Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beware of That Patriotic Lapel Pin

I became a patriot in 1948, when I began to learn about my country in second grade. At that time, the GDP of the United States was one-half of the GDP of the entire world, and the manufacturing and industrial capability of the country was one-half of the world’s total capacity. 88% of all the cars in the world were American made, running on American roads, and fueled with gas refined from domestic oil being pumped out of the ground in Texas, Oklahoma, and California. Our food production was sufficient to feed the world because the global population was only about two billion. Our military arsenal contained, maybe, a half-dozen atomic bombs, the only such devices anywhere on the planet. Not surprisingly, the American notion of patriotism was intimately tied to the notion of supremacy. The two went hand-in-hand, and that equation was totally valid in 1948.

Time passes, and things change. Today, we are mostly known for being number one in prison population, divorce rate, drug use (both legal and illegal), cosmetic surgery numbers, illegitimate births, and of course, military spending. So it’s quite surprising that our notion of patriotism is still equated with supremacy in the minds of most Americans. I guess old notions have a hard time going away. As a result, a candidate for political office risks his or her career if they take note of the national deficiencies, and for everyone else, acknowledging our shortcomings is seen as a lack of patriotic pride. The patriot-supremacists have even co-opted the American flag lapel pin as their talisman, which can, by its absence, identify those heretics who might tend toward a lack of pride and a bit of national pessimism. The willingness to wear it identifies the true believer. People without the lapel pin are immediately suspect when it comes to their patriotism. The thing is, all lapel pins are now made in China.

Since most of the patriot-supremacists are notoriously paranoid about things like the Antichrist and the Federal Reserve Bank, I think that now is the time to give them another reason for paranoia, and spread the Internet rumor that all Chinese-made lapel pins are imbedded with powerful radio chips to enable the Chi-Commies to track everyone wearing the talisman. I defy anyone to disprove this.

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