Thursday, June 23, 2005

Flag Burning

The House of Representatives cleared passage for a cosntitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning. This seems totally un-American. The whole point of living in a free society is the ability to criticize the leadership or a country's policies. What is it about these radical Republcians to have yet another tampering of the Constitution so they can stifle free speech?

Yesterday Bush met with the President of Viet Nam. Outside, I assume former South Vietnamese were protesting their former homeland's lack of free speech. They did so by burning the Vietnamese flag in protest. During the Cold War, when we sent US troops there, the public was told that we fighting for freedom in that country. When we see Vietnamese protesting in this country, we can say they have achieved freedom, although they had to leave their homeland to do so.

We often hear from veterans who say they 'fought for the freedoms we now enjoy.' Freedom, presumaly to burn the flag in frustration over the government's policies. Just because you burn the flag in protest, doesn't mean you hate your country, in fact, it means just the opposite: that you are fearful for teh direction the country is taking.

So once again, what's the deal with the Constitutional Amandment to ban flag burning? Are they trying to make it illegal for a so-called 'blue state' not to go along? This is the kind of action that dictators do either left or right. Yes, like Nazis. There, I said it, and I won't be apologizing for it in a week.

So if it passes, what's next? The flag is just a symbol of the country, just like the Congress Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial or White House is a symol of the country. If we can't 'criticize' the flag, will criticism of the President be next. The Democratic Party was in control during the Viet Nam war, but a good chunk of the party back then was conservative. Johnson was conservative on Viet Nam as was Nixon. Many of today's Republcians formed the core of the Democratic Party back then: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, George Wallace. They didn't like criticism back then either. Just look at Kent State.

The argumetn being used now is that the 'world is a dangerous place'. Sure it is, but how is it more dangerous than when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor or when Russian nukes were pointed at American cities or when the world was on the brink of Nuclear Winter as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The best way to show the terrorists like Osama Bin Laden that our system is superior to his is to encourage popular participation in the debate, not to stifle it. Flag burning is a form of first amendment freedom and to ban it, Osama wins by default. September 11 was an opening salvo on the war on terror, but let's not use it as an excuse to stifle freedom.


At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Jaylectricity said...

I have supported your argument on flag burning for several years now. When you love your country enough to try to speak out about corrupt policies, you are being more patriotic than if you shut up and follow along blindly.
Your comment about the veterans fighting for the freedoms we enjoy, they fail to realize that they also tend to stifle the freedoms of many (sometimes millions) of people that do not live in our country. Whether it be forcing democracy on them, or indirectly causing economic turmoil in countries who weren't so well off to begin with is not beneficial to the globe, only to ourselves, and only temporarily.


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