One thing that bugs me intensely about Sean Hannity is the way he purposely bathes himself in his own aura and attempts to claim patriotic superiority above others. His logo for his site shows him looking skyward (heavenward) draped by a backdrop of an American flag. His radio show opens with a call-to-arms song as if he were Paul Revere in a suit. He made it a shtick on his show to have his callers continually refer to him a “Great American” and he often refers to those who agree with him as the same.
What’s most gauling about this man is that he has no concept of what being American really is and what makes it great. He continually casts blame at those who would mention the ills of the country and suggests that any negative talk about the country is akin to being a traitor. He firmly believes that any discussion of negative issues emboldens our enemies and takes great effort to attack anyone that does this.
What Mr. Hannity has forgotten is that the greatest gift of being an American is that we can continually challenge the status quo. We are great because we don’t just revel in our own successes. We’re never satisfied with them and strive for something bigger.
Tonight on his Fox News show he asked Bill Bennett (who is doing the rounds hawking his latest book) why the media doesn’t talk about what a great country we are and how blessed we are. He started this because yesterday Deepak Chopra, on the same show, said that America bore some responsibility for the attacks in India. For someone like Hannity, this is simply unacceptable. Mr. Chopra has benefited from success in America and in Hannity’s view that means he should just go home and shut up. He sees it as the highest level of disrespect to benefit from a country and later criticize it in any manner.
This underscores exactly how far off Mr. Hannity has become. First of all, it’s completely (and typically) hypocritical of the man. This is someone who continually talks about the force of the free market and how great our capitalist fervor is. This is someone who continually points out how much better we are than France, England and other industrial countries and views the others as suffering the perils of laggards. What Mr. Hannity overlooks is that the very same fervor that corporate America uses to excel is the same fervor real patriots of this country extol to push America forward.
You cannot favor the free market system and, at the same time, be critical of citizens who openly question the actions of the government. The two are nearly identical. Both areas refuse to sit on their laurels and bathe in their current perceived glory. Corporate America sees a big profit and then asks, “Okay, now why wasn’t it bigger?” The citizenry gets the chance at the American Dream and then asks, “Okay, now why isn’t there more?”
Sean Hannity and all his most ardent fans are what’s wrong with this country today. All of them would have been viewed as staunch loyalists in Revolutionary times. They’d have sold our founding fathers up the river in an instant for criticizing King and country. How dare people who succeeded under the caring arms of King George strike out against that very support? Think about it. It took openly questioning the status quo to move away from what had worked for hundreds of years and yet we did it. Today’s Hannity-like zealots don’t question the country—they question the questioners. It’s about as unpatriotic as one can get.
What’s most hypocritcal, of course, is that Mr. Hannity refuses to take his own advice. He’s succeeded in America and yet he’s still out there every day being critical of the real patriots while taking great strides to dress up as one.