This, from Ashley, 16, in Louisiana, in response to my post on Obama and his flag pledging habits:
It truly is sad to see Obama standing with his hands crossed in front of him while the pledge was being said. And he wants to run our country, well not by my vote. Anyone that doesn’t believe in Christianity and doesn’t follow the traditions of the United States of America, doesn’t need to be our president. He can say all he wants that he is for change, what is he going to change? American’s right of freedom? Our way of life? Our religion? Obama shouldn’t even be able to run for president, considering his Muslim background.
Although I don’t agree with Ashley’s assesment about his relationship to Islam there’s no doubt that Obama’s idea of patriotism is very different than what most Americans believe it to be. As I said before:
For liberals, loyalty to country centres on government. Ideally they would like to turn this country into another Europe. But the U.S. lacks the ethnic homogeniety to bond a nationalist state together such as the Europeans have done, and to undermine things further the left has done more than its share to riddle our national life with identity politics, turning us into a land of racists, sexists and homophobes. (That almost backfired on them with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but I digress…)
So we must turn to a social contract approach: our government provides us with a battery of social services (education, health care, employment or the dole) and we in turn respond by putting up with any and all of the restrictions our government cares to throw at us and the occasional demand for corvée such as national service (yes, that’s coming with these people, too.)
There are two related problems with this.
The first is that to change a successful formula such as the one we have had in this country is risky. There’s no guarantee that the U.S. would make a graceful change to a European style social contract, and I’m inclined to think that it wouldn’t.
The second is much simpler to grasp: we are too far in the hole to afford such an experiment. Like it or not, we are a debtor nation, and the receding of dollar hegemony only will make that worse. We need the economic growth that a relatively unfettered economy can bring to enable us to meet our obligations. Larding our system with a new, expensive social contract will hinder our way out of debt, producing a perpetually sluggish economy with reduced living standards and a larger foreign domination of our national life. It will ultimately defeat its own purpose.
All of that goes to the heart of Obama’s cavorting with radicals such as Bill Ayers. Ashley’s concerns about what Obama wants to change are well founded, based on associations such as that. But face it, when you’re endorsed by entities such as MoveOn.org and the DailyKos from the get-go as Obama was, why should anyone expect you to be patriotic?