Patriotic Progressive

The United States Deserves Tough Love
Patriotic Progressive

James Carroll writes for the Boston Globe: "It was the point of fireworks when you were young. In those days, each backyard had its own celebration of the Fourth of July, and your dad, like all the others, presided over the lighting of the Roman candles, the volcano cones, and firecrackers... It is not news that America stands sorely in need of criticism today. Yielding to the old temptation of a new triumphalism; putting her trust in violent power; glorifying possession to the point where the dispossessed are left behind; cloaking national insecurity with thin patriotism; treating criticism as disloyalty. But there's the point. The peculiarly American demonstration of love of country consists in the readiness to hold the nation to its own higher standard. America, by definition, continually falls short of itself. America, by definition, continually falls short of itself."

Open Letter to Bush: 'You Are Disgracing America - Resign or Be Impeached'
Patriotic Progressive

Bernard Weiner writes: "Congratulations! With your decision to bomb and invade Iraq, you are about to make yourself both an enemy of the state and an international war-criminal. Everyone has been telling you not to do it, that attacking Iraq -- absent an overt provocation, and without domestic and international consensus behind you -- is neither in America's best interests, nor in the best interests of world order and the global economy...If it was just you, we could tolerate, even enjoy, your fast trip into history's dumpster. But you're going to take a good share of the world with you, and you will never be forgiven for that -- for all the bleeding and pain and social dislocation you will engender -- and for how you've besmirched the good name of the United States of America. Shame on you, sir. You have disgraced yourself, your country, our Constitutional form of government. Those sins against America and the world will be your legacy forever."

The Dangers of Dissent
Patriotic Progressive

Heather Wokusch writes: "Dissent isn't easy these days. You're branded unpatriotic for questioning an unelected president's rush to war, and dismissed as insignificant even when you number in the millions. It gets much worse. If you work in an American university, you could be blacklisted, harassed and even lose your job for questioning the Bush Administration's conservative pro-war agenda. Thanks to a small number of deep-pocket groups with close ties to the government, campuses have been pummeled with a right-wing political agenda; one stated goal is to replace liberal-minded professors (found to be 'short on patriotism' or failing to teach that civilization itself 'is best exemplified in the West and indeed in America') with more politically correct conservatives."

'I Hate America...Apparently'
Patriotic Progressive

W. David Jenkins III writes: "Rather than restore America and lead us back to a feeling of strength and power after what happened to us a year and a half ago - those who believe that he actually won Florida have been reduced to shaky, paranoid xenophobes. That's about a little less than half the country. Like the guy in Connecticut who wrapped his house in sheet plastic and duct tape two weeks ago, a little less than half of America has been played for the gullible fools they are. They buy into the notion that bashing Europe and others who disagree with Bush and what passes for his foreign policy is somehow righteous. These are the same people who see no conflict of character when they talk tough against Iraq or the 'peaceniks' and then turn around and cringe in fear when Tom Ridge whips out his Crayolas and paints America 'orange.' The people of the world see this. Those of us who are rabidly against Bush see this but we are not pointing fingers and laughing."

The American Flag Belongs to All Americans
Patriotic Progressive

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett writes, "The flag outside my house isn't coming down.... The flag outside my house isn't coming down no matter what, even if people think it is a sign of solidarity with those who support war with Iraq. It is not. That flag belongs to those of us who want peace as much as it does to those who believe war will buy us a lasting peace.... The flag will take a beating once the bombs fall. Flags will outnumber people at pro-war rallies. Protesters will burn them at anti-war rallies. Athletes are already turning their backs on them to protest the war. We cannot let those who want to bomb Iraq or those who protest the bombing hijack the flag for their cause. It belongs to us all."

Bill Moyers is a Patriotic Progressive
Patriotic Progressive

Bill Moyers writes, "I put the flag in my lapel tonight. First time... I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo - the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism... I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the coalition of the willing. I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government. It's not un-American to think that war - except in self-defense - is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve, and diplomatic skill. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country."