Broken Patriotism

Here we are, 894 days into Bush’s second term, and just one day shy of our Day of Independence and, you know what? I have to admit, I’m not feeling it this year: like a wet brick of fireworks, that old patriotic flame has been kind of tough to light. Let’s face it: it’s hard to love one’s nation when disgust and embarrassment is all that one feels for his leader. It’s sad when even the simple thoughts of sparklers, snakes, stink bombs and fanciful flame seem nearly pointless and almost entirely devoid of fun. The truth is, I sincerely long for the day when I can once again be proud of who we are and what we stand for. In fact, I can’t help but to wonder where we’d be right now had Senator John F. Kerry taken his rightful place in history as our 43rd President of the United States.

Indeed – what would Kerry have done? I’ve mulled over this question nearly every day since November ‘04. I’m sure the rest of you have, as well. As we wearily march into yet another day with The Commander Guy (perilously) in the driver’s seat, I believe that this is as good of a time as any to reflect upon the what-ifs and what-should-have-beens – thoughts that seem to come so easily in these times of utter discontent . Katrina, The War in Iraq, the internal scandals, Gitmo, civilian wiretapping, soaring gas prices, inflation, Scooter Libby and the like – you know, it’s hard to say, in exact terms, how Kerry might have handled each of those problems, but I am certainly unafraid to say that he would have done a hell of a better job than our current Commander in Chief.

In conclusion, Senator Kerry once emphatically implied that although our nation had entered a darkened time in our history, our greatest days are yet to come. I hold onto that belief. Our next leader – whomever it is – I can only hope that he or she might undo the damage done by a maligned president. I hope that he or she might heal our wounds and usher in our greatest days. And I hope that, at the very least, come July 3rd, 2009, this new leader of the free world might restore within me that love of our nation and that lost sense of patriotic anticipation for that day which will, by then, usher in the 233rd year of our independence.

Until then, let us make the best of what we have and grow stronger. Our country is not yet lost. Our greatest days are yet to come!

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5 Responses to Broken Patriotism

  1. Ginny Cotts says:


    That is so much what I have been feeling. Betrayed. This is Not the America I believe in.

    I sincerely believe that if John Kerry had been sworn in on 1/20/2004*:

    Gitmo and Abu Ghraib would have been under new management within 48 hours and Gitmo closed within 6 months. All detainees would have been put into the judicial system and little clarification of interrogation procedures would have been necessary.

    All surveillance and wiretapping would have been cleared under FISA, or suspended.

    Our election process would be secure, from registration to recounts.

    The number of troops still in Iraq would be minimal and mostly stationed in bases away from the population. Negotiations for maintaining stability in the Middle East would still be active and inclusive, with heavy support around the world.

    Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American troops would be alive and unharmed.

    Our injured troops would be getting the medical care and disability allowances they need and earned.

    Around the world, the number of terrorists and terrorist attacks would be fewer. Sympathy for the terrorists would be waning. Arrests, prosecutions and convictions would have been much higher due to better use of criminal justice techniques and cooperation with other countries. Along with this, more global organized crime arrests, prosecutions and convictions.

    Afghanistan would not be outproducing the world in heroin. Iraq would not be in the #2 spot of the Failed Nations list. Afghan and Iraqi infrastructures would be well under reconstruction.

    Thousands of Iraqi babies would have been born instead of aborted. Thousands of Iraqis would not be displaced and others not addicted to valium and other drugs.

    Our ports, railways, power and chemical plants and oil production would be much better safeguarded. Our first responders would have radios that work and the other recommendations of the 9/11 comission would be in progress or completed.

    Many more millions of Americans would have health insurance.

    The Credit card companies could not be charging 29% interest.

    Small businesses would be flourishing, partly because the onus of health care would be off new start ups.

    New Orleans would be much further along in rebuilding. The death toll would have been smaller. The numbers displaced fewer.

    We would know who really was in charge of Plame’s outing. Libbey and others would be in jail. The official NIST and FEMA reports might have answered the questions the firefighers, structural engineers and 9/11 families are still asking.

    Due to the decrease in spending on the Iraq war, the threat of inflation would be less. The Pentagon would be complying with the law that requires them to account for their entire budget. [I hope] Our 725 overseas millitary bases would be under review for closing the redundant and unnecessary ones.

    The oil companies and big corporations would have paid their taxes for the last two years. The ultra rich would have paid more taxes. The US would have paid its UN dues.

    Gas prices might still be up, gas use would be down. Other measures to improve our environment would have gone through the house and senate this year with little obstruction. We would have an openly developed, significant energy plan. A newer version of the Kyoto treaty would be in negotiation.

    NCLB would be getting a major overhaul.

    Fair trade agreements would be in negotiation with many countries and established in some.

    The number of Americans below the poverty level would be less than 1 in 8.

    Americans would be happily celebrating our 231st Independence Day, with the rest of the world feeling far safer and happier about Earth’s only super power.

    Happy Fourth of July Fantasy 😎

    *With much respect to Senator Kerry, I think this is the short list!

  2. mbk says:

    Thanks both for Andy’s post and Ginny’s comment. I agree in toto with both of you!
    Sigh. .

    Here’s my contribution . . apologies if this was already posted on Dem Daily earlierl . . .”Georgian America:why George III would have felt right at home in George W. Bush’s Washington ” (by Geoffrey Wheatcroft), a most pertinent article from the July 1 “Ideas” section of the Boston Globe:

    Great illustration of our “King George” at the top. .
    Some excerpts:
    ALTHOUGH THE UNITED KINGDOM and United States are, on the face of it, comparable democracies, to watch the way Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair must remind Americans how politically different the two countries really are. . .
    But there is a deeper difference between the countries that is even more striking: It’s American politics, not British politics, that is from the 18th century.
    The Founding Fathers consciously reacted against England and tried to create a new polity free from the ills of the old, with separation of powers, checks and balances, and a Bill of Rights. But there was another side, which illustrates Karl Marx’s saying that when we try to make sense of fresh events we are like a man learning a new language who instinctively translates back to the language he knows, and England was the language the framers knew. . .
    In many ways, the political system of a kingdom ruled by one George 230 years ago survives in a republic ruled by another today: Georgian England has found its unlikely political offspring in Georgian America.
    . . .
    one planned the combination of parliamentary government and constitutional monarchy in the way the Founders planned the Constitution, but the British system has turned out to work rather well in practice, with another kind of “separation of powers,” formal and practical. By way of defending the monarchy, George Orwell said in 1944, in one of his “London letters” to the American magazine Partisan Review, that people need parades, flags, and the other paraphernalia of patriotism, and “it is better that they should tie their leader-worship onto some figure who has no real power” — the queen in the palace rather than those who really do rule the country. “It is at any rate possible that while this division of function exists a Hitler or Stalin cannot come to power,” Orwell suggested.
    Because of the gradual change of the monarchy into a figurehead or constitutional fiction, no one could possibly say in England today that, in the words of Dunning’s famous parliamentary motion of 1780, “the power of the crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.” But if you substitute “presidency” for “crown,” that might strike a chord with Americans.
    Of course, even that power of Orwell’s phrase can find its limits. After all, the most bitter resemblance of all between George III and George W. is that they both found themselves fighting distant, unwinnable wars.
    See more at the url above. . really worth a careful read.
    Happy 4th to all.

  3. Andy Witmyer says:

    Ginny, your comment was nothing short of amazing. I appreciate your thoughtful input on this matter! : )

    mbk – thanks – and I enjoyed your comment as well.

    “After all, the most bitter resemblance of all between George III and George W. is that they both found themselves fighting distant, unwinnable wars.”

    So true.

  4. Darrell Prows says:

    If 1776 represents the forming of the nation, then this country functioned for 11 years before our current Constitution was written. The fact that it has been amended since then proves both that it works and that it was not perfect for all time and for every circumstance. Also,that it has worked as well as it has is solely attributable to the fact that wisdom was exercised in choosing to convene a Constitutional Convention to draft it.

    We have options to accepting our current form of government, and other choices have been made by our people through time. Under our current circumstances, that we would not make an investment of time, energy, talent, and money to at least discuss possible solutions for the various problems faced by our society would seem to be unwise. Surely, even the discussion, alone, would bring enough benefit to justify the effort.

    Here’s one example. This country has too many bright people and disparate voices to not have a large Convention membership. It’s easy to imagine that one of the delegates ought to be Rush Limbaugh, that he would appear foolish by not attempting to directly participate, and that he would almost certainly be defanged by doing so. There will be no screener, no cutoff, no shout down, and you better believe that every fact will end up getting truth screened. (Can you imagine how the liberal blogosphere will rally to provide resources for it’s members who get in?) So where does a guy like Limbaugh fit into a format like that? Given his level of real talent, it’s likely that he will not win a leadership role, and even probable that he would end up pretty well marginalized. Somebody who does nothing but complain for a living is going to be judged very badly when surrounded with the best and brightest working their butts off to try to give us all a better future.

  5. Ginny Cotts says:


    I should thank you for triggering that. It was cathartic to write and actually feel much better, even if it was ‘what could have been.’


    On rereading the Declaration today, the situation described is all to familiar.

    -The difficulty for people to abandon or threaten their day to day existence to fight for a concept.

    -The abuses of both the governing individual and the corporations of that era.

    Not to mention that we have ANOTHER George…

    The revolution will not be televised according to Trippi. It will be You Tubed! With many cell phone pics also.

    I sure hope there is at least live blogging at the next Constitutional Convention. 😎