Democratic Underground

Negative Effects of Patriotism
November 23, 2001
by Drudge Jr.

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Patriotism is everywhere since the September 11 attacks shocked our country and the world. People are singing along with the national anthem at ball games, every other car has a flag on its antenna, and students are actually standing up for the national anthem. Patriotism is a spit in the face to terrorists who want to oppress us, and it brings the country together, making it stronger, the term "united we stand" is a common cliché these days.

However, there are some sides to patriotism that only darken the premise of love for a country, especially America.

Not just here, but worldwide, the Constitution is a symbol of democracy, and the bill of rights is the most respected aspect of this nation's freedom, but since September 11th it seems at least one of these respected rights has been clouded.

Days after the attack, while the nation was receding from shock, a writer for the Texas City Sun, Tom Gutting, said "We are stuck with a crippled president. He's not a leader, he's a puppet." At the time Bush's support rate was at 93%, the country was behind their president, and the next day, Tom Gutting was fired.

Dan Guthrie, a columnist for an Oregon newspaper said Bush was like a "kid [who] has lived a pampered life of privilege and games. His first time under real pressure, he bolted." The paper's editor Dennis Roler said calling Bush a "coward" isn't responsible or appropriate." Guthrie was fired as well.

Readers of the National Review demanded columnist Ann Coulter be fired after saying "We should invade their counties[counties that support terrorism], kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." She was eventually fired.

The most publicized example of recent anger toward the media came when Bill Maher, the host of ABC's Politically Incorrect said "We [America] have been the cowards, lobbing missiles from 2,000 miles away, that's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it - is not cowardly." Two sponsors pulled their ads from Maher's show and several of Maher's affiliates including WLAJ in Washington D.C. dropped PI completely.

In response to Maher's comments, White House Press Secretary, Ari Flecher, Said, "All Americans... need to watch what they say, watch what they do..." I think we can all understand this is a bad time to be insensitive, or controversial, but that doesn't mean we can go ahead and forget about Freedom of Speech. True Patriots would understand no matter how outspoken a comment is, if it doesn't cause or advocate violence there is a Constitutional right to say it.

Reading things can make people mad, it's understandable, but the solution isn't getting rid of the person who wrote it, the solution is not reading it. I believe anything else would be unconstitutional. All Americans are tense right now, and following this country's fundamental rules seems like rational way of keeping some normalcy.

Loving our country is something does make us stronger, however we can't let our love be blinding or we will forgot the basics of our freedom. No Americans wanted to see the attacks of September 11, and we may not want to hear opinions that differ from ours. However, we must remember the basics of freedom, or we aren't really patriots.