The irony of watching America’s societal meltdown as it hit hyper-speed during the nation’s Independence Day was not lost on me.
No one should be surprised any longer at the depths to which we will dive to make fools of ourselves while blindly and stupidly defending things we believe, but know nothing about. A wonderfully toxic stew of ignorance, arrogance, hypocrisy, and rudeness is creating an ever-growing, ever-changing society that has no culture amongst it. Some highlights of the past 2 weeks include:
- A grown man removing a “Make America Great Again,” hat from a 16-year-old’s head in a fast food restaurant, throwing a drink in his face, calling the teen a racial slur usually aimed at black people (even though the teen is white), and then storming off with the hat threatening to burn it. https://heavy.com/news/2018/07/teen-attacked-maga-hat-hunter-richard/
- Active members of the United States government being shouted out and forced to leave restaurants, with the vocal approval of a major member of congress, who literally encouraged people, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them! And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” That is beyond chilling. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/25/democratic-congresswoman-maxine-waters-calls-for-harassment-of-trump-officials/?utm_term=.76a0401d4676
- The president of the United States issuing a not-so-veiled threat to the aforementioned member of congress. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/06/25/maxine-waters-trump-exchange/732505002/
- Major media figures who, at another time in history, used to masquerade as being unbiased are now blatantly calling for anyone who works for President Trump to be harassed for the rest of their lives. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/07/03/jennifer_rubin_sarah_sanders_deserves_life_sentence_of_harassment_after_role_in_trump_admin.html
- The major leaders of one of America’s Political parties actively calling for the abolition of our Immigration Enforcement Agency and advocating for no borders. No longer a “fringe,” movement, this position is now boilerplate for those thinking of running for President in 2020. http://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/395389-when-democrats-cry-abolish-ice-they-really-mean-abolish-borders
- On the heels of such calls, a woman scaled the Statue of Liberty, on the 4th of July (ruining thousands of family’s days by having to evacuate the landmark) so that she could unfurl an “Abolish ICE” banner. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/statue-of-liberty-arrests-abolish-ice-july-4-park-police-487338651.html
- Oh, and Twitter exploded because no one, apparently, including the First Lady, the United States Air Force, and multiple States in the Union, know how to spell Independence. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/07/04/independence-day-fourth-july-independance-day-trending-twitter/757584002/
But my favorite (and by that, I mean “most hated”) story occurred over the 72-hour period covering July 3-5, as two-bit, no-name, meaningless Country Music act the “Wes Cook Band,” became the newest poster children for ignorant Trumpsters and Xenophobic Americans who have absolutely no idea what the country they claim to love is actually founded on and all about.
The Yokels that make up the WSB wrote a song called “I stand for the flag,” which they then tried to sell to their tens of fans using the paid platform on Facebook. The Social media network deemed the song to be “controversial,” and subsequently banned the ad just long enough to miss Independence Day. Clearly a vast left-wing conspiracy designed to silence good ol’ American conservative values, right? Oh, in case you haven’t gotten the memo, you can’t be liberal and patriotic. It’s not possible. It’s like being a gay Republican or a pro-life Democrat. Neither of those things literally have ever, nor will ever, exist. These are the rules.
Back to the song…which, by the way, is awful. As a man who made a name for himself within his chosen industry by identifying hit songs across all genres from rock to country to pop, this is garbage wrapped in feel-good flag waving pablum that also speaks volumes about our nation’s ignorance, fear, malice, and intolerance. The song, and the Fox News Channel’s trumping up of the controversy that followed is despicable and as anti-American as it gets, ironically.
Facebook cited the song’s “political content,” which outraged the band and red-blooded Americans across the fruited plains, because as many a pundit, and no less than the greatest intellectual mind on TV today, Steve Doocy (AKA “The weather guy,”), cried “there’s nothing political about the American flag!” To paraphrase the great George Carlin, “Are these fucking people kidding me?”
There’s nothing political about the American flag? When did this start? Before or after we burned it in protest for a decade in the 60’s? Or maybe it was when we proudly flew it over interned American citizens of Japanese descent 20 years earlier. Or maybe it was during the Civil God-damned-War when the nation literally flew two flags fighting for its’ identity; whichever flag you swore allegiance to, also swore your loyalties to which America you loved.
This putrid song includes the following lyrics:
The stars and stripes are so much more than that old piece of cloth on your Grandma’s porch. It gave us that American Dream to be anything that we want to be
No, it didn’t. It’s a flag…a symbol, and nothing more. A beautiful symbol, that my wife and I proudly fly outside our home every day, but still just a symbol. My creator gave me the drive to be anything that I want to be and the United States Military and law enforcement across the nation have defended and protected my ability to do so. And never have they done so by beating an opponent with the flag. Grow up, Billy Bob.
The final line of the song (the third time its’ repeated but this time with cursing added in for affect) is:
I stand for the flag and the flag damn sure stands for all of us.
Well good for you, Clem. I stand for the flag, too. But I also acknowledge that the greatest nation on Earth not only allows but encourages people to dissent from the direction of their nation, and today, in 2018, millions of Americans do not believe that the flag stands for them. It doesn’t represent what they want their country to be as it relates to racial profiling, foreign policy, environmental practices, equality, wage gaps and so, so much more. To be clear, those people are morons, but they’re American morons and there is no law demanding that we pledge our allegiance to our flag nor our country. We are called to work to create a greater union and if millions feel we’re on the wrong path, then they damned well better do everything peacefully and legally within their power to make their voices heard and allow the masses to decide, and if not standing for the flag is one way to do that, more power to them. And by the way, thanks to the hysterical reaction by alleged Americans angered over “non-standers,” they’ve given dissenters the textbook on exactly how to get the attention they desire.
Stop arguing that there’s nothing political about the flag. Argue the truth; you’re at the very least, butt-hurt that we can’t, and don’t, all disagree over policies yet agree that we’re all Americans and love our country and you are therefore, mad that the flag is political. At worst, you’re a full-on American Fascist who demands we all walk lockstep in unison under the stars and stripes and you’ve already lost the argument. Please retreat to your camouflaged Doomsday shelter and live out your dying days eating MRE’s.
The flag is political, and it should be. The song is clearly a political protest against those kneeling at NFL games and beyond (thus justifying Facebook’s initial decision), and the more this debate rages, the more I support the kneelers. True Americans are showing their colors, and they aren’t red, white and blue. They’re yellow; we’re a nation of cowards beholden to a symbol that is supposed to represent an idea so much greater than it; and yet the idea gets discarded into the gutter on the road towards forced patriotism and bumper sticker ideology.