Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Feel Free Not To Read This

Fair warning, I am going to rant about politics. I try not to, I like to keep things light and sometimes dirty, but I feel the need to yell about something and since I have this here little space, by god and by damn I'm going to do it.

The US Senate came perilously close to passing an Amendment to the Constitution that would outlaw flag burning. This is something that is attempted pretty much every year and usually goes away, but one vote, people, one lousy stinkin' vote, is all that kept us from marching down the road to amending the Constitution in a fashion that would, for the first time, erode our rights.

The argument that is usually presented in support of such an amendment is that the flag is a symbol of our country, and that thousands if not millions of people have died to defend the flag. I agree with the first part of that and disagree with the second part. The flag is a symbol of our country,but it is just that, a symbol. There is a enormous difference between a symbol of something and the substance of what that something is. In the case of the United States, the substance of our country is our freedom as individuals to express our thoughts, fears, opinions and hopes in whatever fashion we choose. This is true even if the fashion we choose may be highly offensive to other people, even most other people. In fact it is just when that opinion would offend most other people that it has to be defended with the most vigor. Because if it isn't, if it somehow becomes OK for the government to make rules that say "OK, you can express your opinion, but you may not do so in a manner which offends people", then we're only a few small steps from not being able to say anything that might offend whatever group has the power at any time, which is basically the same as saying we're only a few small steps, or in this case one lousy vote, away from destroying the substance of our country in order to "protect" a symbol of our country.

And that is why I do not agree that people die for the flag. If people die for that then they die for a colorful piece of cloth, and to say that is to insult the soldiers an sailors who have given their lives. They died because they wanted to serve their country. And their country is a group of people bound together by a set of laws that is rooted in the Constitution. And the first right protected in the Amendments to that Constitution reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...(let's save that can of worms for another time shall we?), or abridging the freedom of speech...." It doesn't say "abridging the freedom of speech unless it might piss someone off" it says NO law abridging the freedom of speech. Those kinds of freedoms are what makes this country what it is, those kinds of freedoms are what makes this country great and goddamnit those kinds of freedoms are what people have fought and died to protect. And in my opinion if someone is so fainthearted or easily offended that they are willing to allow the government to start taking freedoms away because some asshole, (and by the way I do think people who burn flags are total assholes), burned a piece of cloth in protest of something, then that offended person doesn't have the first fucking clue what this country is about.

I love my country, and I exercise my right to scream and yell about things I don't like. If that means I have to burn a flag to make my point, I should be able to do so. And if you feel the need to say something along the lines of "that guy over there burning the flag is a fucking idiot", you have that right as well. But no one and nothing has the right to tell either group that they can't say what's on their mind.

Symbols must never be allowed to take precedence over substance. If that is allowed to happen, soon the substance disappears, and the symbols mean jack shit.

OK, that's it. next time we'll talk about screamingly hot lesbian vampires on "Blade: The Series"

12 Comments:

Blogger Lady K said...

:applause: AMEN! And don't EVEN get me STARTED about how AZ wants to VOTE on their "official language." Is AZ NOT part of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, who's language IS English? Why wouldn't our language BE anything BUT ENGLISH?

You said it. You REALLY said it.

Now give us something DIRTY to take our minds off this shit!!

10:05 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Yes. Precisely.


Limpy in '08?

10:35 PM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

I could not agree with you more.

I tend to stay away from politics and religion on my blog, because I don't want to offend people. However, I do have my views and quite frankly Mr. Limpy you summed them up quite nicely (on the politics venue).

I think people who burn flags are idiots (do they REALLY think what they are doing MAKES a difference?!?!), but don't we ALL have a right to be an idiot? I think that should be written down somewhere at least ;-)

10:40 PM  
Blogger GirlGoyle said...

This is the country of freedom...the only true freedom allowed being that all forms of hypocrisy are allowed. So you can burn a symbol of a country but you get arrested for having a beer on the street. Ya...that makes a lot of sense. Whatever!

2:28 AM  
Blogger Pud said...

...and my god continue to bless America!

5:29 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

Fuck. Could we please skip directly to your next post. I'm all about hot lesbian vampires. As soon as I have time to watch pilot episode of Blade, which was set to tivo months ago, I will be blogging about it, I assure you.

6:31 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Eclectic, I think any post, no matter how polictically rousing and persuasive otherwise, that ends with the phrase "screamingly hot lesbian vampires..." pretty much rules out a run in '08.

Unless Zoe is running the voting boot.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Brighton said...

I totally agree, now bring on the hot lesbians!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Zoe said...

What's this about me running a hot lesbian vampire voting booth. Sign me up man!

1:28 PM  
Blogger jmeped said...

Amen! Who wouldn't want a prez that was right on the money politcally and who loves a little lesbian vampires?

1:45 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Actually, I think the "Limpy" monacre may be more of a problem than the screaming lesbian vampire thing, judging by past presidents anyway.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

To me a flag is a flag is a flag. It may be symbolic of something, but the same symbol can mean different things to different folks. Personally, I would much rather see a flag burned to make a statement than a dude lynched to make the same statement. Our country has a history of doing both.

8:37 PM  

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