Taking a stand against manufactured patriotism

Lariat Editorial Board

It truly is a dark day when the election process for the President of the United States has become nothing more than a glamorized, multimillion-dollar popularity contest. It matters not about experience, plans, or overall ability anymore; it’s about making the other candidate seem wrong for the job instead of the individual showing why he or she is deserving of the title.

We now live in an age when a candidate for the most important office in the land is judged on whether or not they wear a flag pin on their jacket or say the pledge of allegiance during a rally.

This is not about party affiliation one way or another. This is about what a joke the voting system has become due to the media’s ability to sway people’s opinions by pointing out trivial minutia, which has absolutely nothing to do with how the candidate will perform if given the job.

Barack Obama has been crucified by the media and by closed-minded citizens of the US because they see his intellectual individualism as a sign of blatant anti-Americanism.

People have said things like, “It’s so disrespectful,” and, “How can he run our country with an attitude like that?”

How can people be allowed to vote with such a limited view on the next perspective commander-in-chief?

That’s like deciding on which car to buy based solely on the cup holders.

Obama, as he explained to deaf ears, was making a sort of low-key protest by not wearing the same, pointless flag pin on his jacket lapel which everyone else running shows off in conjunction with plastic smiles and regurgitated values from years passed.

He explained his pinless jacket in an interview (yes, the potential next President of the United States actually had to justify why he wasn’t wearing a pin on his jacket), stating that he would show his patriotism through his ideals and actual love for this country, not by donning a $2 lapel accessory, which was made in China.

Do we live in such a materialistic society that one needs to visually show their beliefs at all times with cheap trinkets or else thought of as un-American?

The old platitude, “actions speak louder than words,” holds a fair amount of wisdom in this context. Obama has essentially declared that he is not another political clone and does not see it necessary to express love or respect for one’s country through a gift shop novelty.

He should be rewarded for standing up for what he truly believes in front of the entire United States, but what actually happened? He was torn apart by critics and the media.It seems only appropriate that a candidate who steps outside the box and thinks for himself in today’s cookie-cutter world, even just a little, is fed to the lions.

Real patriotism is internal. It’s not found on a flagpole, a Chevy’s bumper, a T-shirt, a billboard, a refrigerator magnet, a screen saver, the side of a bus, or on a jacket.

One cannot buy it, it must be felt inside. Those who can demonstrate patriotism, rather than just show it through cheap merchandise, are the real patriots.

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