Name: Mad Monk of the Midlands

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Enough, Already!

I was not among the eleven-million who watched Hillary and Barack debate in Philadelphia in mid-April. I am not a fan of this two-year election cycle that relies on exhausting the candidates and waiting for a major gaffe to decide the election. It’s difficult prior to the nomination to say anything sensible that you might attempt as President, because you’re playing to your party constituencies, and they don’t necessarily want what’s best for the nation. They want what’s best for themselves. Thus, in the primaries, statesmanship fights an uphill battle.

Conversely, the questioners, who have asked the candidates over the course of more than 20 debates just about everything that could be asked, tend to resort to ridiculous nitpicking.

Case in point: Barack, why don’t you wear a flag pin?

Who submitted that question? Karl Rove? Maybe Goebbels from beyond the grave?

After all, some on the ‘Net are insisting that Obama is a Muslim. His middle name is “Hussein”, is it not? And so, if he does not wear a flag pin, that reveals his true, unpatriotic colors, right?

I don’t know that bin Laden intended it with 9/11, but he’s made us more suspicious of each other, and less tolerant. We spend a lot of time arguing about how to keep immigrants out. And then, if you don’t wear a flag pin? Well, that sets us wondering.

Here’s where we need Michael Moore to do some digging: just who is wearing a flag pin?

Dick Cheney, no doubt. He never served in the military, but he’s dead-set on keeping the young men of today’s military in Iraq, so that they can…. Wait, why are they there again? WMD? Getting rid of the evil dictator? Hey, Dick, now do you know why Saddam had to be so ruthless?

George Will probably wears a flag pin. He knows what it takes to be a world power, what you need to project power in this fragmented, dangerous world. He came to that realization AFTER taking multiple deferments during the Vietnam War, which was not worth his involvement, because projecting power against the Communists was…. Well, it wasn’t as important as projecting it against “the Terrorists.”

I suppose Paul Wolfowitz wears a flag pin. He knew how to change the equation in the Middle East. He had thought about it long and hard in his ivory tower before he laid out a blue print for victory in Iraq, based partly on the insights of Ahmed Chalabi, who had not lived in Iraq for decades prior to the U.S. invasion. Oh, and Wolfowitz is another of the famous “chicken-hawks”, who think it’s great to send other people’s kids into a war zone to project U.S. power, but who never believed they themselves should serve in the military.

We could go on with our list, which would no doubt be populated with most of the so-called “neo-cons” who orchestrated the misadventure in Iraq.

But getting back to “flag-pin politics”, I’ve come up with a list of who SHOULD be allowed to wear a flag pin to demonstrate their love of country:

-Anyone who ever gave up a year or more of their life to serve in the U.S. military.

-Anyone who gave up a year or more of their life to serve in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

-Anyone who volunteered to pay extra taxes to fund the war in Iraq, so that the costs would not be put on a tab to be paid by succeeding generations.

-Anyone who traded in their Hummer or Escalade on a Prius. Driving a gas-guzzler is tantamount to giving aid to the enemy. Bottom line: the terrorists are funded by petro-dollars, so the more petroleum you use, the more likely you’re helping fund Osama.

But this is getting in way deeper than I intended on flag-pin politics.

Let’s get down to some real answers about how to fund health care for ALL, how to pay for Social Security and Medicare long-term, and how to negotiate some sort of Mideast settlement that let’s us re-deploy our troops in Iraq so we don’t keep bleeding the Armed Forces both literally and figuratively. Didn’t the Roman Empire get into trouble by overextending?

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