Skip to comments.Feinstein's Flag Fetish" Illogic for all
Posted on 07/01/2006 4:37:00 PM PDT by at bay
Thank you, Dianne Feinstein.
Composition teachers all over the country are indebted to the Democratic senator from California for a commentary published Tuesday in USA Today. Instead of tearing their hair out trying to instruct students in the finer points of logic, rhetoric and critical thinking, teachers will henceforth be able to simply pull out Feinstein's piece and say, "Don't do this." They will never find a better illustration of a bad argument badly made.
Feinstein is co-sponsor of something called the Flag Protection Amendment, the latest congressional effort to amend the Constitution to protect the U.S. flag from "desecration" an interesting word, given its connotations of religious devotion.
Her commentary in support of the amendment certainly hits all the patriotic sweet spots, invoking the image of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima, reminding us that the flag is a symbol of "our democracy, our shared values, our commitment to justice, and our eternal memory of those who have sacrificed to defend these principles."
But there's more. Feinstein notes that Congress has power to protect the Lincoln Memorial from defilement, so surely it should have similar power to protect the flag, "our monument in cloth." She denies the amendment would infringe free speech, because, "There is no idea or thought expressed by the burning of the American flag that cannot be expressed equally well in another manner."
As arguments go, this one has it all pathos, tears, drama. Everything except actual, you know, logic.
The comparison to the Lincoln Memorial, for example, might make sense if the flag were a single iconic structure housed on federal land instead of a banner that shows up on fanny packs, T-shirts, used-car lots and suburban mailboxes.
As for the idea that anyone who wants to express an idea by burning the flag can express the same idea equally well through other means, that's not her call. Who is she to tell me or you, or anyone what means we may or may not use to express a political opinion? If someone loathes their country and wants to express that opinion, who is she to decide what words, methods or approach that person is allowed to use? If free speech means anything, it means she doesn't have that right.
Feinstein, by the way, is reacting to a crisis that does not exist. You know how many flag "desecrations" there have been this year? Twenty-five, you think? A dozen?
There have been three. This is according to the Citizens Flag Alliance, a group that "supports" the proposed amendment. "Three."
More people were struck by lightning. Heck, I bet more people spontaneously combusted. So essentially what we have here is an effort to amend the Constitution and abridge the First Amendment in order to stop people from doing what people aren't doing. Am I the only one who finds this more than faintly ridiculous?
The rapper Chuck D, among others, calls them "weapons of mass distraction," these periodic outbursts of noise and inanity whereby our leaders attempt to hijack the public's attention, direct it away from anything that means anything. As the use of those weapons goes, this one feels especially cynical, playing as it does on love of country and respect for the sacrifices of forebears.
But maybe we should love the one and respect the other enough to stand up for real American ideals and demand that our representatives do the same, rather than play games of symbolism that solve no problems, address no issues and insult our collective intelligence in the process.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. "And" to the Republic for which it stands. But there's a big difference between honoring the flag and fetishizing it. Especially at the cost of doing violence to the Constitution.
Apparently, nobody cares if we desecrate that.
We don't need such an amendment. In almost every community, there are reasonable and politically neutral laws against open flames, in order to protect public safety.
Hence, without violating anyone's rights, the public safety folks can legitimately turn fire hoses on anyone who attempts to burn a flag (or anything else) in violation of these just and reasonable laws.
I bet she'd really be upset if some one burned a rainbow flag.
I agree with his criticism of Feinstein. She is an evil whore, in addition to giving illogical statement. However, this guy didn't exactly strengthen his own argument by invoking the name of Chuck D.
Counter-culture creeps with sexual identity problems can legally burn our flag in front of us, but we can't even tell their filthy, anti-American kids in the schools to shut up when needed. The same weirdos who burn our flags use their activism to stop the rest of us from free expression and their linguistic activism to warp our language to fit their abnormalities.
"You got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one." -- Will Rogers
Desecrating the constitution to prevent flag desecration... what an ingenious idea.
Remember a few years back when Babs was waving an AK-47 around a press room, mag in, finger on trigger--and half the room (veterans probably) `hit the deck'?
All three of them. Could we talk about a bigger danger this year? Being struck by lightning, which will hit 20 to 25 americans (strike that--people living in america) this year alone. Does wearing a watch matter?
I still think it should come under the fighting words statute or perhaps Inciting to Riot.
An action done knowingly to provoke a violent response.
Oh yes, it's their freedom, but what about our's?
Can't we at least set THEM on fire as a political statement?
Look, the reality is, you take personal action
against a flag-burner, do you think any 12 people anywhere in this country are going to find you guilty of squat? Have some fait in the system and your fellow american.
Relax. It's a free country.
fait = faith....Or for that matter, would it even get a citation or a filing? Doubtful, as no conviction could be obtained.
Yeh..and 'every action has an equal reaction'. So let the moron scum leftists burn the flag if they wish. It exposes them and alerts the true patriots in the USA of the love we have for this nation's past, present and future glory.
USA is not perfect but a gem nevertheless. So burn the flag you leftist idiots...its just symbolic cloth. What really goes up in smoke is your own twisted retarded soul on exhibit.
No need for an Amendment. God bless America, land that I love.
pitts is a bottom feeding scumbag himself. I only read him when I'm in my Fla place, couldn't stand him year round.