There is Nothing Less American Than Censorship

Something to remember when John McCain has people arrested at his rallies for opposing political messages:

A 61-year-old librarian was ejected from an ostensibly public McCain campaign event at the Denver Center of Performing Arts in Denver, CO on June 7 because she was brandishing a deadly memetic weapon: a hand-lettered sign that read “McCain=Bush.”

Carol Kreck was standing outside the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on city property. Ms. Kreck objected that she was standing on city property. She was lead away by a police office and ticketed for trespassing.

As a country we put more value in our flag than in the freedom it represents.  What a way to spit on the bravery of the first Americans who fought and won liberty (NYTimes via Tom Tomorrow, emphasis mine):

“People go ape when they see it,” said Jim Alexander, a retired Coast Guard commander who runs Superflag, the company that basically invented the industry and once held the world record for the largest flag, which temporarily hung on the Hoover Dam. It was 255 by 505 feet and has been surpassed by a flag in Israel that measures 2,165 by 330 feet. “It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling that takes over a whole stadium. If anyone in the stands opened their mouth and objected, there would be hell to pay.”

That’s the attitude of McCain’s vision for America given voice.  That’s just one more reason we need to unite and fight.

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4 Responses

  1. You said:
    “we put more value in our flag than in the freedom it represents”

    That’s been the case for many years. Why ban flag-burning? Because we don’t want people to be THAT free.

    “In God we trust”? Do we really? But don’t you dare talk about changing that motto.

    “Under God,” for that matter. How many people really believe it, compared to those who are willing to call you names over it?

    I like to think that my patriotism is based on a real sense of history and right and wrong. But for a lot of people, it seems to be pure symbolism. I could (and will) go on and on, but for now let’s just say I agree with you on this one.

  2. firt off welcome to the tag. Second if someone defaces/defiles the flag as a point of free speech why am I not allowed to exercise my free speech in expressing my outrage ?

    As a country we put more value in our flag than in the freedom it represents. What a way to spit on the bravery of the first Americans who fought and won liberty

    Isn’t it logical to think that the fact that the flag symbolizes exactly that and that this is why people get angered by those that trample ,burn,and spit on it ???

  3. wickle, indeed. Let me know when you go on and on, it’ll be a good read. We ought to examine what it is to be patriotic (and what value that holds).

    Alfie,
    Thanks! I thought it better than using the traceback code (less intrusive, more easily searched, etc).

    A good point that raises is that the flag is many things to many people. And of course expressing outrage is free speech (and should be encouraged!).

    Take a look at Jim Alexander’s language. “If anyone in the stands opened their mouth and objected there would be hell to pay”. Its basically a threat, and the use of implied violence to shut down debate is poisonous to democratic discourse.

    If someone burns the flag, call them unpatriotic, idiotic, ineffective, hypocritical, whatever. The line is crossed when the act of questioning a giant overwhelming flag invites hell. Violent and repressive speech like that should be discouraged by society (I don’t think censoring it would help, it would just be ironic).

  4. thats why i say america is not we the people but rather we the corporation

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