You're a Grand Old Flag

Warning: Discussion on politics ahead. Proceed at your own risk. Every time I write "politics" I think of the joke that said in order to find out about politicians you need to do a word study. "Politicians" is derived from the word "politics" which can be broken down even further. The first part of "politics" is "poly" meaning "many" and the second part is "tics" which is "a blood thirsty insect." Sorry, had to drop that in there.

What absolutely drives me crazy is that the older I become, the more I feel like a liberal. This is an almost out of body type feeling since I was raised during the Reagan Administration when conservatism ruled the land. There was good [Americans] verses evil [Russians]. All good Christian people voted Republican and . . . um, there was the other side. I was a true blue Elephant man, even voting for Bob Dole when he had no chance of winning the '96 election and, if he did, would probably have bored the economy into a depression. But now things are different. I really don't think that I changed as much as the Republican party has changed. Not that it's any of your business, but I actually voted for a guy named Michael Peroutka from the Constitution Party in the last election because his views matched mine closer than the current President. I mean, I don't jive with all their stuff, but related more to them than I did the Grand Old Party.

So this introduction brings me to this: he US Congress is trying to push through the flag burning amendment amendment. Apparently the last time they tried to enact legislation, the Supreme Court overruled it as a violation of free speech. So the only way to supersede that ruling would be to amend the constitution. They've tried to do it before unsuccessfully, but it now appears that they might actually have enough votes to get it passed. The amendment made its way through the House and is headed for the Senate.

I remember being in high school the last time this discussion came up and, then, I would have applauded such an amendment; who wants a bunch of hippies burning the flag that American soldiers fought and died for [I should say that they "fought and died under" but I believe some would say they actually died for the flag. Which is an incredibly sad thought: I hope they didn't give their lives for a flag]. Previous generations have a different view of the flag than we do. In the days of World War there was an importance attached to it. Here's an interesting note: while the majority of churches in America today have American flags on their stages, this wasn't commonplace until after World War 1. But during the years that followed, it became almost Biblical to hang a flag in the auditorium. I would bet that the display of the Christian Flag in churches resulted from American flags being present. Still, try to move an American flag from their prominent place in the church and see what happens [been there done that]. It's more egregious to touch the flag than mess with the communion table or the pulpit.

Flags don't carry the same symbolism as they used to. Two stories to prove it. 1) About six years ago my Mom gave me a towel that someone had given her that was printed as an American Flag. You could have strung this sucker up on a flag pole for the Fourth of July. For the longest time, I didn't know what to do with it. I could've taken it to the beach, but how respectful would it have been to lay out on the American flag? But I guess the people who mass manufactured them thought it wasn't disrespectful. And 2) just last Tuesday was Flag Day. For some strange reason, I decided to wear red, white, and blue [thanks Old Navy for your sporty polos] and observe how many people did the same. I swear, I didn't see anyone else remembering the day.

So getting back to the issue, do people really care about the flag anymore? Maybe we've finally realized that it's a simple piece of cloth. And do people really care enough about the flag that we need Congress working on a constitutional amendment to ban people from burning it? How many flag burnings have you seen in America recently? This is pure politics, with Congressmen [and Congresswomen] vying to look the most patriotic. The irony is this: during this time of unconstitutional legislation like the Patriot Act, which limits people's individual freedoms, Republicans in Congress are more concerned about saving the flag which represents those freedoms that they're now trying to take away [I know that's a run-on sentence, but does that make sense?].

So now I'm a liberal. Great. Thanks to the Republican Party for sending me to the dark side of the force. Just do me this favor: while you're in the mood of passing legislation that has absolutely nothing to do with the life of Americans, pass a law making it illegal for Ashlee Simpson to sing in public.

Now that's an issue where conservatives and liberals can agree.