17 April 2008

Conspicuous Patriotism

To my mind, one of the most troubling fall-outs from the post-9/11 changes to public policy is the suborning of 'Patriotism' to a variety of unseemly purposes. Take for instance, this excerpt from the New York Times' wrap-up of last night's Democratic Primary debate:

A voter on video says she’s troubled about Mr. Obama’s patriotism because he doesn’t wear a flag pin on his lapel.

The whole flag-pin thing bothers me in general. If you're serving in the Senate of the United States, do you really need to wear the stars and stripes on your person at all times to remind people what nation you're affiliated with? How can we consider our selection of candidates well informed when we fixate on their sartorial accessories?

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