Patriot Games

by Guest Blogger Robert Killian

Liberals are just as patriotic and moral as Conservatives, who are just as intolerant and prone to outrage as Liberals. If you use terms like Rethugian or Libtard, you are as much a part of the problem as your counterpart. Moreover, watching them each eat their own for lack of purity is not nearly as much Schadenfreude as one would hope.

Guiliani: "Obama's not one of us. He wasn't brought up the way I was brought up." That's very true. Obama's father wasn't a mob enforcer who spent years in Sing Sing.

Guiliani: “Obama’s not one of us. He wasn’t brought up the way I was brought up.” … That’s very true. Obama’s father wasn’t a mob enforcer who spent years in Sing Sing.

The tribal nature is also evident in how partisans readily switch sides of an argument when their side is now doing what they had so adamantly opposed before—and seeking out the most picayune technicality to justify their flip-flopping.

Both sides believe they are guided by principle, and may well be, but don’t translate well in their actions. Sometimes the hyperbole extends to total fabrication.

Have you seen the alarm that Obama is going to declare martial law in 2016 and suspend the presidential elections? I heard the same unmerited anxiety over Bush in 2008. It’s bad enough that the faux outrage targets minutiae or contorts for effect, but to project onto projections is to scrape outside the bottom of the barrel, mixing bad metaphors.

Of course, this seeming irrational tribalism is not limited to politics but sports allegiances. The same facts, or lack thereof, available in disparate media sources produce what was reflected in a state-by-state poll of the recent Super Bowl contestants. Forty-four states are convinced that the New England Patriots are cheaters, six don’t think they are. I think you can guess which ones keep faith with the Patriots.

In a recent example of what I noted above, Rudy Giuliani also keeps faith with fellow Conservatives who think they are true patriots, unlike Liberals, in particular, their favored target: “I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Here Giuliani not only makes a scurrilous accusation of a Democrat for lacking patriotism, which Liberals are used to, but hints at Obama’s otherness for being raised for some of his youth outside of America.

Liberals generally believe in multiculturalism, and would see his breadth of experience as a good thing, but that is why they invented such terms as reverse racism and elitism to counter a term like otherness.

And so the merry-go-round of accusations back-and-forth keeps us going in circles.


Robert “Bert” Killian, a graduate of the VCU Art School, is a publications designer at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where one of his books, A Temple of Invention, took a first place award at the Washington Book Publishers. He taught his two boys about baseball and helping those less well off. A dilettante at many things: painting, photography, prose, politics… his kinder friends indulge his independent thoughts.

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