Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An Act of Patriotism

Graphic courtesy of Veterans Against the Iraq War

As one must expect, this morning's Pensacola News Journal covers yesterday's visit by George W. Bush like a wool blanket. One pulled over the eyes.

Michael Stewart's lede says it all:
President George W. Bush preached to a choir of about 10,000 of the party faithful at the Pensacola Civic Center Monday.
The press coverage includes the obligatory fawning choir quotes from 8 year-olds ("I like President Bush because he does nice things and makes taxes low") ... and quips ("Look around. This is one of his strongest support groups in the whole country.") ... and hackneyed adolescent expressions ("... awesome").

Amidst all this, one Bush fan's remarks caught our eye and just won't let go. Reporter Stewart happened across a couple by the name of
Mr. and Mrs. Goodspeed, with children in tow. The husband is identified as "a historian at the National Museum of Naval Aviation on base. " The historian's wife is quoted as saying:
"To be patriotic means to support the president whether or not you agree with his politics."
That can't be right. As G. K. Chesterton famously observed, the kindred expression "My country, right or wrong" is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."

How much more wrong-headed is "My president right or wrong?" Those words are "an oath of obedience." They express a political philosophy with which our Founding Fathers would have violently disagreed.

In fact, those radical forebears of ours did violently disagree -- by sparking a revolutionary war against the chief executive of their own time, King George III, and his entire ruling government. The very system our Founding Fathers created has a built-in invitation for every citizen to oppose -- not to support -- a president or a congressman or any of part of the government when you don't agree.

Your opportunity to do that very thing comes today in the voting booth. Vote for or against the incumbents. But above all, vote.

It's what a true patriot would do.

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