Compassionate Warmonger | David Bueche | May. 2, 2008
Driving across town the other day I saw a bumper sticker bearing what’s become a common refrain: “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism!”
I sped up to catch a glimpse of this patriot – a twenty-something dude in jeans and a black t-shirt sporting the obligatory goatee and super-sized sideburns. Given the choice between him and his Prius or Paul Revere thundering through the New England countryside – I prefer the guy on the horse.
I see the flag as a symbol of the greatest nation in history – they see the practice of burning it as patriotic.
I look at the men and women of our military as examples of American exceptionalism – they see them as an embarrassment to be explained away though small town ignorance.
My heroes are the men who charged up Mount Suribachi – theirs are a shadowy army of bloggers debating ”stand-down” orders and the melting point of steel.
Which leads us inevitably to the current epicenter of “patriotic dissent” – The 9/11 Truth Movement. The “truthers” started as a loose confederation of under-employed wingnuts with “serious questions” about the 9/11 Commission Report and in the intervening years have grown to a much larger collection of under-employed… (Do I really need to finish the sentence?)
Their stock in trade response to any reasonable inquiry as to their motivation, (much less sanity), is: “When did it become un-American to ask questions?”
Consider the following hypothetical conversation:
Sane Person (SP): So you’re saying that a bunch of people secretly planted explosives, wiring, etc., over a course of several weeks in one of the most busily trafficked, public buildings in the world, and that everyone working there just failed to notice electrical cables hanging from fresh holes in the ceilings, etc., etc., etc.
Truther (T): I’m just asking questions. When did it become illegal for Americans to ask questions?
SP: But I’m asking you a question. You made a statement and I’m trying to understand it?
T: What did you say your last name was? And who says I can’t ask questions? I’m a patriot. I will not be silenced! Not by you or Dick Cheney or Hallibuton…
Imagine this conversation continuing endlessly…
Obviously a slight exaggeration, but if you’ve ever dropped by a “truther” kiosk, (as I did at a street fair recently), you’ll see it’s not too far off the mark. And this sentiment appears to be growing, not diminishing, with the passage of time. Polls by Zogby and Scripps Howard reveal that a disquieting number of “randomly selected Americans” have begun drinking the truther Kool-Aid. From Scripps Howard, July 2006 –
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