Patriotism when you don’t love your country

As I do every year, I went with my family to our town’s Fourth of July Parade.  It’s a great parade, with all sorts of community groups participating, including the various chambers of commerce; Little League baseball teams; bagpipers (Marin is home to a thriving bagpipe community); an impressive selection of WWII vehicles from from the Garbarino Military Vehicle Museum, a private collection of lovingly restored military vehicles; marching bands; and the usual flotsam and jetsam of community organizations in a small town.

Thousands of people turn out to line the parade route.  Flags are everywhere:  they festoon the trucks and cars and children wave them wildly.  It’s like the colorized version of a 1940s movie.  Attending is a delightful experience.

But there’s something funny going on here.  In 2008, Barack Obama got 78% of the Marin County vote.  This was not an accident.  Despite being the beneficiaries of the best America has to offer in terms of wealth and natural beauty, Marin’s residents are die-hard Democrats.

To the extent they veer away from soccer and carpools, and into politics, the Facebook posts I see demonstrate that, at least in significant numbers, these investment bankers, lawyers, doctors, architects, educators, accountants, etc., worship at the shrine of socialized medicine, government price controls, and higher taxes.  They are fervently anti-War, despite their cheers for the WWII vehicles and the sprinkling of WWII vets who sat in those vehicles.  They embrace multiculturalism with a passion, think Israel is unfair to the beleaguered Palestinians whose land they stole, and are dismayed by America’s long history of slavery, imperialism, sexism and racism, not to mention the grossly unequal way America treats its own poor.  They voted for Barack Obama because they agree with him that America needs to be fundamentally changed in order to be worthy:  she needs to be turned into a pacifist, socialist, small county.

This is America, and Marinites are entitled to head to the polls, determined to obtain transformation.  Whether they’ll like it if they get it is another question, of course.

But what I really wondered today is what all the flag waving was about.  A vast number of the attendees and participants disrespect our country’s history, dislike her institutions, and want to remake her into something entirely different from what she is today.  They don’t want to improve her, they want to transform her.  If patriotism is the “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country,” what does one call enthusiasm for the symbols of a country, without any attendant support for the country itself?  Perhaps a better term than patriotism would be “theater of the absurd.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Bookworm:  “They … are dismayed by America’s long history of slavery, imperialism, sexism and racism, not to mention the grossly unequal way America treats its own poor. “

    And you’re not?  

    BookwormPerhaps a better term than patriotism would be “theater of the absurd.”

    The reason you are confused is the same reason why there was so little understanding expressed on a previous thread as to why so many African Americans vote Democratic.  By setting up a straw man version of your political opposites, you end up befuddled as to why others don’t see the plain sense of your position.

    Many people see the struggle against “slavery, imperialism, sexism and racism” as an admirable aspect of American history, indeed, as the quintessential American story. They celebrate those who stood against the accepted practices of their times, and what was once considered radical has become the norm.

  • Charles Martel

    Marin’s most popular parlor game is cognitive dissonance.

    Case in point: A couple of years one of my best friends, an uber liberal, decided to teach English at the middle school level. She already had an MBA and had masterminded and led several hard-fought local bond and parcel tax campaigns, so picking up a teaching credential was pretty easy for her.

    She landed a job at a middle school in San Rafael, Marin’s biggest, most “multicultural” city. It’s the county’s center of illegal immigrant settlement and activity. Her 6th grade class was composed mainly of Mexican kids, some of whom may have been actual U.S. citizens (she was not allowed to ask).

    The class was a huge burden for her to teach. The kids were not interested in learning, and it quickly became obvious that almost all of them were semi-literate at best and had no knowledge base. She struggled constantly to maintain order as a few disruptive boys, who knew they were immune to discipline, constantly acted up. She estimates she spent 80 percent of her time trying to control the children.

    Out of a class of 26 students, two parents bothered showing up at open house, and none replied to her personally written invitations to come in an visit her at their convenience to discuss their child. My friend held on for a semester then handed in her notice. She says she would never go back to that school district or probably any public school district.

    Now this isn’t to diss the kids. I grew up in a Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles and knew from the time I was 7 that Mexican culture disdains formal education. When you combine that with overworked parents who are wary of any contact with authority because they are here illegally, you can understand why their kids turn out the way they do.

    What interests me far more is that my friend has never made the connection between her loosey-goosey liberal take on immigration and the classroom disaster she lived through. It would not occur to her to connect the dots and see that the contempt for our borders, along with immigrants’ contempt for education as anything other than a free babysitting service with lunches thrown in, along with schools paralyzed by the prospect of actually disciplining non-white children, might be part of a destructive pattern.

    After all, America is somehow responsible for them. As the illegals children grow up to become semi-educated louts, all good Democrat voters, I know she’ll look for more ways to pin the blame for their failures on herself.  

  • Michael Adams

    Many of us have tried to explain, but it seems not to have penetrated Z’s notice, that the political party that opposed slavery was the Republican party.  The majority of Democrats opposed the civil rights bills, which only passed through Congress because the Republicans were in favor, in greater number than the Dems who opposed.
     
    Add to that, the destruction of the families of African descent, wrought by the expanded welfare programs of the mid-sixties,and there is ample reason for that group to swing Republican. I hear people with Gullah-influenced accents ‘phone in to radio programs all the time, insisting quite vehemently that the Democrats were anti-slavery, anti-Klan, and the Republican were anti civil rights.
     
    This is simply the result of our wretched public schools, made even  more wretched by the fact that Mexican immigrants are not the only group that is actively hostile to education.  Come to Austin.  Ride the #331 bus past Travis High School. (Where my wife was an attempted teacher for one year.) Hear the kids verbally attack anyone who brought a book home, or declines to ditch and go do something less productive and often illegal. I used to say that I saw things on that bus that would not be heard on NPR for another five years, then I said, another ten.  Then I came to understand that this reality would never make the large, nor the government-subsidized, media.

  • Charles Martel

    Michael, you are casting pearls before swine. The troll is not interested in what you have to say,

  • Danny Lemieux


    Bookworm:  “They … are dismayed by America’s long history of slavery, imperialism, sexism and racism, not to mention the grossly unequal way America treats its own poor. “
    Zach: And you’re not?
     
    Danny Lemieux: Can’t answer for Book, of course, Zach…but my answer to you is “no”.

  • Charles Martel

    I treat the poor as any decent person would: I pick them up on the street and agree to pay them $10 an hour in cash to do the work I’d have to pay an American $12 an hour to do.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Kids are dismayed. Adults do what’s called work.

    It’ll be a few decades before Z gets that.

  • SADIE

    what does one call enthusiasm for the symbols of a country, without any attendant support for the country itself?
     
    High holiday progressive Jews.
    or
    Closer to home (America) something to do on a day off.
     
     

  • Charles Martel

    SADIE, in Catholicism the equivalent is “cafeteria Catholics.” I’ve worked or socialized with so-called Catholics who have their kids go through First Communion ceremonies but support abortion, think sodomy is cool, and don’t believe any of the church’s core teachings. They think the cultural aspects of Catholicism are “neat” and “colorful,” and look at them the same way they look to Mexicans or Africans to entertain them with quaint art and music.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    What do you call a parasite that can’t live without his host, but his host can live a far better life without the parasite?

  • Michael Adams

    You are right, of course, Martel, but I’ve got more. (pearls)
     
    Sadie, while I certainly do not buttonhole people I don’t know and start talking about religion, it has happened, a couple of times. that I was thrown together with a small group that included one “Jew,” and some topic of  Biblical lore arose.  I went to Baptist Sunday school for about twenty years, so I know my Bible, and I start explaining whatever was in question, (The bottomless meal jar was one.) The Jewish person’s eyes got huge.  They’d never heard any of this. They should have. That’s why “Jew” is in quotation marks here.
     
    Ymarsakar, what do you call fifty million deportations of socialists to the socialist paradise of their choice?
     
    A good start.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Michael Adams: Many of us have tried to explain, but it seems not to have penetrated Z’s notice, that the political party that opposed slavery was the Republican party.

    That’s right, and African Americans were reliable Republican voters for a century — when they were allowed to vote, that is. Southern Democrats supported segregation. But the parties changed. 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAONYTMf2pk

    Michael Adams: The majority of Democrats opposed the civil rights bills, which only passed through Congress because the Republicans were in favor, in greater number than the Dems who opposed.

    That is incorrect. Democratic support was 153-91 in the House, and 41-21 in the Senate. The problem was never getting a majority, but getting a supermajority to end the filibuster by Southern Democrats. The vote was divided by region. Not one southern Republican supported the bill, with support from only eight southern Democrats. More Democrats supported the bill than Republicans, though there were more Democrats overall.

    Michael Adams: Add to that, the destruction of the families of African descent, wrought by the expanded welfare programs of the mid-sixties,and there is ample reason for that group to swing Republican.

    But they’re not swinging to the Republicans. Not even close. There’s something wrong with your thinking somewhere. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymarsaker:
    “Kids are dismayed. Adults do what’s called work.
    It’ll be a few decades before Z gets that.”

    And that concise an explanation as I have ever read of how the minds of Liberal-Democrats work. Another one would be, “cheap grace”.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: And that concise an explanation as I have ever read of how the minds of Liberal-Democrats work.

    And that is a concise illustration of how the minds of “conservatives” work. You ignore the actual point, resort to ad hominem, and dwell on ambiguity. Here is a typical use of the word “dismay.”

    “At the White House, King expressed his dismay at the harassment and intimidation that many southern voters encountered when they attempted to vote or register to vote.”

    That should resolve the issue of word-choice, that is, unless you consider King a “boy.” 
     

  • Michael Adams

    Zach, your comment at number 14 hints that you are calling M. Lemieulx a racist.  In America that is considered a very grave insult.
     
    BTW,Dr. King was a Republican, said that he voted for  Nixon. (His father was, too.)Heh;)

  • Charles Martel

    Michael, it appears that Zach’s facade of implacability is cracking a bit. His contempt for us has always been indirect, namely refusing to address the questions we ask him or pretending we never asked rhem. Now he’s lashing out with a classic innuendo.

    Pip, pip, nicely done Zachs!

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  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    What I’m truly “dismayed” by is the use of past failings to justify present failures.  As with the prior thread, Zach would rather focus on what happened 150 years ago than on what is happening today.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Michael Adams: your comment at number 14 hints that you are calling M. Lemieulx a racist. 
     
    Indeed, our argument depends on Danny Lemieux not being a racist, for he knows that King was not a boy but a man, and yet he was still dismayed at certain events. 
     
    Michael Adams: Dr. King was a Republican, said that he voted for Nixon. 
     
    The decisive election was in 1964. Eisenhower received 39% of the black vote in 1956, Nixon received 32% in 1960, but Goldwater only received 6% in 1964. 
     
    Don QuixoteAs with the prior thread, Zach{riel} would rather focus on what happened 150 years ago than on what is happening today.

    Jim Crow is still a living memory for many people. But it’s just an example. Here it is the original exchange:

    Bookworm
    Perhaps a better term than patriotism would be “theater of the absurd.”

    The reason you are confused is the same reason why there was so little understanding expressed on a previous thread as to why so many African Americans vote Democratic.  By setting up a straw man version of your political opposites, you end up befuddled as to why others don’t see the plain sense of your position.

  • Danny Lemieux

    DQ – the other problem with Zach’s positions and one of the reasons that I cannot their premises, is that they never address, “as compared to what?”.
     
    There was racism in America?
     
    No societies are perfect. No human beings are perfect. So, what is the point of dwelling on past misdeeds if they don’t provide lessons for the future? In addition, many of the supposed misdeeds of the past should be put in the perspective of the times.
     
    I’ve tried to use the example of the white man and the American Indian. You can’t judge the white man on the basis of one set of values and the American Indian on another. That, you see, would truly be racist.

  • Charles Martel

    The question below is an easy way to demonstrate why Zach has no powers of persuasion here. (I should point out that most of the posters here are easily Zach’s match in intelligence, and exceed him in their reading comprehension skills and ability to exercise logic. That might explain why Zach is having problems converting us.)

    Zach, please tell us what wonderful things the Democratic Party has done for black Americans in the past 25 years.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: No societies are perfect. No human beings are perfect. So, what is the point of dwelling on past misdeeds if they don’t provide lessons for the future?

    Now you have it. That’s exactly the point. 
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    It doesn’t matter what Z’s point is, when the injection is carried out by Z supported ObamaCare and Keynesian “economic stimulus” packages. Poison is poison, regardless of how it is injected into your bloodstream.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I’ve tried to use the example of the white man and the American Indian. You can’t judge the white man on the basis of one set of values and the American Indian on another. That, you see, would truly be racist.

    The American Indian owned slaves as well. Many blacks don’t know. Actually, many blacks still believe Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat… so the number of them who know that their ancestors, who were American Indian, were the masters of their black slaves…

    The point is, people can’t make informed decisions when they are agreeing with and living in a parochial village of ignorant morons. Just to be clear.

    Of course, I can already tell you the helen white-black racist response. American Indians owned slaves because White Culture spread to them and they were forced to adapt to the White Man’s ways or die.

    More and more excuses and rationalizations layered upon the same old doctrine of “if it is a victim class, it doesn’t matter how much evil it does to other victim classes, all that matters is which victim class has the higher status and authority”.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, politicians at the White House and speakers there, aren’t doing work. They’re doing talking. There’s a difference between propaganda talking points and the work adults do. Politicians are adults? Since when. Only some politicians can even be classified as responsible adults. The majority are a bunch of cruel kids given license and authority to kill and loot with impunity.

    When King goes to DC, King plays by DC rules. Can’t help it. It’s called power segregation.

  • Charles Martel

    Zach, please tell us what wonderful things the Democratic Party has done for black Americans in the past 25 years.

  • Leep

    Hi Bookworm, Not all the red white and blue you saw on the parade route was from people who don’t like this country. Our house sits at the major intersection at the beginning of the parade route. You probably saw it all decked out for the 4th. I met you recently at a book signing/speech, by the way. Happy belated 4th!

    • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

      And a very happy belated 4th to you too, Leep. It’s so good to know that even Marin is home to solid conservatives — as we proved at Breitbart’s party!