Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Patrriotism is the Measles of humanity

Dear Editor,
The statistics offered in “The patriotism gap” editorial (July 8, 2010) are useless given the lack of any clear or agreed upon definition of patriotism. Patriotism, much like beauty and pornography, is in the eye of the beholder.
Oklahoma federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh believed he was a great patriot and Tea Party members who now rail against the powers of our Federal government also see themselves as great patriots. And no doubt those serving inside our federal government see themselves as good patriots.
In reality Tea Party ideologues appear to love their perception of our nation’s Constitution more than they love the self evident truths that led to its creation. Our country is a federation of sovereign states that has grown and evolved over decades. A country of ‘laws’ not rebellious men. Our federation of states isn’t great because of its boundaries, its people, its places or its laws. It’s a great nation because of what it stands for...the ideal that ‘all men are created equal’.
If patriotism is holding our nation’s citizens above others, as most of the survey respondents appear to do, consider me unpatriotic. Such exceptional patriotism was infamous in Nazi Germany, Hirohito’s Japan and Communist Russia. Such exceptional patriotism exists still today in Shiite Iran and Jewish Israel. Such patriotism is more like religion. A worshiping of place that is more likely to spawn war than peace, justice or heaven on earth.
I believe I’m patriotic because I fundamentally believe that all people are created equal and are naturally endowed with certain inalienable rights. Some of those rights are spelled out in our Constitution and the rest are more clearly detailed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- a profound document drafted and advanced by a great American patriot- Eleanor Roosevelt.
I love my country not for what it is (in debt, in an endless war against a tactic, addicted to foreign oil, 16th in the world in math and science…), or for what it has done (killed American Indians, Enslaved Africans, Murdered Iraqi civilians, Empowered corporations, or sparked recessions) but for what it stands for ‘liberty and justice for all”. That is what the world’s greatest patriots believed when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. What they created afterwords was a constitution that didn’t hold up to their own ideals. In my world, it’s patriotic to advocate for their original ideals….and cowardly, treasonous or ignorant not to.

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