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Patriotism and Insane Politics

July 24, 2008

What is patriotism? Is America required to rattle sabres eternally in a strange breed of protectionism, while posting pictures that represent a fictitious national defense, flag-waving children and homeland safety hopefulness? This country finds itself stuck is an awkward position in continuing to support what would likely be two endless war fronts overseas in the name of fighting terrorism. Fighting terrorism isn’t the largest problem that this nation faces.

The larger problem is, to borrow the term from Pat Buchanan, “honorable exit from empire”. Among the most difficult of maneuvers is a successful strategic retreat. Retreat is seldom successful, without pain or even dire consequences. Strategic retreats that turn into routs are often the result of what Lord Salisbury called “the commonest error in politics … sticking to the carcass of dead policies.”

The dead policies of this nation are the ones that have failed and do fail to work every day. They are grounded in outright falsehood or notions of tradition that are so tired as to have lost all possibility of quaintness. These are the politics that, if they ever worked, they certainly don’t work today. Yet, the nation of frightened politicians and social engineers hang to them for dear life because their very personal significance and power hangs on promoting policies and ideas that simply don’t work. Their stock and trade in the world is propaganda and falsehood. They are miserable mugs that defend themselves to keep their falseness from being discovered.

Facing failure in dealing with life with a willingness to make adjustments is one of the most important factors to insure the possibility of future success. The popular statement that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results applies aptly even to life and politics in America.

The insanity of the current state of politics over the last 40 years is astounding at best. The nerve of politicians to express the power of fundamental individual Constitution Rights while failing to work for or champion those rights consistently is tantamount to political crime. Most politicians don’t even try to defend the Constitution. Yet, some traditionalists do in the name of expedience. The Second Amendment is not the only Amendment that needs attention in this nation. Yet, the Second Amendment is a pet of the Republican mainstream. The very man that accuses his opponent of standing against Constitutional Rights has stood for thirty years in the Senate against many of the other Amendments that he claims to support. In fact, the priority of lawmakers has not proved to be adherence to the Constitution of any of the Amendments beyond the need for “political comfort food.” None of our politicians truly stand for Constitutional Rights with the exception of the brave few that remain a novelty to the nation.

What’s worse is that no apology is made for creative lawmaking in Congress that flies in the face or carefully subverts the basic laws that the nation claims to rest on in the name of patriotism. Politicians insist to stay their ground while they refuse to repeal what doesn’t work. They simply modify law to their liking and move forward without examination. Politicians never retreat. They simply buffalo their way through office.

As a result, American politics rarely needs to retreat. Politicians simply recreate the law to fit the law to their liking under the idea of good intentions. There is seldom a need to prove anything. Statistics and semantics are what authority makes them. As a result, the nation has become a collection of liars, thieves and extortioners in the name of what is right. When writers like myself refer to a national decline, the reality is that decline has as much to do with what the nation fails to do than as the nation actually does. Now, we find the nation in decline like so many others before it and wonder why. The United States does not have an iron-clad guarantee for eternal life, any more than the nations that have preceded it.

The nation needs a political transfusion of nobility, a spirit of caring without hype. Hypocrisy and bitterness is what we have sown instead. Yet, the truth is that patriotism involves doing what needs to be done that really is right, even in the imperfect hearts of man. When a truth is violated, are you willing to stand up for right or agree with what is being done by others to collect a paycheck and promote your own well-being? Few politicians have a clue what patriotism is, yet, when convenience sets in, you will hear their version of what patriotism is with pretty pictures in tow.

Don’t insult your intelligence. Stand for doing the right thing. It’s your patriotic duty as a citizen of this country. If you don’t care, then don’t do anything except to complain. That is your right as a citizen after all is said and done. Your legacy is what you say and do, even if the truth isn’t politically correct or popular.

Don’t fool yourself. Refusing to retreat can be just as dangerous and expensive as the act of retreat. ~ E. Manning, © TNTalk!

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