July 18, 2008

‘Ten-cent patriotism’ part of political silly season

Ten-cent patriotism? Why do I use that phrase?

My newspaper column for this week explains, as I tackle flag lapel pins and “Obama is a Muslim” rumors.

Here’s why I call flag lapel pins “ten-cent patriotism.” (“Dime-store patriotism” is an acceptable alternative!)
Pull those flag pins off the GOP lapels, look at the back side of them, and over and over, you'll see the same phrase:

“Made in China.” (Blogger Bugsoup helps me out with this illustration of ten-cent patriotism.)

Considering the lapel pins probably actually cost about 10 cents to make, I think “10-cent patriotism” is the perfect phrase for such chintzy, surface-level veneration of America. (Oh, and if you were waving an 8-inch or foot-long plastic flag at a Fourth of July event, it wasn't “Made in the U.S.” either.)

As for the “Obama is a Muslim” rumors, I suggest he should take a stronger stance against them. I suggest a hypothetical statement I wish he would make:
“I'm not a Muslim, but so what if I am? Did we have this same whispering campaign eight years ago against our first Jewish vice-presidential candidate? No. I implore Americans of all political stances to reject outright such political bigotry, especially as directed against our nation's second-largest organized religion.”

(Yes, reputable surveys, with reasonable allowance for non-reporting, indicate Muslims outnumber Jews. No, I’m not getting into the issues of whether Mormonism is its own religion, not a Christian sect. Nor am I getting into the issue of secular humanism being a religion or not.)

Political silly season also means political pander season, though, so Obama won’t make such a statement.

In the column, I also get into the FISA bill and third-party voting.

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