Willing Patriots

John McCain is a magnanimous guy. He said tonight that after he wins the election this November, “we’re going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot” to put America “back on the road to prosperity and peace.” Remember, McCain’s war was the one in which we destroyed villages to save them. He wants to use the dynamite that blew up our house to put it back together again.

But the words that chill here are “any willing patriot.” Does that mean subscribing to the “bring it on” patriotism of Bush? The torture patriotism of Cheney? The “limitless executive power” patriotism of the entire Bush-Cheney wrecking crew? The “endless war” patriotism of McCain? Does that mean surrendering to the patriotism of ceaseless braying about the heroism and self-sacrifice of anyone in a uniform who goes along with the program without questioning the empty rationale or the moral bankruptcy of the undertaking?

Will McCain reach out his hand to the kind of patriotism that says, you’re wrong, senator–the policies you’ve embraced are killing the country we love, the only country we have for better or worse? In the frenzy of waving flags, in the midst of our military cult, I don’t see that sort of patriotic overture getting such a warm reception.

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2 Replies to “Willing Patriots”

  1. I had a similar reaction to that particular statement. I don’t know what’s scary, the stuff coming out of his mouth or the fact that there seem to be quite a large number (hopefully not the, albeit slight, majority that elected George the Second for a second term) of people that believe everything he says.
    Something I noticed as well about the audience last night: the almost complete absence of any diversity. In the first half I don’t think I saw one non-white face. Interestingly that changed during the second half and saw a string of individuals standing in the crowd of a less pale complexion, almost as if the ones controlling the direction of the cameras were trying to counter the perception of lack of diversity.

  2. God help the camera operator told to find a black person in that crowd.
    2008 Republican National Convention:
    36 black delegates (1.5% of the total number of delegates)
    2008 Democratic National Convention:
    1,079 black delegates (24.3 percent of the total)

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