A little rant I didn’t have a chance to make before, between my own hectic schedule across the past couple of weeks, and then last week’s events in London. And at this point, this particular issue will probably only remain top-of-mind until Duh-bya announces whether he wants to actually unite the nation (HAH!) or start another civil war — an announcement expected any time now (assuming Turd Blossom’s increasingly transparent excuses don’t get him indicted for treason in the meantime). So the timing here may still be a bit awkward, but what the hell, I’ll go ahead anyway. (I’ve long since thrown tact out the window here.)

U.S. HouseA bunch of moronic demagogues in the House of Representatives (yes, I know that’s redundant), led by the patently un-American (not to mention crooked as a three-dollar bill) Randy “Duke” Cunningham, have tried once again to piss on the United States of America by passing yet another attempt at a flag-burning amendment. The Senate — which, believe it or not, has 65 equally idiotic supporters at last count — could take up the issue as early as this month.

A lot of people have already pointed out how unbelieveably stupid this is (and devised some rather creative ways to get around any such amendment), so I won’t go into any more detail here. Everybody with a brain in their head recognizes that this is a thinly-veiled (hell, not really veiled at all) excuse to attack “dirty liberals” again. The amendment’s G.O.P. architects really don’t care whether it passes or not — if anything, they’d like to see it fail. Then they’ve got a tailor-made rationale for turning around and bashing those liberals as America-haters.

The truth is, of course, exactly the opposite. It’s the supporters of this amendment who are making the statement flat out: “I hate America.” And goddammit, it’s about time somebody pointed it out.

Yes, that is a direct accusation. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a retraction.

I just want to state something for the record: I have no desire to burn the American flag. But if you want to attack my own “patriotism,” go right ahead. In fact, let me take the wind out of that accusation right now: I don’t even pretend to be a so-called “patriot.” As I’ve mentioned before, I have lost all faith in the idea that America is capable of being saved from the right-wing freaks who’ve staged their not-so-bloodless coup. I no longer fly or display an American flag of my own. I flat-out refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance — less because of the insipid “under God” reference than for the fact that I pledge no such allegiance, either to the nation or to its representative symbol. This is not the Soviet Union. I live here by choice, I remain here as a voluntary resident, and I obey the laws such residency requires. But I hold no abstract “allegiance”; I will leave the moment an alternative option becomes more attractive. Basic supply and demand.

But I sure as hell don’t hate America. Regular readers will easily see how much of a fan I am of the principles on which this nation was founded, moribund though they may be today. Not to mention the fact that flag-burning — here, anyway — is about as counter-productive a protest method as you could imagine. Not exactly gonna win a lot of converts over to your side there, buddy.

But if this amendment passes, the first thing I will do is go out and burn a flag. And not one of those convenient, almost-but-not-quite-a-flag versions designed to get around such legislation, but the actual flag.

ConstitutionWhy? Because if this amendment passes, such a protest may be not desirable, nor effective, but it will be necessary. Not a protest against America, its government, or its people, but against the draconian notion that freedom of speech should be limited to that which the government finds comfortably within the bounds of the unthreatening. The last nail will truly have been placed in the coffin of the very principles the Constitution stands for. Not only will America be beyond saving, but it will truly not be worthy of saving.

Am I out of the mainstream? Probably. But I guarantee you one thing: Passage of this amendment will see a rash of people doing exactly the same thing (a notion that a number of admittedly nonscientific polls has confirmed). A “problem” that doesn’t exist will suddenly become an epidemic.

In days past, it was easy enough to make my rant and move on. After all, the likelihood of such a ridiculously asinine amendment passing was effectively nil. But now, with that no longer being the case, I’m coming out guns blazing, no matter what the result. I will neither let these anti-American crusaders desecrate everything this nation stands for, nor stand idly by while they attempt to redirect their obvious disdain for it toward those who would defend it.

The gloves are off.


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