being of their common purpose.

Now let’s consider a larger group with a purpose: A country. It cannot be said that our country came into existence without a purpose. It is clearly set forth in our Founding Documents – i.e., to not focus on all the ways we are different, but to form a more perfect union by focusing on the ways in which we are the same and equal. For this purpose the government was formed as recognizer and protector of every man’s inalienable rights, those eternal attributes of being a human being which every individual naturally exercises in the course of his survival as a human being – the right to his life, his political liberty (the right to be free of other people’s interference), his right to combine his labor with the material world and own its products (the right to his property) and his motive to pursue HIS happiness. A person who forwards the well-being of this purpose, I say, is patriotic. He would not be questioned regarding his patriotism.

When I see our Olympic athletes achieve what they achieve and respond the way they do, I see men and women who are proud to be Americans. How do I know it? I see the way in which each can be proud of himself and his achievement without reservation. He wanted this achievement, worked for it and is proud that he achieved it. He is happy and we are happy. It’s not for the US. It’s for HIS own happiness unfettered by any strings attached.

And because of this basic premise of Americans, we can enjoy the happiness of athletes and non-athletes from around the world. They don't have to be American. We want people to be happy and we don't like when they cannot be.

As a counterpoint, have you noticed the head gymnastics coach for the Chinese? This man is worried and the fear shows in the stone-like mask of his face. Unlike the coaches of the free countries who are happily looking for what and how they can say the thing that will result in their athlete’s increased performance, the Chinese coach is somewhere in his head with the worry, I assert, of what will happen to him if he doesn’t have China look the greatest. He looks like he is thinking on whom he can apply pressure to cause the result he so desparately needs.

The American athlete expresses himself as a free man in different ways. In some cases he expresses himself profoundly. See http://principlex.blogspot.com/2008/08/man-who-led-american-olympic-team.html.

There are many explicit ways of expressing patriotism, but it is not required of a citizen of this country to do so. On the other hand, someone who engages himself in activities and with people who are against this purpose is suspect as to their patriotism. Barack Obama has done this many times and it is well documented as I say above. Is it no wonder that this issue won’t die for him and that he protests too much? Is Barack Obama up to forwarding the purpose of the government of, by and for the people?

No one is going to kick him off the team. That is up to us. Each of us is the one we have been waiting for. He has, by his actions, placed himself to be judged on this issue. And we will.

principlex said...

I noticed in Obama's acceptance speech that he said, "I am honored and with gratitude accept your nomination as the candidate for President of the United States." He did not say as is said by most people "The United States of America." I wondered why.

Is he stingy? Is he unable to express the grandeur of the idea and its manifestation in the United States of America? Doesn't he believe that?

I picked up on it because for me that phrase with "of America" does express by its expansiveness all of what I think is possible for people of the USA.