Monday, September 25, 2006

It's a grand old flag or: America part 3


Let me tell you a story, to help explain my views from America? and Briefly more America.

I was a Cold War child. When I was born, the Cold War was a fact of life, and the Soviet Union didn't fall until I was already an adult. I was born and raised in the state of Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson. In 1976 our country celebrated its Bicentennial. I was five years old and I had a children's record that featured "(It's a) Grand Old Flag" and other patriotic songs that I listened to all the time (along with the Planet of the Apes record referred to in my recent post Awesomeness! and one with a reading of Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss). I sang those songs proudly and enthusiastically. I had a tank top in a US flag motif.

I learned that America was good and the Soviet Union was bad. The reason the Soviet Union was supposed to bad was because they were Communists. Communism was bad, it was explained, because they tortured people, they spied on their own citizens without warrants and they had secrets prisons they could take people without charges and hold them indefinitely. There were other things, they had to wait in long lines for bread and toilet paper and such.

They, by the way, also didn't have free elections. Do we? The previous issues are not at all in question. They are subjects of "reasonable" debate. As this particular issue is controversial and not a given, I merely refer you to Was the 2004 Election Stolen? and Will The Next Election Be Hacked? by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and ask you to make your own decision.

As an adult, I've learned there were much more complex geopolitical issues involved in the conflicts between our two nations than those frightening pieces of the political puzzle. Unfortunately, some part of me clings to those notions. Those are the things that still frighten me. Those are the things I still reject viscerally.

That proud little boy deep inside me can't stop looking and seeing that George W. Bush and his comrades are Communists. No, obviously not in the Marxist sense, but in the way we were all taught as children. How we understood it when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and even those who knew he was grossly oversimplifying and unnecessarily provocative, understood that those were the things he was referring to.

Our nation now stands shaming Reagan's beliefs. It also shames Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and even shames the more troublesome legacies of Johnson and Nixon. It also shames the legacies of both of those great rivals, Jefferson and Hamilton.

Shame is the right word, but it almost sounds too weak right now, used too often to chastise children for sneaking into the cookie box.

We now face tyrants ruling over our once great nation, reducing the standards that all of our past leaders, great and poor alike, stood up, lived and died to fight against. We are ruled by people I can only define as capital C Communists, as I was taught to understand fear them as a young American and that is shame.

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