The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, July 04, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

Why Do Conservatives Hate America?
Award-winning documentary filmmaker in today’s Los Angeles Times (“The Patriot Act”):

Those who absconded with our flag now use it as a weapon against those who question America’s course. They remind me of that famous 1976 photo of an anti-busing demonstrator in Boston thrusting a large American flag on a pole into the stomach of the first black man he encountered. These so-called patriots hold the flag tightly in their grip and, in a threatening pose, demand that no one ask questions. Those who speak out find themselves shunned at work, harassed at school, booed off Oscar stages. The flag has become a muzzle, a piece of cloth stuffed into the mouths of those who dare to ask questions.

I think it’s time for those of us who love this country -- and everything it should stand for -- to reclaim our flag from those who would use it to crush rights and freedoms, both here at home and overseas. We need to redefine what it means to be a proud American.

Moore suggests those of us who love America raise questions, a simple act of defiance against the real America haters of the right wing, an act I found myself engaging in this morning while listening to the news on the radio.

The announcer alerted his audience of the importance this Independence Day weekend for all Philadelphians to be “on the lookout” for “signs of trouble.” Well, I knew where this story was going (Or at least I thought I did: I was a little surprised at the level of hysteria and at being told to keep my eyes open for “suicide bombers” at the city’s major tourist attractions. Most useful tip: Be wary of individuals wearing bulky clothing on a hot day.), so in my mind I took it somewhere else, promising to look -- as if it were really all that difficult -- for more pervasive signs of trouble: poverty, hunger, unemployment, crime, shoddy schools, child abuse, and domestic violence. Oh, but there I go again, hating America.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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