Thursday, April 17, 2008

Admire Obama for Not Wearing the Flag Pin

I don't have the consensus of my Mustard Street collaborators on this post, so I'm writing it in the first person.   They have, of course, agreed to my posting it as long as I'm speaking only for myself.

So, speaking for myself, it's not dwelling on the ephemeral to talk about Barack Obama's declining to wear an American flag lapel pin and I admire him for it.  When Obama explained it earlier in the campaign by saying that it trivializes genuine patriotism, he said something I've often thought myself when I see politicians wearing flag pins.  

How much easier for him just to wear the pin!   Who would it offend?   No one.   It's risk free.   Most people think it's just fine, and those who in their hearts spell "America" with a "k," for whom the flag (American, not Cuban) is a symbol of much of what they hate in the world, just dismiss it as a political "cost of doing business."

Instead, Obama rejects a cost-free piece of symbolism, even though doing so might cost him votes, something you will never see either of the Clintons do.

If Obama didn't take the flag seriously, he'd just pop on the lapel pin and forget about it.   That he doesn't shows a depth of character we see too rarely in the political world.

1 comment:

repoman said...


I'd agree with you if I could truly believe Sen. Obama's explanation for not wearing the pin.

Unfortunately, I do not believe him. In fact, his associations with truly radical leftists, along with comments attributed to his minister and his wife (which, given his affinity for the speakers and his refusal to unequivocally repudiate the remarks, indicate agreement) cause me to conclude that Sen. Obama actually holds extreme leftist views, much more leftist than most people, including me, originally imagined.

I think his decision to eschew the flag lapel pin, is one of the few things he has done that has given us a window into his true beliefs.

In light of his ability to use platitudes and rhetoric to garner support whle masking his actual viewpoints, I honestly believe an Obama presidency could lead the country to dangerous ground.