Thursday, June 23, 2005

Flag Desecration

A quick blurb from the National Journal:

AP's Fournier explains why Dems "fear getting singed" by the flag desecration ban and being "forced into a vote" that GOPers "will cast as a test of patriotism." The house passed the ban by a 286-130 vote 6/22 and while its "prospects aren't good in the Senate," GOPers "could still get what they want -- an issue that divides or even conquers" Dems in '06 and '08. Dem leaders "generally don't want to tamper with free-speech rights" but they "were split on whether to bow to political pressure." The flag "means more than ever" after 9/11 and GOPers are "not shy about evoking Sept. 11 in political fights." In a debate over the flag amendment, Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) said: "Ask the men and women who stoop on top of the Trade Center. Ask them and they will tell you: 'Pass this amendment.'" Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) "accused" the GOP of "exploiting" 9/11: "If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents." But some Dems say the "power of that symbol shouldn't be underestimated." Dem strategist Ray Strother: "I can't imagine when it gets down to it that any Democrat would vote against the ban. Something strange is happening in this country. More than ever, people seem to be looking for symbols. ... People, particularly the conservative movement, are trying to leave a trail of signs that have larger implications." But other Dems "say it's cowardly not to fight the ban, and are convinced that they won't be punished by voters" for it. Dem strategist Jim Jordan: "Voters simply don't believe Democrats are hostile to the American flag" (6/23).

Frankly I am not in-favor of such a measure. I think burning the flag should be protected under the 1st amendment as free speech. The fact is that our country can not be truly symbolized by a piece of cloth it is an ideal of overall liberty. It is tough to love our country so much that you can allow someone to desecrate our flag, but that is what our society should be about. Frankly I am tired of the discourse in this nation. The right wing seems to attack the liberals for some of the extreme things they feel are free speech. The left wing claims to defend free speech, but the second you say something that is not "politically correct" they will attack you in anyway they can. Fact is both sides seem to be extreme hypocrites on the issue of free speech using it only when it is convienient to their particular set of ideals. Shame on both for their behavior. And before anyone gets up in arms about my flag views I did serve in the military. That always seems to be the immediate retort for the anti-flag burners, "You'd look at it differently if you dedicated any part of your life to defending this nation." Like the saying goes, "I may not agree with what you have to say or what you do... But I will lay down my life to defend your opportunity to do it."


At 6/23/2005 02:00:00 PM, Blogger James Young said...

You know, it's funny. I don't particularly favor the measure either, since I believe that it trivializes the Constitution. But I also believe that Johnson v. Texas was wrongly decided because he was engaged in behavior, not speech. 'Course, had Texas had the wit to prosecute him for destruction of private property (it was stolen from a bank) and not flag desecration, the case never would have made it to the Supremes.

But I am tired of the discourse in this nation that reflexively dismisses every suggestion by a conservative politician as "right wing."

And the quotation is from Voltaire. I mention it because it's too easy to forget that there were once French who believed in liberty and its defense.

At 6/27/2005 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

Wow, Jim an issue that would appear to have a more conservative side (ban flag burning) and more moderate side (flag burning = freedom of speech) and I find my self on the more conservative side.

However, this is when I enjoy reading you. Good analysis and does make me rethink my position on the issue.

I've never felt comfortable on either side of this one. As a Marine I have a lot of pride in having served the flag and feel anger towards those who choose to burn it, however I do appreciate the freedoms we enjoy in this country question how I can view flag buring as a given right of the Constitution.


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