Reducing patriotism to a sleazy roll in the hay


Mr. Bookworm is catching up with the Jon Stewart episodes he missed while we were away. One particular segment, which starts at the 2 minute mark, caught my eye. In it, Perry talks about love for country, clearly distinguishing himself from Obama, who hasn’t shown such love, either explicitly or implicitly. Take a look at what Stewart, a very bright, and periodically honest, dyed-in-the-wool Progressive, does with Perry’s simple statement of patriotism:

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I was disgusted, not just because I’m not a fan of coarseness as a substitute for humor, but because I think this is the perfect example of what the Left has done to patriotism. It’s reduced it from love of country to a sleazy roll in the hay, something embarrassing, wrong and deserving of no respect. You, my readers, get this. A whole generation of young people, however, raised on 30 years of Progressive education, no doubt feels that this little “comedy” segment is the perfect epitaph for that embarrassing animal known as American patriotism.

That same Leftist embarrassment with patriotism is manifest in the White House’s approach to 9/11. Stated simply, on September 11, 2001, shortly before 9 a.m. E.S.T., nineteen men, all of whom were foreign nationals and Al Qaeda members, hijacked four jets. They flew two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and one crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania, a crash that almost certainly averted a direct hit on the Capitol or the White House. Almost 3,000 people, most of them Americans, died that day. Or more briefly, ten years ago, foreign nationals, acting on American soil, slaughtered almost 3,000 Americans.

Even more briefly: This was an American tragedy. Is that how the Obama Administration is framing it, though? You tell me (emphasis mine):

The guidelines list what themes to underscore – and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. “The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 – the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large – is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.

I don’t know about you, but I think the tenth anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in American history is an appropriate time for looking backwards and mourning, rather than a time to engage in feel-good cheer. Contrary to that official’s blithe assurance, it was just about us. The attack took place on American shores, against American symbols, and killed American citizens. Sure, there’s a larger narrative — Islam against the West — but our current government is as steadfast in its refusal to acknowledge that larger narrative as it is to acknowledge an American tragedy.

What we’re left with is a government that won’t acknowledge that 9/11 was an attack against us, nor will it acknowledge that it’s a subset of a larger existential war. If our government fails to acknowledge those vital facts, what’s left?

The box the government has locked itself into, one that sees it commemorating a transformative national event for a nation it doesn’t love and an event, moreover, that was a battlefield in a war our government refuses to acknowledge, effectively exposes the nihilism underlying Stewart’s sordid attack on simple patriotism. The Left has left itself with nothing. Sadly, as is typical for all degraded movements, it tries to take everyone else down with it.

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

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