We love those of our blood the most, especially our children. Iâ€™m casual about the fact that Iâ€™d willingly die or kill for my daughter. This is a commonplace, and humans are probably hard-wired genetically to have this attitude.
Iâ€™d make great sacrifices for my tribe, many of whom read and post at EOB. These are the people as individuals and groups that Iâ€™ve voluntarily adopted into my life. Maybe risk my life for them, though thereâ€™d be more thought involved. It wouldnâ€™t be as reflexive as stepping in front of a bullet for Rachael. Iâ€™d certainly help my tribe hide the body. Or bodies.
I was once consciously proud to be a Texan. We were bigger, better, more open-hearted, warmer. At least that was the myth I grew up with. I was part of the Texan tribe.
And I love my country. I was programmed for that by the culture that I grew up in, especially by school and the mass media. I grew up knowing that weâ€™d saved the world from an awful fate in WWII. We were the best country, and our ideals were a shining beacon for the rest of humanity. I was proud to be part of the American tribe.
Then came the Sixties, and the
And it just got worse after that. Those rights we were taught we had, they seem less and less inalienable every year.
When I think about my country now, thereâ€™s still some pride, but I know Iâ€™ve lost any perspective on the subject. I find it harder to recognize good news even when itâ€™s right in front of me.
When I think about my country now, I vacillate between rage and sorrow.
The Iraq War is currently the bluntest, most obvious symbol of whatâ€™s happened to us. As citizens, we get programmed to be willing to die and kill to preserve our blood, our tribe, our country. If not going to those violent extremes, as least to sacrifice to make it safe and good for us all as a group. And, as a promised extension of that effort, to improve the lot of the rest of us flawed, struggling humans around the Earth. Our biggest, most inclusive tribe.
Our soldiers are the ones who risk most to keep us safe.
But they require wise and honest leadership, and they donâ€™t have that any more. Havenâ€™t for most of my life, as far as I can tell. They make courageous sacrifices, dying and being maimed, at the direction of corrupt, lying, cowardly leaders. Leaders who have avoided all sacrifice and all risk in their own lives, but whoâ€™ve casually sent them into the killing zone, with no visible remorse. Theyâ€™re expended as if they were bullets, not humans, not members of our beloved tribe, who should be cherished and protected and risked only with the greatest forethought.
The Fourth of July is a celebration of our historic revolution in service of freedom and the upward climb of humanity from violent barbarism, with us ruling ourselves, not ruled by a coddled elite.
The Fourth of July is about Patriotism and the American Flag that is the embodiment of our love and aspirations.
For the last forty years, the Flag and the word â€˜Patriotismâ€™ have been perverted by the monsters among us, whoâ€™ve wrapped themselves in those symbols and used them to viciously manipulate our tribe for their own selfish purposes.
On good days, I see signs that the next revolution is finally brewing. A non-violent one, I hope, with people finally rejecting whatâ€™s been done to them in the name of Patriotism and the Flag. I have no idea what the outcome might be. Failed revolutions usually leave something much worse in their wake, and even successful ones can degenerate into reigns of terror.
Recently, Iâ€™ve gotten into motorcycling. Thereâ€™s a huge and growing group of bikers that is composed of members that I might not agree with on too many things. I donâ€™t even agree with some of their organization’s rhetoric. But their patriotism and their use of the flag makes me proud. Theyâ€™re determinedly non-political. They honor our tribe.
The Patriot Guard was founded to protect the families of our dead soldiers who were being harassed at funerals by a family of fanatics so foul that I refuse to name them here.
I donâ€™t join groups. Iâ€™m considering joining this one.
I want my patriotism and my Flag back. I miss them, and what they can stand for.