The Left’s Patriotism Persecution Complex

James Taranto points out the following Howard Dean quote from last night’s debate…

“The biggest issue in this campaign is the question of patriotism and democracy. I am tired of having John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney and Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh lay a claim to patriotism and lay a claim to the American flag. That flag belongs to every single one of us. And I am tired of having our democracy hijacked by the right wing of this country.”

The left has a persecution complex when it comes to patriotism and the war on terrorism has just aggravated the problem. In reality, the right doesn’t try to monopolize patriotism and despite what’s often claimed by the left, rarely do politicians or pundits on the right question the patriotism of specific people on the left without good reason. For example, just look to Dean — I am not aware of a single pundit or politico of note (including myself) who has questioned Dean’s patriotism.

So why is he complaining? Why are many patriotic people on the left so sensitive that they constantly see attacks on their patriotism that aren’t actually being made? The truth is — and this is going to really chafe some people — that there are a large pool of people on the left who are either not patriotic or who don’t regard patriotism as a big deal.

Think that’s unfair? Well then how do you explain that almost every time we see an assault on patriotic symbols or someone who is acting unpatriotically, they always seem to be left-wingers? If there’s someone…

— Who refuses to do the Pledge of Allegiance
— Trying to take the Pledge of Allegiance out of schools
— Complaining about someone singing “God Bless America”
— Comparing America to Nazi Germany
— Trashing America in a foreign country
— Burning the flag
Rooting for America to lose a war
— Saying America deserved 9/11
Complaining about flag pins
— Saying that, “the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder”.
— Saying, “ the flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war“…
Wishing death on our troops

…you can be 99% certain they’re left-wingers.

Now if people like Howard Dean are wondering why some members of the American public question their patriotism, then they only have to look to the people on their “team” who do unpatriotic things and then usually get a pass on it from most of their fellow lefties. That — not nearly non-existent attacks from people like Cheney, Ashcroft, or Limbaugh — is what has tarred the reputation of patriotic Democrats.

***Update***: Geoduck writes…

“I seem to recall a senate race between Saxby Chambliss and Max Cleland where a triple-amputee who served his country in Vietnam was called out on his patriotism repeatedly by a draft-dodging Republican…all over a vote against action in Iraq. I guess real patriotism is riding off half-cocked and marginalizing your opponents for strategic political gain.”

I hear that all the time. “Look at poor Max Cleland, they challenged the patriotism of a Vietnam vet who lost three limbs fighting for his country.” But you know what I don’t hear? I’ve never, not once, not a single time, heard someone produce a quote from the Chambliss campaign or from a conservative pundit of note, that challenges Cleland’s patriotism. That’s because usually when someone on the left claims their “patriotism has been questioned,” it just means someone on the right pointed out how non-serious they are about homeland security, the military, or foreign policy. Then instead of just defending their policies, they cry “my patriotism has been attacked” and dodge the issue.

Just to show you that is the case, I’m laying down a challenge to the whole left side of the blogosphere — put up or shut up. Show me a specific quote from the Chambliss campaign or from a conservative pundit, that questions Cleland’s patriotism. That should be the easiest thing in the world to do since you hear this claim so often shouldn’t it? Put up or shut-up. If it happened, show us a quote or admit the truth — that Cleland’s patriotism was never attacked.

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