I watched the cheering over the Massachusetts outcome. I have nothing against the man; I had never heard of him. I have no qualms with MA's opinion on healthcare - they already have universal coverage - why should they be interested in paying for it again?
And yet I felt the burn. The burn of the cheers that should be echoed by outrage on the part of those left hanging. This is personal for me. The outcome of this reform will affect people that I know and love, and the burn comes from untolerated disrespect.
When I feel the burn I either write... or walk away.
Yesterday I wrote. And wrote. And purged. And emerged.
After a deep breath, a stifling breath, a desire to be a stronger person...
I pounded out the post on the Myth of Patriotism.
You know you want it... :)
I want to think all it would take is a human story to show another side.
I want to believe that a picture speaks a thousand words.
I want to see Mr. Limbaugh suspended in mid-air by his big toe until all his misappropriated pills tumble to the ground.
We can all hope, right?
I am tweaking and learning and if I can't get it right, and can't write it right without sinking to the lowest commen denominator (and I really don't want to keep the aforementioned Mr. L & cohorts company!) then begone! To the gym with me instead!
Which I may well do anyway.
But here you go. A salve to soothe the burn. As requested.
The Myth of Patriotism
A particular brand of patriotism is afoot in our country today.
This patriotism holds many ironies, many hidden agendas.
This patriotism and its allies are peculiar. They are fair-weather friends with our nation.
They are proud flag-flyers when political leadership & agenda suits them.
And the agenda of this patriotism is extreme. Its success holds ruin.
It is more aptly named factionalism than patriotism; self-interested and partisan are its bywords. It calls for the failure of a movement to feed its hunger; it calls for bringing down a nation to prove its precepts.
The self-proclaimed patriots who cheer for our current leaders to fail, as though the consequences were of little more import than a sporting event - ah, these patriots are devious. Their self-interest will sacrifice positive reform. Their short-lived success will cost lives. The flipside of those raucous cheers are the faces of friends and family that live under crushing medical bills and untreated conditions.
Their fair-weather brand states that they support our country and its leadership only when their wishes are fulfilled. They lend no credence to unvoiced millions who opinions should surely count equally.
They falsely prophesy a catastrophic downturn for our country, while other millions instead lift their eyes toward hope.
They cannot claim the name patriot. That is reserved for absolute love of a country. And it is not absolute love that pushes for failure, simply so the self-proclaimed patriot can be "right."
When their beliefs require them to be right, in the face of fresh ideas and possibilities - the only outcome is stagnation and repetition. The 8-year cycle of repetition was broken for a reason, and broken by a majority.
Let the record stand: if you claim to be a patriot, you cheer for the success of every American. You make allowance for the fact that another's rightful pursuit of life, liberty and happiness may differ from yours. You allow that another's needs as a citizen may be different from yours, but are just as valid and worthy. You commit to a human exchange and conversation that holds respect and dignity.
You honor patriotism.
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.