Monday, July 4, 2011

FDR, Nationalism and H.R. 973

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

I find it very interesting on more than one level that FDR, a man who lived about half his life as a cripple, made a statement such as this. I am not slamming him for being crippled- In fact, that is about the only thing I hold him in esteem for. The man was the only physically challenged president we've had, and he did a pretty decent job in many respects. The problem is that he also did a horrendous job in many others.

Actually, one of the first reasons I find it interesting is that it is a quote many liberals would wish to champion. Notice, I did not use the words Democrat or Republican: Truth be told, there is very little difference between parties any longer. No there is only ideology, and that breaks roughly into Conservative and Liberal, with many riding fence in between; but I digress. It is a quote they would champion because it sounds like a truthful statement from a heroic figure. The man could not walk, yet look at his keen observation!

I cannot help but notice, however, that the only backwards walking I've seen from most modern Conservatives is derived from their need to clean up the past administration's mistakes. The charge I often hear is that Conservatives are stuck in the past- Well, people who clean up someone else's disasters often are, though not by choice.

This brings me to an article I read earlier today originally written by the late Howard Zinn. In it, he lambastes what he terms "Nationalism ... One of the great evils of our time." The problem is, Zinn proceeds to describe patriotism- Not Nationalism. Now mind you, this man was a veteran. He fought in World War II. Thus, it was strange to read such a gross mischaracterization- He ascribes the very attitude which gave rise to Hitler to patriotism.

Take, for instance, this excerpt from the beginning of the article:

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blesse

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

This is not Nationalism- This is patriotism that is being attacked here. Perhaps more amazing in its sheer foolishness is the fact that the article attempts to paint the United States of America as unimportant, unexceptional and far from unique. He ends his abomination of an article with these words: "We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history ... We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation."

This is humanism at its best- Not to mention historical revisionism, interpretive deviance and terminological hijacking. While I agree that the U.S. has no feet to stand on from a moral perspective in many instances, the rest of his closing statement is purely progressive liberal bull.

I bring this up because once again, a Conservative has to set the record straight.

Nationalism is what Germany experienced during the rise of Adolph Hitler. It is an extreme attitude of superiority centered around a single powerful figurehead. The ruler institutes symbols and the subjects show reverence and/or deference to these without question, criticism or complaint. It was this attitude that allowed Hitler to not only come to power, but also to taking his first steps towards eternal, historical infamy. When Hitler was questioned, what resulted was often a less than pretty sight; within his government, individuals who stood against him wound up catching a bad case of death.

Contrasting heavily with this is Patriotism. Patriots support their nation, think highly of their nation and appreciate their nation. However, they are also highly critical if something seems to be affecting it for the worse- They speak out, demanding a return to proper adherence to rule of law, for instance. Or, hypothetically speaking, denouncing as wrong something as obvious as electing a duel citizen to federal public office. In this country, this sort of thing can be done at any time, anywhere. In this country, patriots rally behind a flag and their troops while demanding accountability from their leaders. In this country, people can do this without disappearing unexpectedly- Or being slaughtered on the spot.

This article exemplifies perfectly the need for H.R. 973. In short, it spells out the need for all courts, from Municipal to Supreme, decide cases based solely upon US Law and no other. It seems so simple and common sense that one might be tempted to dismiss it as unnecessary. Such a dismissal would be a colossal mistake, however.

As indicated in the earlier example, common sense is far from commonplace nowadays. As such, people are needing, more and more, for things to be spelled out for them. Our leaders in D.C. top this list. For this reason, I urge you to phone your Reps and Senators and demand their support and passage of this bill. It's simple, it's common sense, but in the long run, it may save this country.

If you don't know who your Reps and Senators are, try this handy online tool.