Chris Douglas

A Ridiculous Waste of Time

Filed By Chris Douglas | June 27, 2006 6:31 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

I'm as patriotic as the next guy, probably more of a flag waver than most. A Republican myself, I've done my tour in uniform (for which I was decorated), as has my brother, my father, his father, my uncle and all of my great uncles. Our family lost its first soul for this country in the Battle of Blue Lick in Kentucky, the last battle of the American Revolution. (It was his widow and son who crossed into Indiana in 1800 or so, settled in Flat Rock, Indiana, cleared a farm which in later family hands became a station on the Underground Railroad, and became Republican abolitionists.) Until they were stolen from a basement den, the family retained in its possession a gun used by our North Judson ancestor who was in the Union Army.

With all of that in mind, I state my conviction that the conservative Republicans who attempt to ban flag burning Constitutionally demonstrate a woeful disrespect for the Constitution and its freedoms. What's more, they drum this issue up out of nowhere, and rather than desecrate the flag, desecrate instead our Constitution, disgracing themselves and the Republican Party.

If we're truly on the topic of desecration, how about Constitutionally banning the Confederate flag, which soils bumpers and rear windows, and insults not only African Americans, but every Hoosier who gave his life a hundred and fifty years ago fighting for liberty against the base evil of a rebellious regime built on slavery? Somehow, I suspect that the very red neck clowns who sport those confederate flags also support the flag burning amendment, insensate to the desecration they themselves commit.

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Wilson Allen | June 27, 2006 7:27 PM

several years ago, they had the flags of all 50 states hanging in the Rotunda of our Statehouse -- including some flag with the Confederate Slave-Owners Flag (Stars and Bars) -- I was upset and went over to the Governor's Office and threw a fit about desecrating our Hoosier Statehouse with the Rebel Flag ... oh well

It is rather silly. The whole thing that supposedly makes this country great is that we can have dissenting opinions without killing each other.

"I might not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

I don't know who said that or when, but to me, THAT is what the flag stands for, even if it is burnt to a crisp.

Marla R. Stevens | June 28, 2006 5:03 AM

And I love that both respondents are equally correct -- the first in recognizing that the right to speak doesn't come with a right to a platform and the second in recognizing that, to legislate against flag desecration paradoxically desecrates the flag.

Rick Sutton | June 28, 2006 9:36 AM

This is what politics has become: ridiculous posturing over stupid issues. Of course the previous posters are correct: freedom is costly, and absolute freedom involves our tolerance of those with whom we sternly disagree, whatever their legal tactics. Burning a flag is repugnant to me, but amend the Constitution? Overkill at its best (or worst).

I'm embarrassed for both our senators, who didn't have the guts to recognize this for what it is: pandering.

But if you're a politician, and you read tea leaves, or pay attention to recent history, you've got to recognize that this pandering has worked. Perhaps because we haven't successfully fought it.

It's time to fight. There is no end to this pandering, and I have the sinking feeling that Dems' optimism could be premature for fall elections...the Pubs in power may pander just enough to squeek out majorities in both houses. Pathetic. And then, if it works, guess what?

They'll do it again.

I believe that it is inappropriate to worship the flag, while it is good to honor it; but America is a land created by ideas and that is hard to grasp and hard to identify with. Too hard for some people, perhaps and they put their love of country into a devotion to the flag. They passionately believe that the flag deserves their devotion.

Where they go wrong is in making the same mistake that our fellow citizens make about "marriage" and "family" and so many other issues. They want to express their passionate beliefs, and the way, the only way, they can see is to coerce everyone else to their way of thinking.

It is good to honor the flag, but it is not good to do so by saying: "Everyone must see it my way."

BTW, Chris, I forgot to mention that this is the first thing you have written that I totally agree with. I guess it just goes to show if you dialogue long enough with someone, common ground can eventually be found in something. Too bad everyone doesn't learn that!

Allen J. Lopp | March 12, 2007 8:44 PM

"I might not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

When attributed at all, I have most often seen that quote attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire.