While this question is sometimes asked in regard to male nether-region proportions, I am referring to something different. When I see football field-sized American flags during the National Anthem or huge flags flying at car dealerships, I sometimes wonder if bigger is better. Granted, I am all for patriotism and love of country, but I think some of these symbols might be a bit excessive as there is often a fine line between good taste and gaudy. I mean, is the NFL really that patriotic? Maybe they just want more fans and viewers just like car dealerships just want to sell more cars. I think sometimes the symbol of the American flag can be used for ulterior motives.
Along these same lines, I stopped by the local Golden Corral for a Veteran’s Day meal this past week. I have been to some of these meals in the past, and I often experience mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am grateful for those who have sacrificed to preserve the freedoms currently available in this country. On the other hand, I’m not sure how I feel about a Disabled Veterans Organization member holding the door at the entrance urging vets to refile and maximize their VA disability claims.
My initial thoughts during these types of dining experiences are usually somewhat condescending for some reason. After hearing stories of benefits fraud and those trying to milk the military for as much as possible, I guess I am somewhat jaded to the whole military hero idealism. However, after talking to some of these veterans for a little while, I think my preconceived notions slowly changed to a sincere appreciation for their military service. To hear them reminisce fondly about their service days, recall war stories, and instantly bond over certain shared experiences is truly unique and educational.
I recently read America by Dinesh D’souza. It is enlightening to hear the other side of the story regarding events in American history. When politicians seem to be apologizing for America’s place in the world, it is important to remember this country helped defeat dangerous European powers during the world wars, stopped the spread of Communism in Korea and Vietnam, won the Cold War, and has been involved in the Middle East for some time. The U.S. has stood for democracy, justice, and free markets for a long while, but it seems like many in the mainstream media would prefer a weak, spineless America who plays well with others as its utmost priority. This book basically examines the progressive movement in America over the last few decades, and major arguments for and against different political issues are discussed. D’souza discusses topics such as slavery reparations, Native American rights, anti-colonialism, and leaders of the progressive movement. He also reveals the relationship that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had with Saul Alinsky, the infamous Rules for Radicals author.
In summary, I guess I am a little more skeptical now and no longer blindly assume all flag-waving is purely patriotic. Sadly, it seems like the actions of a few have ruined this ideal, but it really shouldn’t detract from all the great accomplishments and sacrifices of other service members.