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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Like many men who volunteered for the U.S. Army in World War II, my late father never boasted about his years in uniform. A patriot to his core, he nevertheless despised what he called the “jelly-bellied flag flappers.” But in the decade or so before he passed away, he began to sport a small, eagle-shaped pin on his lapel, known as a “ruptured duck.” Displaying the mark of his military service said that this lifelong liberal loved his country as much as any conservative — and had proved it.

Are such gestures still necessary today? For decades right-wingers have sought to establish a near-monopoly on patriotic expression, all too often with the dumb collusion of some of its adversaries on the left. But on July 4, when we celebrate the nation’s revolutionary founding, I always find myself pondering just how fraudulent and full of irony this right-wing tactic is. It is only our collective ignorance of our own history that permits conservatives to assert their exclusive franchise on the flag, the Declaration of Independence, and the whole panoply of national symbols, without provoking brutal mockery.

But we need not play their style of politics to argue that the left is equally entitled to a share of America’s heritage — indeed, in the light of history, perhaps more entitled than its rivals. So let’s begin, in honor of the holiday, at the official beginning.

Although “right” and “left” didn’t define political combat at that time on these shores, there isn’t much doubt that behind the American Revolution, and in particular the Declaration of Independence, was not only a colonial elite but a cabal of left-wing radicals as well.

What other description would have fitted such figures as Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, who declared their contempt for monarchy and aristocracy? Their wealthier, more cautious colleagues in the Continental Congress regarded Adams as a reckless adventurer “of bankrupt fortune,” and Paine as a rabble-rousing scribbler. Popular democracy was itself a wildly radical doctrine in the colonial era, tamed in the writing of the Constitution by the new nation’s land-owning elites and slaveholders.

The right-wingers of the Revolutionary era were Tories — colonists who remained loyal to the British crown, fearful of change and, in their assistance to the occupying army of George III, the precise opposite of patriots. Only from the perspective of two centuries of ideological shift can the republican faith of the Founding Fathers be described as “conservative.”

The Civil War, too, was a struggle between left and right, between patriots and … well, in those days the Confederate leaders were deemed traitors (an epithet now usually avoided out of a decent concern for Southern sensibilities). Academics will argue forever about that war’s underlying economic and social causes, but it was the contemporary left that sought to abolish slavery and preserve the Union, while the right fought to preserve slavery and dissolve the Union. Today, reverence for the Confederacy remains the emotional province of extremely right-wing Southern politicians and intellectuals (as well as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi skinheads, and not a few members of the Tea Party). These disreputable figures denigrate Lincoln, our greatest president, and wax nostalgic for the plantation culture.

At the risk of offending every furious diehard who still waves the Stars and Bars, it is fair to wonder what, exactly, is patriotic about that?

  • Dominick Vila

    The Stars and Stripes symbolizes who we ALL are as a nation. It is not owned by anyone and it will never be.

    • Fern Woodfork

      I Totally Agree With You My Friend!! 🙂 Happy 4th Of July May The Stars And Stripes Waves Forever!! For All The American People And The Ones Who Will Become American!!! 🙂 All The Color Of The Rainbow Of People!! 🙂

    • jmprint

      Try telling that to Bob Livingston.

    • labrown69

      HOWEVER it WAS a melting pot and when we allow millions of people who do not share our cultural views to invade the nation with no intention of assimilating we Balkanize our country, bear the financial and social costs and make a mockery of our democracy.

    • sigrid28

      I urge all on this site to try to see at least the last two segments of “John Adams” on HBO. Eye-opening!

  • tax payer

    The State of Texas celebrates the Independence of Mexico and seldom celebrates our Independence. Why? Because of the Illegals living among us since they come first in this country to our Government.

    • Independent1

      You just can’t cease from spewing stupid ideas can you Tax Payer. Illegals are only about 3% of the American population and you’re stupid enough to suggest that they control how one of our states celebrates it’s independence!! Believe me, Texas doesn’t act the way it does beclause of illegals – it acts the way it does because of the stupidity of totay’s Conservatives. (Texas isn’t the cesspool of America (a state that ranks almost last in virtually every measure imaginable) because illegals made it that way – it’s because Rick Perry and his idiot GOP legislature made it that way.).

      • tax payer

        If I write something you and others will read it, so what is your problem? You have your own opinions and I have mine, so accept there are many out there that don’t share your or my opinions. That’s the way it is, so learn to accept it or ignore them completely.

        • Independent1

          I understand that, but you’re post is suggesting that it’s illegals who are creating problems in America when nothing could be further from the truth; it’s the GOP that’s creating the big problems in America. For despite what you and other GOP lovers like to constantly bring up about illegals being a drastic burden on the country, you’re wrong.

          Illegals are not anywhere near creating the problems you constantly like to pretend. Illegals are not unfairly sucking more welfare from America than any other of the millions of unscrupulous legal Americans who are defrauding our system, in fact the vast majority of illegals are hard working people, who not only pay taxes, but also who are doing far more to help the country by doing work the majority of other Americans won’t do – that if they weren’t there doing these jobs, would create far more economic problems for the country than they are creating. If that wasn’t true, the state of Alabama wouldn’t have hurried to redo the state’s strict immigration law, that the GOP idiots passed about a year ago, when many companies within the state starting telling legislators, EITHER FIX THE YOUR FLAWED IMMIGRATION LAW or we’re leaving the state because we can’t operate without illeglas doing the work we need to get done. The new law had not only driven illegals out of Alabama, it was also driving legal immigrants who were affronted by the law, and a number of multi-nationals who claimed the new law had alienated virtually all foreigners.

          • Mark Forsyth

            I would be surprised if one thousand white people could be found these days who are truly qualified to operate a cotton gin.Even in 1990 there were mostly Mexican migrant farm workers doing that work.I was priviledged to meet and get to know many of them.They were decent,hardworking,funloving folks trying to make a living in very tough conditions.The cotton farmers often claimed that they would be out of business without the help of these people.

          • Elise Dee Beraru

            Not only do Latino immigrants make our agricultural system go, they could teach lessons on nutrition to the rest of us. When I was a cashier at Walmart, I’d see poor white and black families buying every kind of prepared, breaded, nutrient-barren foods (regardless of how they paid for them). By contrast, Latino customers would buy meat, cheese, corn and flour tortillas, tomatoes, tomatillos, dry pinto beans, rice, lettuce, cilantro and lemons. Clearly they were cooking their own meals–poor man’s meals but still filling and nutritious–in order to have money to send home to their families.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Very true Elise.I was quite surprised once when I invited some workers to my place for supper.I had shopped for a nice beef roast and cooked it with carrots,potatoes, and onions.I had also made a pie.When the folks arrived at my house,they brought food that they had prepared because they thought that maybe I had wanted them to feed me.We all had a good laugh about that and we had a wonderful feast of roast beef and burritos and salad.It was one of those few magical times when I felt like I had a family.

          • idamag

            The illegals are not causing the major problems, in America. It is our complacency by looking the other way or following an ideology. While we weren’t paying attention money usurped our government.

      • labrown69

        Illegals might not be a majority but the wield a disproportionate amount of clout at this point in time because the two corrupt parties are clawing for any edge they can gain.

        • Independent1

          If they wield a disproportionate clout it’s only because the anti-immigrant growd is grossly exagerating the harm illegals are doing to the country. I’m not trying to say that some illegals aren’t creating problems and burdening our society; but I’m not convinced that what they are costing our society and our government is any greater than what the non-illegals who game the system are costing us. The difference between what the illegals and non-illegals are costing us is that non-illegals more often than not, do very little to repay the country for what they defraud us of, wheras illegals more often than not repay the country possibly more than they cost us in the help they provide to our economy.

      • Mark Forsyth

        Amen! The Texas cons exhibit much of the same aristocratic,priviledged attitudes that existed before,during and after the Civil War when they were already broken and misbegotten antiquities.

    • Allan Richardson

      The truth is that conservative business owners want it both ways for illegals. They want to keep them HERE, but keep them ILLEGAL, so that they can be hired for much less than citizens, and cannot complain about being treated like slaves. The business owners who KNOWINGLY hire illegal aliens, and arrange to have them enter the country illegally to work as their slaves: THEY are the ones who should be “deported” to prison. But they have bought off the public with illegal scare propaganda. Illegal immigrants may have “some” political clout in other states, in Texas they have about as much as blacks under Jim Crow (which Texas and other states are trying to bring back).

      As for Texas celebrating Mexican independence from Spain, you are aware, are you not, that Texas has a significant Hispanic population whose ancestors WERE Mexican and were FORCED to become Texans, then Americans, against their will, without migrating anywhere? Though their contemporary descendants are proud to be Americans, they are also proud of their ancestry and that heritage, just as Italian Americans are proud to celebrate Columbus Day, Irish Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (more boisterously that in Ireland, actually), and Anglo Americans love to see what is going on in the UK with their (and emotionally, to some Americans, “our”) royal family.

      • tax payer

        In San Antonio they celebrate Cinco de Mayo from Friday to Sunday. Texas Independence’s Day there is no Celebration citywide, so now you know why it makes me MAD. In Mexico it’s celebrated the actual day and not for three days like in this country.

        • Michael C. Steffens

          That’s because the folks there are going for a three-day drinking holiday, not a celebration of Mexican independence. Maybe you don’t recognize the difference.

          • tax payer

            I know ( you are correct ) because we have the most drunks in our city and our Mayor loves it since it brings in more tax money for the city.

        • Allan Richardson

          News Flash: American bars, with a little help from Mexican brewing companies, have promoted Cinco de Mayo for years as an excuse for Gringos like me to eat Mexican food and drink Mexican beer, almost everywhere in America (OK, maybe not Utah). I don’t like beer that much (no matter how “interesting” their spokes-actor may be) but lots of non-Mexicans get drunk on that day, just as lots on non-Irish get drunk on the “solemn feast day” of St. Patrick.

          And to be historically accurate, the holiday only celebrates a victory in one battle. The equivalent for the U.S. would be to celebrate the surprise attack on the British at Trenton as our Independence Day. Come to think of it, we DO celebrate that day, since it also happens to be Christmas. Just for curiosity, is Alamo Day celebrated as a Texas holiday?

          • tax payer

            That is a good question. I had Texas History 50 years ago in High School, so I need to refresh my mind to come up with a good answer to that question.

        • Elise Dee Beraru

          Cinco de Mayo celebrates a relatively minor battle that has been turned into a commercial celebration by beer and snack food companies. Its development has followed the route that Christmas followed, going from religious holiday to secular sell-fest. When I was a kid growing up in Southern California, we never recognized Cinco de Mayo the way it has been celebrated in the last 25 years. And most Americans think Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day. It isn’t. I believe that date is September 16, a date that is not celebrated by any special ceremony in the US, except possibly in baseball stadiums in California, Arizona and Texas.

          • 4sanity4all

            May 5 and September 15 are both Independence Day in Mexico; one for throwing off French rule, and the other for throwing off Spanish rule.

        • idamag

          If you live in Texas, get busy ad get those Independence Day celebrations going. It might be that Cinco de Mayo is a bigger holiday because some people care enough to put more into it.

      • idamag

        Maybe Texas doesn’t celebrate Independence Day because they don’t consider themselves part of this country.

        • Allan Richardson

          They don’t consider themselves part of the “librul socialist gummint” based in Washington, and apparently neither do the GOP base voters in the rest of the country. They see themselves as a “resistance front” that hasn’t YET (in THIS century) started all-out war on the “socialist occupation.” The last time it didn’t work out, but they plan to do a better job this time.

    • A_Schick

      I have a VERY hard time believing Texans don’t celebrate the Fourth of July

      • tax payer

        They Celebrate it, but only on the Actual Day, but a Celebration of Mexico they make it a Three Day Event.

  • labrown69

    Although watching the new American left bow, scrape, fawn and genuflect at slime ball Obama on this site makes me ill, I am still proud to be of the traditional left, the left that used to care about civil liberties and not acquiesce to, and make excuses for every unconstitutional act of Obama. I am proud that when phony baloney militia types were running around in the forest waving guns in the air, Bill Ayers who now calls Obama a terrorist, actually did something about it and bombed the Pentagon. When it comes to a real revolution, it takes a liberal. This is precisely why the 2nd Amendment is still important, why the NSA should not be allowed to spy on us no matter what that flat footed Hugo Chavez wannabe we call the president says and no matter how limp the dicks of the new American left are. There are more important things than getting rid of cigarettes and making people wear helmets and seat belts.

    • Independent1

      “There are more important things than getting rid of cigarettes and making people wealr helmets and seat belts.” Really labrown?? Name me something, Getting rid of cigarettes, getting people to stop smoking has arguably saved more lives than were lost in all the wars that America has ever fought in. And forcing people to wear helmets and seat belts has not only saved lives, it has drastically reduced the incidences when self-righteous, careless, I’m invincible idiots have been involved in accidents, for which they weren’t insured, and foisted the costs of fixing their sorry asses onto you, me and the rest of John Q Public. And even if they were insured, most insurance policies only cover around $5,000 of medical care. So when a clueless idiot not wearing a helmet gets in an accident that results in severe brain damage and turns the accident victim into a vegetable, they often run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills THAT THEY CAN’T PAY FOR!! So guess who ends up paying!! Again, you me and the rest of John Q Public. The rest of your above post is filled with so much idiocy that it’s not even worlth responding to.

      • labrown69

        That would appear to pre-suppose that we need assholes like you to “save lives”, and that YOU know what is best for everyone else? Lots of things are bad for one’s health but we used to have this little thing called “freedom” which allowed people to make those choices for themselves, especially when those idiots like you who we have come to call “elitists” think they know better what is right for me. The “cost of to John Q Public” argument is utter bullshit. The notion that people who don’t live to collect Social Security and Medicare is a burden is preposterous. Why don’t you resign from the boy-scouts and find a pass time that does not involve social engineering other peoples freedoms. You are what we used to call “a pain in the ass”. Let’s face it .. you are just a bored boy scout who was too provincial and obnoxious to get elected to the board of your home owners association and badly in need of a hobby.

        It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep and yet you are unable to pull it off.

        • Independent1

          “The notion that people who don’t live to collect Social Security and Medicare are a societal burden is preposterous.” Really?
          So tell me, where does the money come from to cover the medical bills of idiots that disregard the warnings on smoking and therefore get throat cancer which in order to keep them alive requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital costs to remove the cancer and fit them with voice boxes?? – all of which is quite often not covered by insurance because the person who ignores cancer warnings is also usually the person who thinks they’re invincible and therefore does not carry insurance.

          Or as I pointed out before, the idiot who doesn’t think he or she needs to wear a helmet, get’s in an accident and doesn’t get killed but again, runs up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses without insurance. Who exactly pays for all this???

          If you think this is all free and that YOU ARE NOT HELPING PAY FOR ALL THIS, you’re even more delusional than even I think you are.

          • Justin Napolitano

            If you don’t like living in a social country that has progressive laws leave. Or sign a document that says you will forgo any health and accident treatment that you can not afford either personally or through insurance; that you will not accept any care for your children that you can not afford or is not covered by your insurance; that you will not send your children to a public school and will not drive a car because that requires liability and accidental injury insurance.
            You are free to do all of those things and then you can suffer the consequences of your foolish actions without effecting anyone else. The problem is that the liberals will not allow your children to go without health care and will also insist on covering your sorry ass should you not be able to afford health treatment yourself.
            It’s a hell of a problem for liberals.

      • labrown69

        I don’t think the American left is able to look objectively at the massive amount of damage done by illegals because they are pre-empted by an obsession with race. The only reason Hispanics are disproportionately impacted is that they happen to make up a majority of those who enter the country illegally and Mexico is geographically to our South. While there is no question that there are still racists among us, that is not a reason to overlook the enormous amount of violent crime, the degradation to our schools and hospitals and other social institutions, the hours of manpower expended by police and firemen etc and much more caused by illegals. If Sweden was located where Mexico is and the rest of Scandinavia below it and Scandinavians were coming North in violation of law, getting arrested for drunk driving at 3 times the rate of citizens, causing over 100 ERs to close in California etc, I assure you the difference in our response as a society would be negligible. Those who babble about “what they put back by not collecting various social entitlements which in fact they use
        disproportionately for the most part often say “but our fruit would cost
        a lot more”. Trust that these are the most expensive strawberries you
        will ever buy no matter what the sticker price at the market.

        • Justin Napolitano

          This discussion is about being patriotic and how the right thinks they have a lock on patriotism and you turn it into “the illegals are causing all of the problems in this country”.
          Personally, I think the filthy, greedy rich are causing far more problems then the illegals ever have.
          The demise of the middle class can not be attributed to the illegals but rather to those that care only about how much money they can shove into their pockets. And these same rich bastards don’t care if the money they make comes from taking advantage of the illegals or the middle class. In fact they worship only one GOD: money.

          • labrown69

            Actually the “decline of the middle class” can be attributed to “filthy greedy rich” AND illegal aliens that drive down wages. I would have to say that both parties have been equally guilty of happily exploiting what is essentially slave labor.

          • idamag

            I agree with you.

      • idamag

        My husband and my son have and had asthma. They couldn’t go out in public as it affected their breathing when any selfish jerk was walking around with a lit cigarette in his fingers in grocery stores, restaurants, and everywhere but church. Thank the good Lord that the country is protecting us from that kind of tyranny.

    • Sand_Cat

      There is no American “left” to speak of, which is probably the source of much of your frustartion. If “new American left” is intended to describe the timid moderate conservatives and tepid centrists that make up the bulk of the Democratic Party, then perhaps you have a point.
      While “bow, scrape, and fawn” is an exaggeration, most of those who aren’t part of the lunatic right are very grateful we don’t have one of them as president, and figure that Obama seems to be about the best the electorate will tolerate at this point, and – despite all of his faults – a vast improvement on his predecessor or predecessors.

  • itsfun

    Just as I thought, every problem the United States has ever had was and is the fault of conservatives and every good thing is because of the liberals. My guess is their were and still are just as many crooked and dishonest politicians on each side. As the polls show, we don’t trust any of them. Get rid of the incumbents and start over with normal citizens, not lawyers and over educated not contributers.

    • Independent1

      I can’t attest to your comment before the early 1900s but reflecting back since then, I’m really hard pressed to come up with more than 1 thing that the GOP has done which has truely helped the country. And that was done by a GOP president who really wasn’t a true-blood Republican, Eisenhower. Ike ran as a Republican only because the Dems insisted on renominating Truman and Ike wasn’t especially keen on the way Truman was running things. And although Ike championed the interstate highway system (which is the 1 good thing I can credit the GOP for) Ike also governed in the typical way of a conservative and drove the country into recession more times than any other president in the past 100 plus years – there were 3 recessions during Ike’s 8 years in office. And although Democrat presidents are deviod of creating recessions, they are far less frequent than under conservatives – and we all know that recessions create hardships for the average citizen.
      So aside from Ike’s champtioning of the interstate highway system, and if I go further back, Teddy Roosevelt championing America’s National Park system, can you think of one thing over the past 100 years that the GOP has done which has really been a benefit to the country? Of course, other than constantly trying to pass tax cuts that favor the wealthy; or starting wars that allow the wealthy defense industry billionaires to stuff more taxpayer money in their pockets; or fighting tooth and nail to prevent FDR from getting Social Security started and now trying to destroy it; or fighting tooth and nail to prevent LBJ in getting medical insurance passed for Seniors (aka Medicare) passed and again doing everything they can today to try and destroy that,
      or getting 3 presidents elected that have spent taxpayer money like drunken sailors (Reagan and the two Bushes) such that America is now 16 plus trillion in debt with these three GOP presidents responsible for more than 90% of our debts, or starting an unnecessary war that ended up with almost 5,000 American soldiers being killed; or purposely refusing to let the CIA try and stop an al Qaeda attack after 7 warnings it was coming that resulted in another 3,000 plus Americans dying.
      I realize I’ve probably taken away some of those great things the GOP has done for America over the passed 100 years which may not leave you with much to choose from; but can you actually come up with one other beneficial thing the GOP, conservatives have done for America. (And please don’t list the moslt disasterous of all – the Reagan presidency which imbedded in the minds of conservatives a disasterous trickle-down economics fantasy which is the prime reason America has such an inequity today in the wealth and income distribution of its citizens.)

      • Jim Myers

        Although I think President Reagan was one of the WORST presidents ever elected, he actually did do a few things that were beneficial.

        He had the Federal Government streamline payments to outside contractors, particularly small contractors, so that they were paid more quickly. (Usually within about a month of when invoices were submitted.)

        Prior to President Reagan, it was not uncommon for small contractors to go out of business because they could not wait the many months it took to be paid for work and materials used to honor their contracts.

        Give him credit where credit is due.

        A second benefit was the restructuring of the tax code, most of which screwed the working class after the restructuring,
        but did cut the top rate from about 90% to somewhere in the high 20’s to the low 30’s.

        I do not think the wealthy should have been given all the candy, but 90% was ridiculously high.

        In the case of President Reagan, I cannot find many more instances where he added any benefit to the un-wealthy and un-powerful.

        • Fern Woodfork

          You Got That Right My Friend 🙂 I Don’t Think Raygun Was Really There!! His Body Was There But Even Then The Koch Brothers Big Oil, And Corporations Were Pulling The Strings!!! 🙁

          • Jim Myers

            Thanks, Fern. You are right on the money.

        • idamag

          And even Nixon did some good. He was great with foreign relations.

          • Fern Woodfork

            Yes And He Also Started The EPA!!

          • Jim Myers

            You are right, idamag.

            Thanks to all of you for your comments.

          • BDC_57

            you got that he was a lot better then bush and cheney

        • Allan Richardson

          He also got his Republican friends in Congress to “reform” the income tax code so that people in debt for cars and credit cards (left over from the 1970’s recession) could no longer deduct the interest on those debts; only interest on REAL ESTATE loans can be deducted. Not only did this result in higher taxes on people paying off credit cards (and the new cars they had to buy to get their gas bills down, which incidentally had to come from overseas since Detroit was making gas guzzlers, resulting in the switch from American to foreign cars), it ALSO created an incentive for people who DID own homes to take out SECOND MORTGAGES for purchases NOT related to home improvement, setting the stage for a future real estate credit bust.

          Oh, and by the way, there is some evidence (not enough to prove, because guess who had custody of the evidence?) that he did not trade arms for hostages, he and Bush, the spy guy, traded FUTURE arms for DELAYING the release of the hostages BEFORE he was elected, in order to help him GET elected. And it worked; Iran released the hostages DURING his inauguration, few people noticed the “coincidence,” and the arms sales began. And went on through RE-ELECTION before the story came out!

          Whether or not he PERSONALLY knew everything that was going on, the American voters certainly made two consecutive big mistakes by voting for Hollywood imagery rather than sober self interest.

          • Jim Myers

            I am one of those who remember the hostages for arms deal.

            We never deal with terrorists. Except, when it is politically expedient.

            There were many other “deals” he made that were blatant lies, made only to gain the support of the working classes.

        • Independent1

          Jim, sorry I’m so long in responding to your comment – we had a lot of company over the 4th and I missed checking back emails until today. I agree with your comments but just thought I’d clarify the changes to the max tax rates you noted.
          It was actually LBJ who lowered the max tax rate below 90% back in the mid 1960s; LBJ lowered it to 70%. It stayed around 70% until Reagan took office. Reagan actually initally lowered it from 70% to 50% during his 1st term; in 1987 it was lowered to 38.5% and then in 1988 & 89 it it was lowered to 28%; Bush Sr. then raised it to 31% which Clinton raised to 39.6%. Only comment I’d make is that I’m not sure lowering the max rate from 70% to 50% worked out well considering Reagan spent more money during his 8 years than all the presidents in office before him after the Big Depression. And then further lowering it to 38.5% and 28% when he had tripled the deficit to 2.3 trillion just set the country on the path to our high debt now.

    • Sand_Cat

      Can you show any of the charges to be false? I notice you made neither that attempt, nor any to show “liberal” abuses, which I gather you think is unnecessary, since everyone (like you) knows every problem ever facing the US was caused by “liberals,” though you probably couldn’t give a decent definition of the term without consulting the dictionary.
      Unfortunately, getting rid of the current crop – who, as you point out – have definitely not covered themslves with honor, would likely involve “conservatives” (I would dispute the right of most of those who use the name to do so) voting for people whose views they hate, and for the moderate conservatives and centrists (the Democrats, for the most part), it would involve voting for people who demonstrably hate them and label them “liberals” when they’re feeling generous and kindly, and “communists,” “socialists,” “takers,” and various obscenities normally. For those few of us who are liberals or (very few) further to the left, the alternative is unthinkable.
      Finally, your mention of “over educated” as a disqualifying condition and your assumption such people are “not contributers” shows by far the greatest obstacle to a reasonable government: too many of our electorate despise those who are educated and think critically, and this is demonstrated by a cursory look at those in Congress far better than it would be by anything I or anyone else could say.

  • Pamby50

    Happy 4th of July everyone. May we all fly the stars and stripes tomorrow. All have fought and died for this wonderful country. The patriotic songs will be sung. Whether that is the Star Spangle Banner, God Bless America, Oh Beautiful or my kids favorite This Land is My Land.

  • idamag

    United we stand, divided we fall. ideologues who would take this country down with their divisive words and actions are not real Americans.

    • Fern Woodfork

      I Totally Agree With You My Friend!! 🙂

      • BDC_57

        look all the rights they taking away from the people like hitler did to germany.

        • Fern Woodfork

          Exactly My Friend!! Just Like The Nazi Did!! 🙁

  • michaelross

    You need look no further than 2008. The right could not for the life of them shut up about how it was treasonous not to support the president no matter what. But as soon as the 2008 election was over, every single one of those formerly staunch supporters of the government suddenly declared dissent the highest form of patriotism, and not a damn one of them has been able to get enough of it since.

    Or if that isn’t enough, just look at the labels they love to slap onto their opponents: Communist and socialist.

    Neither of those words should not be insults. They actually embody the priority of the left: Our community, our social equality.

    And the right? Don’t hold your breath for them to shut up about the virtues of selfishness as expressed by Ayn Rand.

  • Susan Powell

    I can’t believe how quickly this discussion of who has a right to claim “patriotism” turned into a debate on immigration! No wonder nothing gets done in Washington or in some of our states. The unbelievable anger that is pent up on both sides revolves around social issues more than taxes which used to be the big dividing factor. Rich/poor, male or white supremacy/ freedom for all and taxes used to be the rallying cry for the GOP/Dems. I can’t figure out when FREEDOM was restricted to just certain people in the population. War has been declared on women, minorities of all stripes, the poor, the old and middle INCOME (I resent the “class” thing – it’s even outlawed in India!).