Thursday, June 29, 2006

More on Flag Burning and Freedom

Yesterday I got "fired-up" and added my thoughts to Carl Luna's "Election Reflection" from the Sand Diego Union-Tribune online. This is what I had to say:

Good points.

The Republicans engage in concrete thinking that is not easily discernible to Americans who do not wish to think in nuance.

Everyone loves Old Glory so WHY would any politician wish to protect flag-burners? Simple stuff.

It is much harder to explain, but still needs to be done, that freedom of speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment of our Constitution is there to protect even distasteful speech such as a flag-burning. But that would require more than just a simple-minded approach.

Or take the "Under God" phrase in the Constitution. Don't we ALL believe in God ask the Republicans? It is far more nuanced to explain that our founding fathers designed the First Amendment to protect EVERY American, even atheists, and that separation of church and state is not so much an attack on religion as it is a protection of religious freedom in this country. But that would require a little thought, wouldn't it?

Or the Gay Marriage Amendment. Isn't it obvious that regular Americans want marriage to be one man and one woman? It is far more nuanced to ask Americans to understand that some of our citizens are homosexuals and that they deserve to be protected under the 14th Amendment of equal protection under the law and allowed to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities of every other American. It is easier to argue the simple message that pretty soon we will be sliding down the slippery slope and men will be marrying dogs and having five wives. Just reduce it to absurdity. Who cares if you hurt someone.

Or the Ten Commandments...ditto all of the above. Most of the politicians can't even name them. But dictating belief in the Sabbath, following one God, not taking the name of the Lord in Vain....well those are proscriptions that aren't consistent with our own Bill of Rights. But that is subtle. Better to appeal to ignorance and simple thought.

Or Abortion. Of course nobody likes abortion. So why not appeal to the third-grade sophistication level and just outlaw it. Be tough. Be a man. It is far harder to explain how women are hurt, abused and exploited and that it is a public health measure to allow women the righjt to safe and legal abortions.

Or Stem Cell Research. Go ahead Republicans take the moron approach and appeal to saving the unborn babies. Who cares if they are just 16 cells of undifferentiated tissue. Who cares if they are going to be tossed in the garbage. Who cares if they can cure disease.

Or Sex Education. Just say NO. Abstinence only. Who cares if studies show that it advances unsafe sex and is a failure. It is the moral approach.

The list goes on.

Being Progressive requires NUANCE. Easier to appeal to the gut. Not the brain.

Meanwhile, make tax cuts permanent, allow for multimillionaire heirs to receive their inheritances unhindered by tax collection, and don't think about adjusting the minimum wage for inflation. That is the real family values.

Democrats need to stop fearing appealing to the understanding of the masses. We need to express ourselves as being defenders of freedom....for we are...while the Republicans work to undermine and limit freedom and advance the Imperial Presidency.

There is no longer any time for fear of the American People.
We need to give Americans more credit than they are given by Republicans with wedge issues, the "Wedgies".

Americans respect the flag but cherish the freedoms that come from living in America more than any symbol and more than wishing to Amend our Constitution to regulate our individual behavior.



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