Thursday, July 17, 2008

Election 08 trivia bites – The patriot game

With July 4th in the rear view mirror patriotism is still a puzzle for non-Americans; the Patriot Game is an odd sport. For most on the outside patriotism is generally considered the last refuge of a scoundrel. Perhaps it is so, but patriotism still plays heavy on the American psyche. So what is it? who does it? All in purloined and out of context quotes of course.

Previous: Coulter and Huffington

The Candidates, presumably


“The Real Meaning of American Patriotism”

  • It is something considered worthy of emulation, which probably informed the decision by the creators of our 1979 Constitution to turn to America - Ochereome Nnanna Nigeria
  • “Loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July"
  • "Patriotism is deeper than its symbolic expressions, than sentiments about place and kinship that move us to hold our hands over our hearts during the national anthem"
  • “…explicit connection between patriotism and not only service, but also civic responsibility”
  • “…move beyond the notion that patriotism is somehow the dominant province of those who serve in the military” Michael A. Cohen
  • Haven’t the last eight years taught us anything?
  • we’re force-fed flag pins and chest-thumping about patriotism, questions about cookie recipes, designer suits and fist bumps
  • True patriotism lies in protecting and helping fellow Americans Baltimore Sun
  • "America: Love it or leave it"
  • "Patriotism is someone who would put their life down for their country,"
  • "Either literally, giving their life as a sacrifice for their country, or by putting down money, joining the military, volunteering somewhere."
  • The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country
  • “…an abiding belief in the inherent and enduring goodness of the American nation”
  • “at the end of the day the patriotic American believes that America is fundamentally good as it is.” Jonah Goldberg
  • Patriot Act - authority to strip away the liberties of Americans CapHillBlu
  • the general public see you as a terrorist or a patriot
  • What is patriotism? In something of an exercise in political nostalgia

Wannabe Patriot Obama

  • Obama - “For me, as for most Americans, patriotism starts as a gut instinct, a loyalty and love for country rooted in my earliest memories.” And on the other: “When our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.”
  • What was missing? There was no mention in either writing about corporations or businesses.
  • From my basic learnings, even from elementary government classes, was the concept of our forefathers that corporations were actually “individual” Americans, and that our laws are written based on that concept. Bill Depew, president Rural Broadcasting Service
  • Obama can bridge America’s patriotic divide by demanding of Americans the sacrifice that has been lacking not just for the last eight years, but indeed for much longer… Michael A. Cohen
  • Obama is now as patriotic as the electorate wants him to be
  • every speech he makes, he is now flanked by several American flags. Just in case anyone thinks he isn’t patriotic
  • Obama claims he is a "progressive." Bullshit. He's about as progressive as Pat Robertson
  • Perhaps it is because the Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, is surrounded by so many people who so clearly hate this nation and all it stands for… John Howard

Presumptive Patriot McCain

Given everyone seems to presume McCain’s patriotism, as Americans seethe term, this list is far shorter.

  • John McCain isn't a scoundrel, but in a presidential race in which he now trails Barack Obama, patriotism is shaping up as his last refuge.
  • It's hard to remember a time when the Republicans didn't own the patriotism issue.
  • “I think John McCain is going to make sure that America stays America.” Gov. Mitt Romney

As an aside – The Election to test the value of military service

  • Americans respect military service and connect it to patriotism
  • Consider some findings from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center:
  • Americans' low esteem for the federal government doesn't extend to the military.
  • A May survey found support for the federal government the lowest in at least a decade
  • 37%
  • with President George W. Bush's favorability at only 27%. But the survey indicated a favorability rating of 84% for the military.
  • In a February 2007 survey, military service topped a list of presidential-candidate traits that would make Americans more likely to support someone.
  • About 48% said they would be more likely to support a candidate with military service
  • 3% said they'd be less likely to do so.

Respondents to an April survey were asked which traits described various candidates.

  • Ninety percent thought the word "patriotic" described McCain
  • 61% thought it fit Obama. Seventy-one percent said "tough" fit McCain
  • only 49% applied it to Obama
  • Obama did better with "inspiring," 66% to 39% for McCain.
  • More than twice as many U.S. presidents have had military experience as haven't.

    Bill Clinton didn't serve, and he defeated Republican combat veterans in 1992 and 1996. Both his victories came in peacetime


enigma4ever said...

Our Down Under once again post an excellent post...thoughtprovoking and should come here and be a REAL Journalist....

( MSM could take a few lessons from you...)

I guess my bitter little letter to the NYorker inspired you right ??? .......

sadly I think living under the neoconal hawks has made recognizing this word for what it really means has gotten blurry.....even for me ....a heartbroken dissident that I am.....

thank you for this post...

Cart said...

"I guess my bitter little letter to the NYorker inspired you right ???"
You all inspired me Enigma, the truth is I needed to try and understand this patriotism thing.
Just looking at dictionary definitions doesn't do it, but the best a pastiche like this does is suggest a cultural emotion rather than an easily defined word.
If a politician played the patriotism card outside the US they would be laughed out of the contest. So you see, we just don't get it!

D.K. Raed said...

I don't think I can take this much patriotism. now my patriotic head hurts. usually it's my patriotic ass. every once in awhile it's my patriotic foot (but I think both of those have floated up to Canada, on a kind of a recon mission). don't mind me; I'm just catching up.

Great Patriot Game! You nailed it; it really IS a game! At least the way it's played in America, it is.

Cart said...

DK, thanks. I think the only thing I really nailed is that I don't have a bloody clue what this patriotism really is.