Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Fourth of July and True American Patriots

What would we do without those wonderful, flag waving "conservative patriots," who teach the rest of us just what "patriotism" means? Recently, we were subjected to eight long years of preachments from this crowd, who are still at it, via their dissembling talk show hosts and noxious websites. And now, their "tea parties."

Did you know that the mark of a True American, that is, a Real Patriot, is evidenced by his/her devotion to the "pro-life" message? That's the message that informs us that life is important for a 19-week-old fetus, but not especially important for a 19-year-old boy, whose dispensable body can be blown to pieces in unnecessary military conflicts concocted by deceiving politicians, and ardently supported by True American Patriots.

So, you thought that patriotism had a direct connection to the Founders' Constitution and its protections? Not according to these True American Patriots. They have a different version of what happened back there in the 18th century. Due process? Well, that depends ... Free speech? Well, that depends, too ... Whether you deserve rights as a citizen depends a lot on just what notions you carry in your head. Do you harbor the "correct" notions?

According to these zealots, we Americans are the Exceptional People, with a license from God to commit whatever acts of calumny we deem necessary to keep us "safe." The True American Patriots, those loyalists of the War Party, are now worried that we might not have enough foreign battles to keep our military occupied in the coming years. What could be more un-American than not being engaged in war on somebody else's shores at any given time? After all, isn't this what the Fourth of July is all about?

True American Patriots will become unhinged, if they cannot find enough military altercations in which to kill off more 19-year-old youths. As Pat Buchanan once put it, after the 2007 skirmish with Russia over Georgia's invasion of Ossetia, "Had George W. Bush prevailed, U.S. Marines could be fighting Russian troops over whose flag should fly over a province of 70,000 South Ossetians who prefer Russians to Georgians."

You see, any excuse for a battle will do. Whatever it takes to get involved in just about any conflict in the world, you can be sure the War Party will be champing at the bit to do so. Jeffrey Tucker wisely observes, "The war party and American conservatism are interchangeable and inseparable. They are synonyms." Well, isn't this what the Fourth of July is about?

Along with the recasting of "patriotism," these True American Patriots have redefined Christianity, and have made it unrecognizable to earlier Christians. In the True American Patriot's version, it is your attitude towards the Fetus that unlocks the door to salvation, or not. Sending your 19-year-old son to die in Iraq for nothing is acceptable, but ignoring the "rights" of an unknown fetus in an unknown belly of an unknown woman will insure your eternal damnation. Dead son, you lose nothing. Dead Fetus, you lose everything. This is the New Christianity.

True American Patriots see themselves as the only credible caretakers of Democracy, and those who reject such hubris are denounced as socialists and communists and fascists. Of course, ordinary people among the misguided and unenlightened might consider the love of war the ultimate fascistic mentality. Milton Mayer who, along with many others, urged against U.S. involvement in WWII, viewed war itself as a form of fascism. He wrote, "Democracy is an order in which the state exists for men. Fascism is an order in which men exist for the state. In no condition to which men submit do they exist for the state so completely as in war." There is no period in which these True American Patriots love the state more than when it is at war. Yet, isn't that what the Fourth of July is about?

These dogmatists teach that it is "liberal" to be opposed to war and, therefore, un-American to question government policy when the state sends you off to die. In fact, it's unpatriotic to refuse the state's command to torture other human beings. God's commands over man's commands? Not likely with today's claque of Christians. What conscience?

Laurence Vance asks where is the outrage from the evangelical community over torture, over the invasion of Iraq, over the thousands of dead Iraqis, over the thousands of American soldiers "who died for a lie." Where is the outrage over the destruction of that which conservatives once touted as "core American values" due to an evil, misguided foreign policy? What outrage? Our True American Patriots, in the midst of the culture of death that they have helped to spawn, are too busy boasting over how much they treasure "life" – while celebrating the Fourth of July.

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