Here I go — criticizing Obama’s patriot speech.
First thing that caught my ear was: “On a spring morning in April of 1775, a simple band of colonists – farmers and merchants, blacksmiths and printers, men and boys – left their homes and families in Lexington and Concord to take up arms against the tyranny of an Empire…… And yet they took that chance. They did so not on behalf of a particular tribe or lineage, but on behalf of a larger idea.”
I know it’s a small thing, just words, but when is the last time you heard of the early colonists referred to as “a band” or a “tribe” or “lineage”? This is just so bizarre.
And this statement: “So let me say this at the outset of my remarks. I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine.”
Well, whoop-de-do. He doesn’t get to decide if and when anybody questions his patriotism. I think he is saying just that, don’t question me, period.
Then he goes on to invoke the names of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln as being examples of “greater men” than him having their patriotism questioned. One point, he is not president yet — the country is trying to decide if he should or should not be. All questions concerning him are on the table.
And, of course , he brings up the civil rights movement, counter-culture of the sixties. I’m sick to the bone of hearing about the civil rights movement. That’s just me. Enough. Was that the same time period his buddy Ayers was setting off bombs? I’m just asking.
“Dissent does not make one unpatriotic.” Right. And I dissent to the nomination and certainly the election of Barack Obama.
Sitting on his grandfather’s shoulders watching the astronauts come to shore in Hawaii. Yep, that’s right, nothing wrong with Hawaii but it’s not the mainland USA. “I remember, when living for four years in Indonesia as a child, listening to my mother reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence.”
Surely we are not expected to believe that. But he is weaving some truth in there. Does it matter he did not come to the mainland until he was in his twenties? And almost the first thing he did was hook up with Jeremiah Wright and Trinity church. It matters to me.
“As I got older, that gut instinct – that America is the greatest country on earth – would survive my growing awareness of our nation’s imperfections: it’s ongoing racial strife; the perversion of our political system laid bare during the Watergate hearings; the wrenching poverty of the Mississippi Delta and the hills of Appalachia.”
And he says:
“It is why, for me, patriotism is always more than just loyalty to a place on a map or a certain kind of people. But when our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.”
Well, let me say this — My loyalty certainly IS TO A CERTAIN PLACE ON A MAP. America!
He goes on: “We must remember, though, that true patriotism cannot be forced or legislated with a mere set of government programs. Instead, it must reside in the hearts of our people, and cultivated in the heart of our culture, and nurtured in the hearts of our children.”
(Yeah, like the sermons of Jeremiah Wright — I’m sure they really nurtured patiotism in the hearts of the children. Right. (As in – The United States goverment injected AIDS in people and participated in terrorism like that of al Quada, just under a different flag. And how rich white people are the cause of any and everything that has gone wrong in the world.) Yeah, right.
And he goes on to say – “Too many children are ignorant of the sheer effort, the risks and sacrifices made by previous generations, to ensure that this country survived war and depression; through the great struggles for civil, and social, and worker’s rights.
“It is up to us, then, to teach them. It is up to us to teach them that even though we have faced great challenges and made our share of mistakes, we have always been able to come together and make this nation stronger, and more prosperous, and more united, and more just.”
Well, give Jeremiah Wright and Pfleger a big gold star for that one! Not.
More – “It is up to us to teach them that America has been a force for good in the world, and that other nations and other people have looked to us as the last, best hope of Earth.”
Well, yes, it is but all I heard was the opposite coming from the Trinity United Church’s pulpit and that is a big deal to me and lots of others as well.
And, oh, Lord, here we go again, he invokes the names of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and the “most famous son of Independence, Harry S. Truman”, (D) who dropped the atom bomb on Japan. Rightly or wrongly.
“That is why our heart swells with pride at the sight of our flag; why we shed a tear as the lonely notes of Taps sound.”
And ending with :
“That is the liberty we defend – the liberty of each of us to pursue our own dreams. That is the equality we seek – not an equality of results, but the chance of every single one of us to make it if we try. That is the community we strive to build – one in which we trust in this sometimes messy democracy of ours, one in which we continue to insist that there is nothing we cannot do when we put our mind to it, one in which we see ourselves as part of a larger story, our own fates wrapped up in the fates of those who share allegiance to America’s happy and singular creed.
“Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.”