“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it… Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…” -Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
I thought I got the ABC debate off my chest but this argument of Patriotism keeps leaving a bad aftertaste in my mouth. When Nash McCabe, the “random” Pennsylvanian citizen, was cued to ask Barack Obama if he believed in the American Flag, I couldn’t stop screaming at the television. Here is a concerned politician, who wants to sincerely speak about important issues that are affecting this country and about his possible solutions which we can assess, but is instead being scrutinized for something as trivial as a shiny little brass object that is missing from his attire. The irony of this situation is that this woman fits the mold of “bitter ” Americans that Barack Obama talks about.
Nash McCabe lives in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which was formally a coal and steel center but is now just another small town with massive unemployment. So because she doesn’t have anything of real substance to hold on to, she instead grasps unto a distorted view of Patriotism. What about the American troops over in Iraq? Aren’t they showing true patriotism by fighting to protect the country they believe in? Is our government showing patriotism in kind?
At one point in time, the original GI bill that veterans received allowed US soldiers to get a free college education, retention of their former jobs when they were civilians and other great benefits. Nowadays veterans still have to take out student loans to go to college, their previous jobs are no longer available when they return from their tour of duty, and consequently a lot of them become homeless. Not only that, but those vets that come back with post-war traumatic syndrome aren’t getting the psychological treatment that they sorely need. Currently, the Senate is trying to pass a new GI bill that can restore it to its former glory and “patriots,” like John McCain, are rejecting this bill because they feel that this new bill would be too enticing to retain our troops to service. Based on this fact, what’s more patriotic? Wearing a flag pin or supporting our troops for protecting our lives?
Late this past week, one of the news stories that isn’t getting much attention is the one regarding the Hubbard family. According to the military’s “Sole Survivor” policy, if all but one sibling of an entire family dies during the tour of duty, the sole survivor is immediately taken out of the field of action and given an honorable discharge. However, when Jason Hubbard was discharged, the military decided that he didn’t qualified for his benefits. Adding insult to injury, the military also demanded that Jason return his $6,000.00 enlistment bonus back to them. Does this lapel-wearing institution sound very patriotic? Because of this heinous action, the Hubbard family immediately called their congressman Devin Nunes and they’re now trying to pass “The Hubbard Act” which should, if it passes legislation, prevent this atrocity from happening in the future.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Patriotism is, “love for or devotion to one’s country”. Our Founding Fathers created this country under a simple core set of beliefs, for equality of all. They believed in always fighting for those core rights and not for accepting the status quo if it impeded our rights. They also believed that if things became insufferable, we should create a new system to make things right again. We are now hitting the crux of this state. Recession is setting in and tensions are rising. Let’s show real Patriotism and try to fix up the mess that our society is currently in, instead of continuing the farce that Patriotism is nothing more than a brand of flag lapel pins that are made in China.
Here is a video clip regarding McCain’s reluctance on new G.I. Bill
Here is a video clip of Fox News denying the true plight of our U.S. Veterans