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Saturday, October 1, 2016

The bands played, the confetti flew and the pundits pronounced on Bill Clinton’s folksy wonkiness, Jennifer Granholm’s YouTube-ready theatrics and President Obama’s “workmanlike” acceptance speech. I’m consumed, however, by the less-expected star turns by understudies at last week’s Democratic National Convention.

I was inspired anew by Tammy Duckworth, the Iraqi vet who lost both legs in combat but is now running for Congress. I was cheered by vice-presidential spouse Jill Biden, who reminded her audience that she still teaches school because the job fulfills her. And I was profoundly moved by Gabby Giffords, who made a gutsy appearance to lead the Pledge of Allegiance on the final night.

I teared up before Giffords began to form her first word. Assisted by her close friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the National Democratic Committee, the former congresswoman walked across the stage with a slow and awkward yet determined gait. Her entrance illuminated her slow, agonizing and halting recovery from a lunatic’s bullet to her brain in January 2011.

As she spoke, her words occasionally slurring, her face was focused yet beaming. It was the most powerful Pledge of Allegiance I’ve ever witnessed — made more so by her unflinching loyalty to a nation in whose service she was fatefully wounded. In an era of unabashed cynicism toward politicians and hearty skepticism toward the very notion of public service, she was a stirring reminder of the enduring power of unselfish citizenship and genuine patriotism.

And, yes, I meant “patriotism.”

This is an age of showy but insubstantial affectations of love of country — of flag-waving, medal-counting and boastful, heedless pronouncements of American “exceptionalism.” The most hawkish of arm-chair generals (John McCain, excepted) are those least likely to have actually served in uniform, and the binding thread of democracy — a notion of the common good — is being cut to shreds by the demented hyper-individualism of an egomaniac named Ayn Rand.

  • Giffords is a victim of gun lust. Where’s the outrage? Why haven’t the policy-makers we elect done something to stop the carnage?

    Secondly, why should I feel sorry for Giffords? She owns a gun and, as far as I can tell, has never done anything to rein-in the gun cult. We might be able to say she’s a victim of herself.

    • You must be some kind of red neck idiot! What in the hell is your problem? You don’t believe in second amendment rights but with regulations and guidelines and yet you blame her for what happened??? You are a dumb ass fool…

    • Joe Steel, you are an idiot! I grew up in a hunting family, where guns were always around. I served 6 years in the Marines, earning both a rifle and pistol sharpshooters badge. I still own numerous guns. Many for hunting, some for competitive target shooting, some for home protection, some old ones just for the collection. I have a concealed carry permit and am almost always armed.

      Other than my time in the Marines, I have never shot anyone, or even seriously thought of shooting someone. Yet according to your narrow-mindedness, I am a social problem and according to your imbecilic argument, simply because I own guns, I am deserving to be a victim of a shooting.

      We do have a violence problem, but the problem is not the guns themselves. Some estimates suggest 40-million Americans own guns and the vast majority of them have not killed or threatened anyone!

  • bcarreiro

    God bless her… she is a strong, smart and devoted to this country. We the people appreciate someone who can relate and stands with the people who follow equality. She appreciates humanity cause in an instant it can all be taken away. She is on the right side and knows all to well how the congressional republicans have stalled this country and create policies in which only the prominent are protected. so to all haters, keep hating as we the people from all walks of life stand together for a UNITY!!!

  • It is with great humility that I bend in honor to this brave and courageous citizen. What a model of inspiration! May God bless you and keep you, Gabby, and that beautiful, awesome smile of yours!

    • the bitch with her is a disgrace to florida

      • bcarreiro

        such a SMALLMIND!!!

      • Maybe it’s just penis envy …Mr Smallwood wishes he had the cojones that either of those women do.

  • I am not concerned abour the gun owners. I am concerned about the NRA and the power it wields in their lobbying in congress.

  • lakebrat

    Cynthia Tucker–very smart woman. You just brought me to tears.

  • ajjohnson31

    You go, Gabby! Thank you for your service to your country; you’ve given far more than anyone is supposed to. Please accept my admiration and heartfelt thanks for everything you do.
    You are strong, patriotic (yes!) and committed, and an example to us all. Congratulations and good luck! *tears*

  • hilandar1000

    Gabby is truly a courageous woman, worthy of our respect and admiration!

  • Samuel Johnson said patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel. Ambrose Bierce respectfully disagreed, saying it was the first resort of a scoundrel. Probably Bierce is closer to the mark. So to me saying she embodies patriotism is not a positive comment. And she is so crazy that she remains a gun nut even after being shot.

  • 13observer

    Did the democrats let her give the pledge using GOD or without GOD?

  • daniel bostdorf

    Oh–by the way…if anyone mentions “Gateway pundit” as a rebuttal, know this;
    Gateway Pundit” is a “news aggregator” , primarily tasked to discredit Obama.
It sifts though anti-Obama articles and posts them as fact.
They dont fact check.
Their George Orwell motto is; ” where hope finally made a comeback.” That state means ment that they really mean the opposite.
    “hope finally made a comeback ” is realized when Obama is re-elected.
    What is even darker is that Rassmussen Polls are utilized to justify that Romney is ahead in the polls.
    Darker side?
    Maybe he and karl rove have employed Rassmussen to create false polls.
    Rassmussens done it before…
    Do a google search..