This has been talked about for some time now but I just had a recent conversation about it that caused me to comment on this here. Take a moment and look at the image below:
This photo was taken September 17 in Indianola, Iowa during the national anthem. It was first brought to our attention in an issue of TIME magazine. Much has been said about it since and virtually all of it has been bad. Why did I take the time to mention it here? Because it’s my firm belief that if this image bothers you then you are absolutely part of the problem with this country and not part of the solution.
It’s people like you who try to suggest that this is an example of Barack Obama showing disrespect for the country or a complete lack of patriotism. Both of those views are absolute bull. It’s this kind of ridiculous, useless gesture that people attach all sorts of motives to that mean nothing. Think about it. What does putting your hand over your heart have to do with patriotism or even respect? I’ve been at events where people have their hands over their heart while they’re jabbering with the guy next to them or talking on the cell phone.
The point is that this action is another fictional example of how our politicians play the game with all of us and get away with it with a large percentage of the nation. You know what would show me more respect for the nation? How about supporting the Constitution? How about doing something to help the masses? The current President puts his hand over his heart while knowing full well that his administration lied us into war, exposed a CIA operative, was responsible for destroying the image of John McCain in 2000 by lying to voters in the south with a story about his having a black child (as if that should be some sort of offense) and so on. I would rather he sat on his ass and masturbated during the national anthem than to have had to endure his tangible actions.
I stand at what’s known as parade rest during the national anthem. My hands are behind my back and I’m focused on the flag silently without moving about. Even that’s a bit much. It’s a habit I picked up in the Army. I don’t expect others to do it. As George Carlin alluded to in his latest HBO special, there are many things we do as people that are simply a process of inertia. We swear to tell the truth as if the act of raising our right hand in some way triggers a neuron in the brain that keeps us from lying. We swear to God to tell the truth to the court, police, friends, etc. Yet we know that this doesn’t stop the dishonest from lying. So what’s the point?
Please let me know what the point is with the above picture. Bill Richardson isn’t even looking at the flag. Maybe he’s checking out the girl in the 5th row with the low-cut dress, but he’s a patriot alright. We can tell because his hand is over his heart. You want to impress me with an example of his not respecting the country? Show me something that actually means something. Show me him pissing on the flag behind him, or on Bill Richardson, while the anthem is being sung.
The fact that he doesn’t put his hand on his heart suggests to me the very reason this guy is currently winning. It shows that he doesn’t just do something because people say it represents something it doesn’t. It shows that he’s different and right now different is very much what this country needs. We don’t need another cookie-cutter President that does every meaningless thing right while blowing all the meaningful ones. I’m not sold on Obama as a candidate yet but it’s images like the one above that actually move me closer to him, not further from him. Until people get that, they’re not going to understand the power behind his candidacy.