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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Obama and McCain on Patriotism

Over at Parade Magazine they have written pieces by both Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama on what they believe Patriotism is really all about. You can read the respective stories here:

John McCain on Patriotism

Barack Obama on Patriotism

My first impression after reading both articles from the respective Senators is that Senator McCain delegated the written work out to a staffer. Throughout the piece you get the feeling that the Senator lives in the past and in all the things that were once great and very much Patriotic. For the record I have never questioned his patriotism to America. We don’t live in the past and as far as I know, the founding fathers did not fight the Revolutionary War for bragging rights. Telling people about the past is nice but we live in a time where the future is much more important than the past and the American experiment that Jefferson and Adams believed in has changed just a bit.

His one political jab against Senator Barack Obama was this one sentence from the above referenced article; “ Patriotism is deeper than its symbolic expressions, than sentiments about place and kinship that move us to hold our hands over our hearts during the national anthem.” In this one sentence is where I find political hackdom and not the real John McCain writing the piece. This was a direct slap at Senator Obama for his decision for not wearing his flag pin for months concerning his choice to not support the Iraq war. Mind you, most of the people in the Senate and the House were pissed that Bush lied to all of them and were stuck with a John Kerry flip flop debate. You know, I was for it before I was against it but I’m strongly against it now sort of thing.

When McCain speaks of talking to Veterans I have to laugh out loud. Every bill that came up in supporting Veterans he voted against because his conservative base does not want to pay the bills for the wounded Veterans that they proudly send to war. Wave the flag but screw the poor bastards that come home wounded. Yes, he has been to Walter Reed numerous times but he did nothing till the Washington Post broke the story wide open. He waves the flag of patriotism but he said it himself, they come home to hard times. His words not mine, and his Senate votes have not been on the side of Veteran’s for years.

As for Senator Barack Obama’s piece in Parade Magazine I thought it was not staffed out. It was to damn personal not to be. When he talks about his Grandfather and his days in Hawaii you can see that he was raised to be a good man by experience. When you read Senator Obama’s words you get the feeling of looking forward and not back. Forward is the direction our nation must face and he described best in this one line from his piece in the above referenced article; “ In the end, it may be this quality that best describes patriotism in my mind—not just a love of America in the abstract, but a very particular love for, and faith in, one another as Americans.”

In that one sentence he summed up what he is all about as an American running for President. It isn’t about him, it is all about you. Just as John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson had a dream of a better America for generations to come, documented those dreams, fought for those dreams, these founding fathers set a precedent that is not understood by many. In that sense Barack Obama has patriotism down pat and does not need a lesson from anyone in any political circles including yours truly.


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