Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Following the Flag

You can stand alone,
or with somebody else,
or stand with all of us, together.
If you can believe
in something bigger than yourself
you can follow the flag forever. Randy Newman

Lou Dobbs, a xenophobic windbag who normally spends his time looking for Mexicans under every couch in America, is trying to stir up the simmering "flag lapel" issue which came up when Barrack Obama was questioned as to why he no longer wore an American Flag on his lapel. In a cute bit of "poor me" journalisn, Dobbs reports the story as one of the liberal media disdaining anyone who wears a flag lapel, especially if they work for the press, which Dobbs does, sort of. All of this is a vain attempt by Dobbs and his ilk to resurrect the famous "Pledge of alleigance" issue, which helped defeat Michael Dukakis in the presidential election in 1988. Then, like now, the nation was pretty tired of Republican rule, so the Democrats, following party tradition, nominated the single dumbest candidate that anyone could imagine. The governor of Massachusetts. The campaign had not progressed very far when some reporter or another asked Dukakis if there should be a law requiring every school child to say the pledge of alleigance to the U.S. flag. Dukakis, who had been to law school, knew that such a law was unconstitutional and foolishly said so to a reporter. George Bush the elder seized on this statement and spent the next month leading VFW meetings in the pledge and visiting every flag factory in America. He inserted in his stump speech the statment "I don't know what this guy's got against the pledge."All of this, combined with the fact that Dukakis looked silly riding in a tank and refused to get upset over a hypothetical question asked at a debate involving his wife Kitty being raped and murdered, resulted in an additional four years of Republican rule.

Lou would just as soon this debate start all over again, this time, with regard to the wearing of a flag lapel. In Lou's world, which by the way has no new houses because he has shut down the American construction industry by building a fence at the Mexican border, belief in the principles behind the flag are much less important than wearing one. If it was not illegal, I'm sure that Lou's entire wardrobe could consist of suits stitched together from old flags so no one could ever doubt just which side of the Rio Grande he was born on.The best story ever told on this issue came from an old Seinfeld show, where the Kramer character participated in an AIDs walk-a-thon to raise money to fight the disease, but did not wear the AIDS ribbon. "Who is refusing to wear the ribbon ?" was the cry, as if going out and walking ten miles to raise money was not enough of a commitment to make against the disease.

Look, Barrack Obama is running for the Presidency of the United States, I may not vote for him, but he has certainly proved his patriotism to me without having to wear a tiny metal flag on his lapel. I have no doubt that Lou Dobbs loves his country, his problem is that he does not love anything else, including the generosity that this country has always been known for. I think it's great that Lou wears a flag lapel.I despise anyone who would say that he should not. It's his choice and it's a good choice, but he should not be trying to start another rift in this country over the phoniest of issues.

Into to every life
a little rain must fall,
but it's not gonna rain forever,
you can rise above, you can rise above it all,
we will follow the flag together.
We will follow the flag forever ! Randy Newman


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