Friday, September 11, 2009
The New Patriotism
During the Bush administration, many people vocalized concerns about his policies, anger over the war he started under false pretenses, frustrated and suspicious because he offered little in the way of answering for his actions. People who voiced those concerns were considered unpatriotic, reminding people that the war was necessary in order to protect us from the terrorists. Whenever an answer was demanded of the Bush administration, those demanding the answers were generally considered to be people who did not love their country. During the Bush administration, demanding answers of our government...rather forcefully demanding them, if necessary...was considered anything but "American".
Now, we have the Obama administration, and everything has changed. The same people who once made a living by shaming those who demand answers of their government, are demanding answers of their government. The "tea parties" are running rampant. Fox News and conservative radio talk show hosts are generating hefty ratings for their hours upon hours of railing against President Obama. One Fox News pretty boy has even organized a march on Washington, to take place tomorrow.
Why do these Obama naysayers do all of this? Because it is patriotic! It's a grassroots movement to let the Obama administration know that they aren't going to take anything that they deem to be against their freedom as American citizens. So passionate are these conservative folk about the things they believe, they do not even bat an eyelash when one of their own heckles the President during his address to Congress. Not only do they not bat said eyelash, but they seem to applaud the senator for the outburst.
All of the sudden, demanding questions from your government, and calling them out--however inappropriate the place and time--is no longer unpatriotic, but it chic and savvy! All of the sudden, you can flat out call the President a liar...and do so during a joint session of Congress, in the middle of his speech...and nobody accuses anyone of being anti-American.
It seems to me that there is a double standard that is playing itself out right in front of our eyes. I would venture to say that the same people who are so quick to call Obama a liar would still call another person anti-American if they were to call Bush a liar. Even when solid evidence is given to demonstrate that Bush lied, the die-hard conservatives are not willing to call it what it is. Yet, based on hearsay alone, these same people are rallying against our current president, calling him a liar, a fascist, a socialist, a racist, and so forth, and somehow that is okay.
I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the conservatism I've seen in the last couple of years. It seems as though being a conservative has come to mean being mean-spirited, even militant, against those who oppose conservative ideas. I've heard conservatives refer to homosexuals as "sickos", Democrats/liberals referred to as "idiots", and grown men who throw temper tantrums in Congress lauded as heroes.
It seems that conservatives have become less willing to discuss different ideologies in a peaceful manner, and continually resort to Hannityesque tactics of calling names, or simply shouting down the opponent. If you talk long and loud enough, an opposing voice will not be heard.
Conservatives, I beg you to take a look at where you are, and ask if that is really where you want to be. If it's not, let the Glenn Becks and Sean Hannitys of the world fight their own battles, and you can be your own voice.
As for me, I've distanced myself from the conservative movement entirely. It just became embarrassing.
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