Jingoism Contest! Who’ll Blink First?

Sent this to the LAT, signing myself “Joseph McCarthy” just for good measure.

Politically, those growing numbers are being fueled largely by senior citizens, Republicans and conservatives, all groups that vote in larger than usual numbers in most elections and are being courted as Republicans try to capture Congress. According to Gallup, 91% of Republicans overwhelmingly say they are strongly patriotic, conservatives, 87% and the elderly, 86%.

Even 74% of those who describe themselves as independents, a key voter group, say they are extremely or very patriotic.”

Do you realize that this construction contrasts Republicans against independents, in effect portraying the latter as a group we should be surprised to hear reporting feelings of patriotism? This would be no different from, ie. “Even 74% of those who describe themselves as Yankee fans say they are extremely or very fond of the Red Sox,” with the obvious exception that it is both reasonable and inoffensive to characterize Yankee fans as disliking the Red Sox. No particular party or ideological affiliation has a monopoly on patriotism. As a longtime DTS indy-turned-recent-Democrat I resent your implication. A correction/retraction and apology are in order.

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2 comments
  1. slimove said:

    whoa, I had never made the McCarthy connection before. CRAZY.

  2. slimove said:

    I was actually thinking about this the other night. I was drunk, and there were fireworks, and I fucking love fireworks, and you know what, I get kind of emotional about the 4th of July. And here’s what pisses me off about these claims of who is more “patriotic”: what the LAT really means by “patriotic” is “rabidly supportive of the US NO MATTER WHAT, unless that support equals supporting a black, moderately liberal president.”

    Which: no, fuck you.

    Here’s what I was thinking the other night:

    1. I love this country the way I love my family: I don’t always like them, and I don’t always agree with them, but when it comes right down to it, they’re a part of me and I’m a part of them and I love them. And loving someone doesn’t mean you forgive or overlook every damn mistake, and it doesn’t mean you think they’re perfect. You can love someone and still disagree.

    2. Part of what gets me so misty about the 4th of July is that it reminds me of the ideals this country was founded on. They’re such grand ideals. And we fail, every day, to live up to them. But – and call me an optimist here – I like to think of them as goals we should be continually striving for. My absolute favorite line in any of our founding documents is in the Constitution: “We the people, in order to found a more perfect union…” *A more perfect union.* Not a perfect union, because such cannot exist. Our government is made of people, and so is fallible as we all are. But a *more* perfect union, an idea of a government that can always be made better. What kills me about a lot of conservatives is that they seem to be completely against the idea of growth and change. They cling to an interpretation of the Constitution that never existed: namely, that it’s completely perfect as written (really? why the amendment process, then?) and prefer to believe that our country has already achieved perfection. As people, and as A people, we should never be resting on our laurels but always striving to be better than what we were.

    So, in summation: Fuck you, LA Times. I’m a motherfucking patriot.

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