Meaningful patriotism involves more than casting your vote. By the time candidates and issues get on a ballot, worthwhile debate has been bypassed. Now, it’s a game of beach ball — which side can get the most hands pushing. In our situation, the committed parties appeal to bystanders to come in and help, often for extraneous or irrelevant reasons. We get reduced to this periodic game of beach ball because many lawmakers are so spineless and gutless they work only for themselves, letting public factions push against each other because their politicians have mixed the metaphors and kicked the can down the road, avoiding blame for responsible actions their big donors veto.
Roosters great and small crow that we have to support our troops. Sure, let’s support our poor dupes along with all those who profit from putting them in harm’s way. Meaningful patriotism requires we learn and relearn the facts about our country and its situation among other nations and in the natural world. We need to know what and who are the forces against learning, and what are their mechanisms and methods for hiding and obscuring the truth. We need to understand why some people put self and private interest above public interest and national well-being. To understand these people and their interests will not lead us to condone them. It is more important to expose them to the public at large and to themselves than to punish them, for awareness of wrong-doing may sometimes suffice, but where laws are broken, both perpetrators and results should be corrected. Great nations are not saved by fancy talk.
We read a lot of fancy talk written in media and parroted on broadband and airways about Obama’s incompetence; talk by folks who imagine themselves very fancy and competent to criticize those more accomplished than themselves. Real accomplishment is not always given in resumés and certificates of advanced degree. Accomplishment is often invisible, becoming evident only when expressed in action or communicated in speech, spoken or written. It is much easier to criticize a leader destructively than to assist creatively. The far-rightist’s buggaboo of despised Socialism merely masks their urge to push self-interested privatization and the Corporatism which puts big business slickly in charge of national government in the style of Fascism and National-socialism, disguised in ordinary suits without armbands and jackboots. Thanks to ubiquitous lobbying and revolving-door management in government agencies, we are nearly there.
Luckily, we have prominent media personalities who are writers of real substance. One is Rachel Maddow. Her book, Drift, explains how we lost essential safeguards against engaging in armed conflict. It is now incredibly easy to get involved in wars without congressional engagement and decision. Another is Dylan Ratigan whose book, Greedy Bastards, outlines our major troubles, their causes and potential solutions. He is on the verge of voluntarily leaving a successful run on MSNBC to work at projects aiming to solve the nation’s problems and get us back on track to real progress. Our enemies will misunderstand them deliberately, try to demean their work and vilify them. Give those critics no credence. They are egotistical, self-satisfied spoilers of everything they cannot possess or control. Pretending to be Republicans, they will vote against Obama and democratic populism because they are unwittingly devoted to self-destruction.