Apparently some people interpreted the crowd at the Republican convention chanting "USA! USA!" as some sort of attack.
Attack on what? On the "God Damned America!" crowd?
Well - it probably is, actually. But never mind that.
The real question is, what is so bad about being patriotic?
Oh, you can talk about the evils of America - but the real difference is only between those who choose to address problems from within the system, vs. those who choose to address problems from somewhere outside, comfortably safe from actually taking responsibility.
You just stand out there and throw rocks, if you like.
But then don't come whining to me when people don't want your candidate for our President.
We want someone who will work within the system - one who isn't afraid to be associated with us.
We don't want no guy who will curse us as the problem - how can such a one be our leader? You don't throw people off the team, then wondering why they don't show up for the big game.
And speaking of football coaches: interpreting the chant "USA! USA!" as a mean-spirited attack against Democrats is a classic example of Democrats taking themselves way too personally.
It's like being at the pep rally and assuming that the crowd chanting the school name is somehow all about you.
It isn't. It's all about getting cohesive, getting ready to join together in common cause - getting ready to fight.
Hopefully the leader really is trustworthy. Hopefully the objective has already been agreed upon and understood. Now is not the time to decide what one believes in. Now is not the time to educate.
In this case, Republicans have been given ample room to define themselves as the defenders and keepers of the American spirit. Obama, after all, has defined himself as one of America's critics, standing outside - throwing rocks.
That chanting means it's time to pull together - time to stop arguing; time to act.
Is the other side scared? If so, then good - that's not the primary objective, but it's a nice side bonus.
They yell USA! because they are saying, now we will fight for our country. And this year Obama made it easy for them to define their side as equaling patriotism - because liberals sneer at patriotism, which strikes me as odd.
There's nothing wrong with patriotism. It doesn't mean you think America is perfect and without flaw. It means you love this nation and you have faith in its abilities to overcome obstacles.
I understand that behavioral scientists have made arguments claiming that nationalism causes wars. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the "us vs. them" mentality (which causes the dehumanization that is so essential to war) is not linked to nationalism, just as it is not linked to religion. (And in fact liberals have proved just as good at doing the "righteous us vs. evil them"*, haven't they?)
If you don't love this country, why should anyone trust you to lead it?
* I'm not through with Heather Mallick's Mighty Wind. Oh no. Anyone this whacknut deserves mention in multiple blog posts.