October 05, 2007

The Volokh Conspiracy - -

I often find the Volokh blog interesting, but this post is impossibly stupid.

Volokh takes Obama to task for refusing to wear an American flag pin, and then states that wearing the pin is a necessary, acceptable, and even required expression of support for the US

The Volokh Conspiracy - -: "But the essence is similar: Wearing a flag pin is not supposed to be an explanation or an argument, just as “I love you” is not supposed to be an explanation or an argument. It’s supposed to be a traditional statement of affection, powerful because it’s cliché. If you’re in the sort of relationship in which you’ve never made such a statement — and here flag pin wearing is a little different than “I love you,” since most citizens who love their country don’t routinely say it — then you can indeed show your love in other ways. Returning to the analogy, you hear occasionally of old-fashioned couples who’ve never fallen into the “I love you” habit, but who love each other nonetheless. Yet if you used to say this and then you stopped, the symbolic message is pretty powerful. And that’s true even though many people say “I love you” without meaning it (just as there are some who wear the flag pin but are just opportunists, not patriots). Even if this abuse of the phrase weakens its symbolism, an outright renunciation of the phrase retains its symbolism just fine. The American people want a President who loves their country and who expresses that love, at an emotional as well as an intellectual level. For better or worse"
Wearing a flag pin is not an innocuous sign of support. It is now a clear declaration of failing into line with the program, the kind of thinking that has us destroying our national future in Iraq.

In Geo. W. Bush's incompetent America, the flag pin has become a totemic sign of unthinking support for the (failed) policies of this administration. The flag is part of the smear campaign of the Rove system, a badge of conformity worn by robotic public servants to ward off the charge of appeaser.

For a brief time, showing the flag was a relatively simple and straightforward sign of solidarity after the 9-11 attacks. Pretty soon thereafter it became a badge of servitude.

I personally think that when public officials are required to wear a flag pin as part of the uniform of public service that it is a clear sign of neofascism. It is a simple as that.

And I love the flag. I have a goddamn flag tattooed on my arm, and have had it there for 18 years. It is hard to outflag me. So don't start this shit about politicians having to wear one to show that they love this country. This is the same sentiment that underlies anti-flag burning amendments, a profoundly stupid movement embraced by fools of the right.

This flag pin nonsense is flat out stupidity as well as conformist servility.

It is in full denial of any kind of true libertarian outlook as well as the core truth that the flag is meaningless aside from support for the true principles of this country.

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