Saturday, July 5, 2008

Patriotism as a Political Football

Have we allowed political discourse in this country to fall so far that we need our candidates to defend their patriotism? The answer is yes.

Apparently we need Senators Barack Obama and John McCain to actually come out and discuss their patriotism as a political issue. Because apparently it's not a given that people running for president are patriotic.

Have we become this paranoid about our politicians that simply because we don't agree with their political views we question their loyalty to this country? Have we really allowed ourselves to become so divided as a nation that political strife and discourse has turned us into camps that question each other's PATRIOTISM. 

This line of attack is bi-partisan. Barack Obama looked particularly vulnerable to this attack because he didn't wear a lapel pin. Apparently all you need to do to prove you're a patriot in the days of mass media is wear a lapel pin. Obama's desire not to emulate other politicians, his race, and a series of scurrilous rumors have put him on the defensive about his patriotism. This despite his record as a community organizer, his work in government, and his truly american story. This embodiment of the American Dream has to defend his patriotism because a small few of those who disagree with him politically have used the megaphone of the the internet to claim he doesn't say the pledge of allegiance, he doesn't sing the national anthem, and he was sworn into the senate on the Koran. 

The left in seeking to defend Obama, has it's own lunatic fringe. A fringe actually trying to attack the record of John McCain's war service. For those who have never served to impugn the record of a man like McCain who has not only served but was captured and tortured  is a little like me telling Oscar De La Hoya he's not a very good boxer. 

These men have spent their lives growing careers and skills that have gotten them this close to becoming the next president. They have sacrificed time with their families, personal lives, and submitted to constant public scrutiny. They could not have risen to this level in American politics if their patriotism could ever have been seriously questioned. 

Let's put down the rumors and pick up the questions on real policy. One of these men will guide the future of the nation. Let's agree they love America, and move on. 

No comments: