“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands; one nation, under GOD, indivisible, with LIBERTY and justice for all.”
Last month, I posted a cartoon to my Facebook page. It depicts a classroom full of students standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. One kid, refusing to stand, props his feet up on his desk. The teacher acknowledged that right, but introduced a wheelchair-bound Marine. The teacher informs the brat that he has the right not to stand because of the Marine’s bravery and sacrifice.
For some reason, this cartoon created somewhat of a stir for one commenter. He complained, like Michelle Obama, that it’s “just a flag”. well, I beg to differ. To me, the flag is symbolic of everything exceptional about America, and I take the pledge very seriously.
I love my country, and everything she stands for. People forget sometimes, or take for granted, all of the rights that we enjoy here. But isn’t it even more important to show respect for the reasons we have those rights? Our founders, our military, and us.
Yes, us. We as Americans, especially those of us with a solid grasp of the Constitution, have a duty to defend those rights. And as Calvin Coolidge reminds us, “duty is not collective; it is personal.” Each of us, individually, has a responsibility to every single patriot who has come before us, and to every one that will follow us, to show respect to the reasons that we have all of our freedoms.
Last month, The Supreme Court determined that Congress has the right to tax citizens for not buying something. Naturally, I disagree. In handing down this ruling, The Court demonstrated a blatant lack of respect for the citizens of America, the Founders, and the Constitution. Chief Justice Roberts attempted to walk a very fine line between rights and respect, and he failed.
Much has been said about this ruling already, so I’m not going to rehash it. If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past month, the Court ruled that ObamaCare is Constitutional because the penalty for not buying insurance is tax, not a penalty. Pundits from both sides of the aisle have attempted to spin the ruling to suit their agendas, to the point that liberals and conservative alike are both praising Roberts and condemning him.
Similarly, a bunch of conservatives on Twitter have forgotten about rights and respect, and how they intertwine. In the aftermath of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, some people were insinuating that the federal government, notably the FBI, may have had some sort of connection to the planning or implementing of the shooting. Theories have ranged from a mole supplied the shooter with the artillery to claiming outright that the FBI was involved every step of the way.
Now, regardless of your opinions on the theories that these people have come up with, we can at least all agree that they have a right to voice them. One of the people presenting the theory that the government may have have been involved was Greg Howard (@GregWHoward). Greg is a Marine veteran, ardent conservative, and one of the true warriors in the fight for freedom. After seeing some of what he had to say, some big-name ‘conservatives’ took it upon themselves to focus their attacks not on the left, but on Mr. Howard. Divide and conquer, much? Fellow ‘conservatives’ from Michelle Malkin to alleged leftist convert Lee Stranahan http://leestranahan.com/plant
began attacking Mr. Howard on Twitter and on their blogs. They called him crazy and paranoid, and Lee even accused him of threatening to make his own bomb. If you read Mr. Howard’s timeline, he clearly states that he is speculating; just throwing some ideas out for thoughtful discussion. But, for some, thoughtful discussion is not allowed if the conversation sways from the narrative.
Once some of these big-name Twitter heroes started pointing at Mr. Howard, their followers jumped right on the bandwagon. I mean, when you’ve got the premier twitter popularity website http://twitchy.com/2012/07/21/cuckoo-of-the-day-fbi-staged-aurora-shooting-to-pave-way-for-gun-grab/ posting about you, it’s only a matter of time before the echo chamber kids come after you, trying to get their tweets noticed by their heroes. Because some people obviously hold personalities in higher regard than principles.
What both of these example have in common is a very blurry line between rights and respect. The Supreme Court disrespected us and the Constitution in an attempt to create a ‘right’ to health insurance. The echo chambers on Twitter ignored the right of Free Speech, and in the process, disrespected a fellow conservative. http://thetrenches.us/2012/07/principles-not-personalities/
I long for the day, hopefully soon after the election, that common sense makes a comeback and we recognize and respect each others rights. But I’m not holding my breath. Because it’s not just a matter of calling out the crazies. Crazy or not, we still need to respect the rights of others. Because when you loose the ability to do that, you become an irrelevant fascist pig. Don’t be an irrelevant fascist pig.