A young patriot

This came in as a comment the other day.

I believe that it deserves its own post:

Today is Flag Day and I manage a flag program for the Kiwanis of El Paso that places flags at homes & businesses on 5 patriotic holidays a year. I received this special note today that made me feel what we do is really worth it. Here goes:

“I really do appreciate the fact that you do this — it cannot be cost effective for you but the presentation is really effective.

Let me tell you a true story that happened this last Memorial Day.

First, I have a flag on top of my house that flies 24 hours a day and with the wind in this area it needs to be replaced often.
Being Memorial Day, I wanted a beautiful clean flag for the occasion.
As I was replacing my flag pole I noticed your flags being installed on my lawn and a scout (I think) stepped back and saluted each installation.
And then I was noticed on the roof placing my flag. He looked up and saluted that as well.
I got to tell you that I choked up with emotion for what he did and I am now as I write this am doing the same.

I got to tell you that in today’s world, this type of exhibition is, sadly, unheard of. I was and am seriously impressed.

Thank you for what you do,”

20 Responses to A young patriot

  1. ANONYMOUS ! ! ! says:

    You definitely don’t want to burn the flag. That would be a sign of disrespect towards the Chinese sweat shop worker who made it.

    Like

  2. frater jason says:

    The country doesn’t need more flag saluting. It needs Constitution reading, rational (not emotional) discourse, and far less red meat to the bases.

    fj,
    eagle scout

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It actually needs both. Our founding fathers wanted open debate and discourse, and an informed population that was engaged in governing via the power of their vote. But, when you cut out the patriotism element as a shared value, you open the door to the politics of division and a general weakening of the country. Why is the concept of America first, bad? Every other country on the planet openly discusses policies designed to benefit their own citizens as being a good thing. But, when you kill civics and flag saluting, it gets pretty easy to move to a globalist train of thought that puts the agenda of the rest of the world ahead of the needs of your own citizens.

      Like

      • Brutus says:

        🙂

        Like

      • Double Standard says:

        It’s ironic that the President preaches “America First,” and then whines and gets angry when he thinks allies are putting themselves first as he did this week.

        Like

        • Double Standard says:

          Like

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s not a double standard. It’s the truth. You can’t get fair trade deals if you don’t talk about what the other side is doing to keep the playing field unlevel. For decades, the US has signed up to trade deals and legislation that gave companies in other countries an unfair advantage and complete access to our consumer market (which is pretty much one of the most attractive in the world). It has cost our citizens a ton of money in depressed wages, increased taxes related to a weaker economy where the government has to take up more of the slack and slow job growth. President Trump is starting to reverse that. I realize the folks making money on unsustainable policies may hate him for that, but every time I look at my business’ sales numbers and retirement account, I’m pretty happy with the results of America first.

          Like

          • frater jason says:

            Trade deals are bogus, lobbyist-pumped atrocities. Let the free market do its work.

            I have been saddened to see the right shy away from the market and try to control it, thumbs on the scales, “picking winners and losers” as the criticism used to go. Remember how we used to deride the command economies of, say, Russia?

            IMO POTUS has zero grasp of how the economy works, and refuses to listen to his own advisers that do.

            A personal note: I do hope your retirement account does well over the next 12 months. I suspect it (and my own) will not .

            Like

      • frater jason says:

        Note: here and elsewhere I am talking in general and not referring to anyone in this conversation.

        > But, when you cut out the patriotism element as a shared value, you open the door to the politics of division and a general weakening of the country.

        I disagree. AFAIK the founding fathers did not encourage patriotism then and I don’t think it is a productive shared value now. And there are other shared values that are destructive to the republic. I will point out that self-described patriots are purveyors of some of the most poison-filled politics of division.

        Respect for our Constitution would be a good shared value. Chanting “USA! USA! USA!” or completely uninformed citizens getting weepy about the national anthem or flag is a very cheap form of citizenship. Maybe even idolatry. It’s easy to shout “‘Murica!”; it’s hard to be an informed/involved citizen.

        > Why is the concept of America first, bad

        Saluting a flag != America first.

        I agree that the US should address its own concerns first before helping/interfering elsewhere. This is done by limiting the Federal govt to enumerated powers, recalling troops from outside our soil, etc. The last entity that tried to play world policeman was Britain, and we see how that turned out for their empire.

        > Every other country on the planet openly discusses policies designed to benefit their own citizens as being a good thing.

        Countries discuss policies designed to benefit cronies, the rich, corporations, etc. The mob sucks it up with a straw while singing the national anthem at football games while fighter planes squander public monies doing fly-overs.

        > when you kill civics and flag saluting

        Civics is important. Flag saluting is not; it’s kitsch, glurge, the civic equivalent of only going to Mass on Easter.

        > it gets pretty easy to move to a globalist train of thought that puts the agenda of the rest of the world ahead of the needs of your own citizens.

        IMO the needs of humans are more important than the needs of nation-states.

        Like

        • Fed Up says:

          The needs of humans are also more important than the needs of global corporations, but members of congress and the various administrations for decades have catered to corporate donors and lobbyists. It’s only getting worse. All you have to do is look at the soaring costs of drugs and the cost of drugs in the U.S. as compared to Canada or Mexico. Then take a look at the direct and indirect corporate subsidies as well as corporations that pay zero taxes ….. not a single dollar. We’re getting f***** by both parties and big business and I for one am sick of it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Anonymous says:

          Frater Jason, my father is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. My husband is inurned there. Neither one of them joined the Army because of the education benefits. They did it for the same reason they saluted the flag. I get that you don’t understand patriotism. It’s the glue that motivates folks to do stuff for their country that is inconvenient, dangerous or doesn’t pay well.

          Like

          • frater jason says:

            Note to Brutus: My 11:07am reply contained a string that broke formatting and messed up the reply. I repost it here without that error. You can delete 11:07am if you like.

            I appreciate the civility and clarity of your reply.

            > I get that you don’t understand patriotism

            Disagreement does not imply lack of understanding.

            Haidt’s _The Righteous Mind_ illuminates why well-meaning people are baffled by each other’s positions. In his description, three main political leanings have different moral foundations which can seem bizarre or foreign to the other groups.

            === Conservatives ===

            Haidt’s analysis says Conservative folks’ moral system is built on:

            * Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm

            * Fairness: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating

            * Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal [germane to this discussion]

            * Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion

            * Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation

            “Why don’t Liberals subscribe to these principles? They must be unamerican, commies, devil-worshipers, or queers! Love it or leave it!”

            === Liberals ===

            Liberals folks’ moral system is built only or mainly on the first two:

            * Care

            * Fairness

            “Why are Conservatives so worried about who I marry, what color I dye my hair, or that I I’m a Druid? They must be fur-wearing, bootlicking drones who crave daddy’s strong hand!”

            === Libertarians ===

            Libertarian folks’ moral system is built on:

            * Liberty; opposite of oppression. Care and Fairness aspects are left to the individual

            “Ugh, why are both R and D so Marxist and brain-dead? They must not have read Atlas Shrugged yet. Here, take one of my 28 copies. Also, I’m pretty sure we went over the cliff while Woodrow Wilson was driving. #legalizeAllDrugz” .

            In this model each group is perplexed by the thinking and actions of the other. I’m not entirely sure how to work with that information, so for now I am starting with awareness of my own models and biases.

            > It’s the glue that motivates folks to do stuff for their country that is inconvenient, dangerous or doesn’t pay well.

            Not aiming to be disrespectful: to me that motivating glue is indistinguishable from successful propaganda. I would prefer folks be motivated to serve the nation by understanding its design, history, and current role in the world. Support our national positions when they are right/good, and agitate against them when they are wrong/bad.

            > They did it for the same reason they saluted the flag

            I enlisted because I was operating on the “standing with your group, family, nation” principle. I still think it was a good idea although my thinking on the topic has evolved over the years.

            Historical note – here’s how the US used to salute the flag:
            http://bit.ly/2YeXcSo

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            This will be out of sequence but it relates to Frater Jason’s last reply. I love that patriotism is labeled propaganda. The reality is we are constantly bombarded with propaganda from multiple sources. Take for instance the description of conservatives, liberals and libertarians. What appears to be a fair description highlights negatives for both conservatives and libertarians, and makes liberals look intellectually pure. A fair description of liberals would highlight their desire to legislate their belief system (ban straws, bags and big gulps). And there in lies the rub. Frater Jason, your argument works in an environment with zero propaganda. It works less well in an environment where patriotism and love of country are branded propaganda, but the propaganda of other nations or groups with an agenda are not labelled. Patriotism and love of country motivate a questioning of other agendas at a level that simply embracing the Constitution does not.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            And one other point on the concept of patriotism and love of country. Years ago I did a marketing project with a synagogue. No one was one the same sheet of music. They all had different ideas of what should be done and were so passionate about their points of view I thought a couple of them might get in a fight at one point. But when the meeting ended, everyone walked out of the room friends. Their shared religion created a bond where they could fight like cats and dogs on a project but eventually find a resolution they were all happy with. Patriotism and love of country also builds that bridge. When you throw that away, all you have is interest groups fighting like cats and dogs.

            Like

          • Don't Lecture Me on Patriotism says:

            My dad and all my uncles served as did I. They never wore their patriotism on their sleeves, nor do I. We just did our duty.

            So why is it that the people who never served in the military …..take for example POTUS and most members of congress….. brag the most about their patriotism and are the first to question the patriotism of others?

            There is all this emphasis on symbolic gestures and and the President rages about athletes taking a knee during the national anthem, yet he proudly denigrated the service of a prisoner of war for entertainment value and political gain and still defends his behavior today.

            I am tired of being lectured on patriotism by people who are charlatans and pretenders, especially those who are profiting from their new-found patriotism and “public service.”

            Liked by 1 person

          • frater jason says:

            Apologies for the out of order responses. I don’t see reply options on subcomments.

            > So why is it that the people who never served in the military …. brag the most about their patriotism and are the first to question the patriotism of others?

            Psychological projection, I’d guess.

            Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear! Hear!

      Like

      • frater jason says:

        > I love that patriotism is labeled propaganda

        I didn’t label patriotism as propaganda. I am saying that folks in power use the people’s patriotism as leverage to get what they want.

        Like

        • frater jason says:

          I don’t see a way to edit a post so I’ll continue here:

          > What appears to be a fair description highlights negatives for both conservatives and libertarians, and makes liberals look intellectually pure

          My intent was to poke fun at how each group [mis]perceives the others. I am not a liberal/democrat and have no desire to take it easy on them. If I failed to skewer all groups equally it is a function of my lack of creativity, not any intent to play favorites.

          > Patriotism and love of country motivate a questioning of other agendas at a level that simply embracing the Constitution does not

          Enlightenment thought that shaped our foundational documents and discussions suggests that *all* agendas warrant questioning.

          The ersatz patriotism I denounce leans toward Chauvinism: “…a form of extreme patriotism and nationalism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It can be also defined as “an irrational belief in the superiority or dominance of one’s own group or people”. Moreover, the chauvinist’s own people are seen as unique and special while the rest of the people are considered weak or inferior.” — intro to the wikipedia article on chauvinism.

          Like

Leave a Reply -- you do not have to enter your email address

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: