Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Love of Country? Nationalism. Mandatory Love of Country? Fascism.

Donald Trump has already made clear that he's a nationalist, America over all others. Now, with his "Players must honor the flag" demand, he's working to rebirth a new American fascism.

Donald Trump's hard-on for the American flag is unseemly and anti-American.

Important points, before we get started:
  • The Constitution doesn't mention a flag or an anthem.
  • American troops don't fight for a flag, they fight for the sovereignty, principles, and values of their country. (When a country has bad values and bad principles, troops are still fighting for them.)
  • No one would disagree that Americans fight for American ideals, which are rooted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
An important note: Over the centuries, armies in Europe carried their flags into battle. Yes, capturing a flag was tantamount to winning the battle because the flag was as protected as the leadership, who would surrender at that point. That is, people should agree, an antiquated, romanticized view of war.

If love of the American flag and the anthem that celebrates it is made mandatory -- something that Donald Trump is loudly, insistently calling for -- something has been removed from the equation. That something is liberty.

Full stop.

That's clearly unconstitutional, as the First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
"Taking a knee" is a gentle form of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. So the originators of the movement have made clear. It's interesting to note that Trump and his spokesperson, Sara Huckabee Sanders have said that that isn't the reason players are taking a knee.

Why the switcheroo?They want to rob the protesters of the legitimacy of their protest by saying "That's not why they're protesting. They're protesting against the flag and the troops that have died fighting for it."

So, new rule: It's against all that is sacred and holy to fail to stand during the national anthem at a sporting event because troops died defending a flag. A four-star general with 39 years in the Air Force -- former CIA chief Michael Hayden -- disagrees, but, hey, Donald "never-served-because-of-bone-spurs-grab-em-by-the-pussy" Trump is the real patriot here.

The vast majority of Americans now agree that the Vietnam War was a mistake. Remember the AMERICA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT bumper stickers back then?

That hostile notion of citizenship was wrong then, and flag worship is wrong now.

The whole thing smacks of fascism. It must be resisted.

The Supreme Court has ruled -- Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) -- that Flag burning constitutes symbolic speech that is protected by the First Amendment. Something as mild as taking a knee is clearly protected symbolic speech.

Which America do you want to live in, the constitutional one or the unconstitutional one? I know which one the fascists want us to live in.

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