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American Patriotism in Hyper-Drive

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Lee Greenwood

by Walter Brasch

It's midway between Flag Day and Independence Day.

That means several million copies of full-page flags printed on cheap newsprint, June 14, have been burned, shredded, thrown away, or perhaps recycled. It's an American tradition.

Flag Day was created by President Wilson in 1916 on the eve of the American entry into World War I. It has since been a day to allow Americans to show how patriotic we have become, and give a running start to celebrating the Revolution by buying banners, fireworks, and charcoal briquettes for the upcoming picnic.

  Within American society is a large class of people who fly flags on 30-foot poles in front of their houses and adorn their cars with flag decals and what they believe are patriotic bumper stickers. They are also quick to let everyone know how patriotic they are, and how much less patriotic the rest of us are. But patriotism is far more than flying flags and shouting about liberty in Tea Party rallies.

Find someone wearing socks, T-shirt, bandana, and even a jacket that looks like replicas of the American flag, and you might find a hyper-patriot. Of course, just a few decades ago, they would have spat out their disgust to anti-war protestors or hippies who had so much of a flag patch on their jeans.

Most of these hyper-patriots wrap themselves in the flag and Constitution, but are quick to try to shut off dissent, believe the only true religion is the one they espouse, demand that the police frisk citizens who aren't White, and declare the Supreme Court is un-American when it doesn't rule the way they think it should.

Many of the hyper-patriots waved those flags high whenever the U.S. has gone to war, even if that war was created by lies. In Iraq, almost 4,500 Americans have been killed; more than 32,000 were wounded, many of them with lifetime injuries.

Many of the hyper-patriots are insensitive to the problems of the 700,000 Americans, about 70,000 of them veterans, who are homeless on any given day.

They are oblivious to the 46 million Americans, about 16 million of them children, who live in poverty.

They oppose universal health care that would help all Americans, including the 50 million who are currently uninsured.

Many of these hyper-patriots believe unions are un-American, and workers who demand good work conditions and benefits are whiners.

These hyper-patriots are also the ones who believe Social Security should be privatized, oppose Medicare, and go ballistic when they think government is infringing upon rights of the individual. But they believe government should impose standards of what are or are not proper sexual positions for consenting adults.

  Although the unemployment rate has fallen significantly in the past year, 12.7 million Americans are still trying to find work. The response of hyper-patriots has been to block all attempts by President Obama to pass a jobs creation bill. They readily accept corporate welfare and special tax benefits for the wealthy, but look away when corporations send work and their profits out of the country. The Wall Street Journal reports the 11 top American corporations cut 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. and hired 2.4 million overseas.

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www.walterbrasch.com

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional (more...)
 
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These bailouts are funded by the FORCED CONTRIBUTI... by bogi666 on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 7:12:34 AM
that I should have written... by bogi666 on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 7:18:24 AM
click here... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:18:34 PM
Mark Twain nailed it. He eloquently states the dif... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 7:23:04 AM
"American Exceptionalism"  is the delusion th... by WayneSL on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:42:14 PM
Yes, some things made elsewhere are superior. But ... by Walter Brasch on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 3:32:09 PM
  Blind patriotism is usually a trait of non-... by Bob Gormley on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 5:49:50 PM
Your hyper or what I call jingoistic patriotism = ... by Gary Brumback on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 8:24:07 PM
because I have no doubt this really goes on.Video... by 911TRUTH on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 at 11:59:01 PM
George W. Bush no doubt proud of Barack Obama... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 9:15:22 AM
I agree with the charge of hyperpatriotism and the... by Joe Honick on Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 3:14:28 PM