Friday, June 30, 2006

Scary Vote

The proposal to amend the American Constitution to ban flag desecration failed to reach a two-thirds majority in the Senate by one vote. That’s not good. It shouldn’t have made it that far in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m against burning the flag. I’m not mindlessly patriotic – in fact I believe that people who won’t admit our country and leaders are flawed are doing us more harm than good by giving the government blind loyalty. It’s just that flag burning basically says “I hate America and everything about it.” If that’s your attitude, then leave. Nobody is forcing you to stay. And if this is such a rotten place, why are so many willing to risk jail and injury to get here?

However, one of the supposedly great things about America is that we are free to express ourselves. Freedom of expression isn’t really free unless it is given to everyone. The freedom to agree with the government is a basic human right espoused by every nation on the face of the planet since the beginning of time, so I think we should set our sights a bit higher than, say, Nazi Germany.

If the vote hadn’t been so close, I would have really enjoyed the sight of a white middle-aged Republican xtian politician facing the camera and saying “The flag should get special protection because it represents our American ideals, such as freedom of expression.” Plus ten points for irony, minus several thousand for being a stupid redneck.

The real problem is that there are too many like him in power. Jebus Wanker Bush’s right-wing agenda has been forced on the country for too long. I want to be patriotic, but he’s making it hard for me to love a country that wants to constitutionally limit free speech and regulate people’s relationships. By restricting our freedom of expression, he makes the flag just that much less precious to me. I think our next president needs to be a Democrat, or Libertarian, or Che Guevara. Yes, I know he’s dead. Some days I think a rotting corpse would serve the country better than a guy who is actively doing us harm.

Things like this remind me of terrorism in that they accomplish exactly the opposite of what they supposedly intend. The Republicans want to protect the flag by harming that for which it stands. The terrorists wanted to harm America with the events of 9/11, and they did, but at the same time does anybody think Bush could have pushed his agenda as far as he has without their attack? I don’t think it’s what he wanted – in fact, I believe he’s a good man, just too narrow-minded and a bit dim – but he has exploited the fears engendered by the terrorists for his own purposes. Maybe we would have invaded Iraq anyway, but he wouldn’t have had the support he did without playing on our fears, and he probably wouldn’t have squeaked through reelection. Likewise, maybe the Democrats could have focused on putting up the best candidate instead of being anti-Bush and they wouldn’t have given us John Kerry, a candidate beloved only by hardcore Dems who would vote for Charles Manson if he wore the sign of the donkey.

Besides, the flag burners had to pay for those flags before burning them, didn’t they? Sounds like they are shoring up sales of American flags (made in Taiwan). I plan to employ the same tactic for publishing my first novel entitled “Fuck the Pope.” It will contain an entry (borrowed liberally from George Carlin and Kevin Smith) which says “Fuck the pope. Fuck him up his stupid ass. Fuck him up the ass with a giant rubber dildo, then break it off inside him and beat him over the head with the rest of it.” Then I’ll go on to the actual story, which will involve a female android gunslinger made of linguine who has a talking laser pistol. On a completely unrelated note, I think I may be watching too much anime.

Since our free speech escaped unmolested, they are now promoting the American Values Agenda. Judging by who is behind it, it will be a push to get more middle-aged white conservative fundamentalist xtians in politics, a move which I’m sure will thrill the entire rest of the world. I wonder how much farther the Bushies will be able to push matters before the next election. The last time, I refused to back a candidate whose primary qualification was “I’m not Bush.” This time, I’m hoping the Dems put up somebody who’s not a total nightmare. This country needs to be lead in a different direction. Any different direction would be a refreshing change.

27 comments:

The Stiltwalker said...

What are your thoughts on Hillary C and the possibility of her running for president? Just curious.

patti_cake said...

I agree with alot you said Grant and I want to know your thoughts about HC as well

Grant said...

stiltwalker & pc - I'm one of the rare sort that doesn't love her or hate her. I'd prefer John McCain or Arnold over her, but I'd take her before Jeb Bush. I'm sort of neutral on her, so I'd want to see her campaign platform before voting, but I don't have anything against her except sticking with a cheating husband.

Toad734 said...

+10 for irony, I like that.

annush said...

sweet Jesus that was a very long politically inclined post...Uff...my brain hurts from so much reading...

Stormy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angie said...

lol @ Jebus Wanker Bush. I refused to vote in the last election for the same reason. It was the first time I didn't vote in a presidential election. It really bothers me that we can't find (or promote) better candidates for the position that what we've been offered lately.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Excellent post. I could have written most of it myself (except the dildo part--I laughed out loud because I envy you and Stilt your amazing sense of humor). Flag burning upsets me because of all the military people in my life; supporting the flag gets drilled into you. I also lived abroad many years ago where I witnessed the burning of the American flag and it really angered me, not to mention that I felt degraded. As for the Democrats putting up someone decent, don't count on it. They are stupid fecks. I refuse to vote for a Democrat anymore just because he isn't Bush or whatever. I can't stand Bush and his cronies; they are ruining the country that my dad took two purple hearts for. A lot of those Christians you named want those laws to police themselves and show the non-Christian world how much better they are. Jesus had a name for them: hypocrites.

Grant said...

toad - thanks.

annush - suck it up, girlie. :p

angie - I considered not voting, but the only problem with that is that it looks like voter apathy, not because they didn't give us anyone worthwhile. So instead I wrote in Dave Barry.

enemy - I wonder who the Dems will try next? They might have had a better chance to let Gore try again the last time. If they put up Kerry against Jeb Bush, it will be another worst-case scenario.

Nobius said...

It's like this. If the fore fathers saw what their government has become they'd call for a Revolution. I hate burning the flag as much as the next person, and hate speech, and the rest of it but it's what makes our nation still the greatest on earch...or Rights.

Kira said...

Blah blah I'm lazy, insert my email here, yes about Gore running last election, blah blah.

Beat that! hah!

fatty ~ said...

since you're tackling a serious topic i'll try to be serious.

if i like to practice satanic sacrifice rituals i still have to abide by laws against murder and such. I cant exersise liberties that are not fitting with the countries values and responsibilities.

SO dont use freedom of experssion as the only arguement. People should stop thinking about personal liberty - especially considering the numer that dont vote in the states.

that said, i dont blame people for it. Flag-burning i dont really see and adequate reason for it to be banned. if they want to burn it then ok. they have the right to be unpatriotic or watever you want to call it.

we'll still look down on it and what they are trying to represent, but thats because we are gonna tolerate other opinions.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I wanted to add something else: Gore would be a decent choice; he was one of the few candidates that ran who deserved the job. Edwards might not be too bad--underneath the Grieshen formula and bleached teeth lies a real dirty player, worthy of fighting the GOP. If McCain runs for the Republicans, I will seriously consider backing him. I gave money to his campaign in 2000; I don't like or agree with him on certain things--I don't know why he is so gung-ho for this war, for example and I know that he is courting the far right evangelicals, but I think when he gets into office, he will be his own man. And I don't disagree with him on other major issues, plus I respect his service, even though this country has a habit now of electing draft dodgers and rich kids who weasel out of combat duty. There was a time that Congressmen would give up their seats to fight in wars. Those days are done.

RefleXtion said...

Seen the Chris Rock movie 'Head of State'?? Now that (if it happens, would be interesting!)

Libélula said...

Awesome Post, Grant. I live in the Dominican Republic, a beautiful Country, but full of asshole Politicians who are making it exremely hard for us. It's just like you said: "I want to be patriotic, but he’s making it hard for me to love a country that wants to constitutionally limit free speech and regulate people’s relationships"...I couldn't have said it better myself...truly love dthis!

mal said...

vote for dead candidates? the concept has merit *G*

I am just thankful the framers made it difficult to ammend the constitution or it would be seriously junked up by now (ie prohibition). I agree, ONE vote is too close

Sadly, Junior is not as sharp as his old man and it shows in some of the things he has allowed on his agenda

PBS said...

I would back a candidate whose primary qualification was, "I'm not Bush." But within reason, of course. As bad as anyone or anything is, there's always an even worse version!

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

the fact is neither mother theresa or gandhi were on the ticket. kerry was repulsive. bush does not represent me either and i am conservative. but conservative isnt republican necessarily.

who of quality would run for president? its a shitstorm and a witch hunt. anyone who had ever "lived a little" would be disqualified for being immoral in some way. brilliant leadership, enlightened ideas? not so important. this is the tragedy of american campaigns.

and why do we focus so much on the head of state when it is congress and the senate who make and push through policy? the direction that america takes is a group effort and to focus on the one man is too simplistic -whomever that man (or woman) may be.

as far as the flag burning....it is an action of frustrated impotence imo, and not a worry.

so, you dont like the pope, huh?

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Grant said...

nobius - yes, we rule! Take that, Aussies and Canucks.

kira - lazy butt. :p And you're one e-mail behind.

fatty - I only addressed freedom of expression because it is what is under attack. We already have laws in place to deal with flags stolen or burned in an unsafe manner. Since I hate hypocrisy, I don't want to see our nation's Constitution, which is supposed to be an expression of our ideals, adopt an ammendment that conflicts with the very first one in the Bill of Rights.

enemy - I'll take Gore over Bush or Kerry, but I'm from his home state of Tennessee and I wasn't pleased with him as our senator. A lot of people weren't, which explains why he lost his home state in the election, something extremely rare.

reflextion - no, haven't seen that one. It's not J-horror, so it's not high on my list.

libélula - thanks. It's funny, but most of the DR people I've met and writers I've read paint the country as being simultaneously the greatest place on Earth and a total hell.

mal - I'm glad the individual states would have had to ratify it as well. Hopefully enough states would have shot it down to keep it from becoming a reality. At this point, I'm just hoping we can survive the next two years under Bush without any further damage which may cause a future backlash.

pbs - I still wish Dave Barry had won.

k9 - I don't like the Catholic Church, therefore I don't care for the guy running the show. Even though Congress did propose this amendment (the President has no formal impact on the amendment process), I look at Bush because I blame the mood in the senate and the Republican party on his crusading. Somehow I don't think this would have happened under Clinton, or even Reagan.

Ms. X said...

Grant, all I have to say is thank the heavens that someone was able to write coherent words that I have been trying to express since 2004. And it's somehow fitting, since Independence Day is swiftly approaching.

~Deb said...

Well, I do agree with what you said as far as if they don't like living in American, then get out!

Unless they can provide us with those Giant Atomic Chickens...then we're cool.

Libélula said...

Oh that is soooo true!!! DR IS simultaneously the greatest place on Earth and a total hell...awesome if you're on vacation OR loaded with money...sucky otherwise

JohnB said...

I think I may be the first to volunteer to colonize an asteroid...by myself...

Leesa said...

The two thirds is only the first hurdle. I expect it would have passed if they would said that instead of burning the flag, you could choose to burn members of the administration to show displeasure with our countries policies. Congress would have then passed it - though I think the President would have vetoed it (if he would have figured it out).

Party Girl said...

I like how so many of the issues that are being presented, right before a three month vaca, and in an election year, are all oh, so patriotic.
They serve no other purpose other than to show all of us fellow Americans, how patriotic they really are and how much they love America. Can you smell the bullshit oozing forth from them? I mean seriously. The politics of politicians. It's ridiculous and offends my brain.

Grant said...

ms. x - thanks. I don't always do coherent.

~deb - the chickens are our enemy. Have you gone over to their side?

libélula - sounds like you need to move to the states and let a dumb redneck take care of you. How's your Japanese accent? :p

johnb - I've got one for sale, but you have to provide your own rocket for transportation.

leesa - I was worried that it already passed the House and just barely failed in the Senate. Although I like your alternate proposal.

party girl - surely you're not suggesting that the politicians are allowing politics to affect their job?

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