Saturday, June 25, 2005

A burning issue, continued 

Since my last post about the new anti-flag desecration bill, the reactions in the comments section and the blogosphere generally have been overwhelmingly against, to the extent that surprised even myself. The right side of the 'sphere is as patriotic as they come, but the commitment to the First Amendment seems to be much stronger than any discomfort or hurt at the occasional sight of the stars and stripes being immolated by mindless protesters.

Still, we in the blog echo-chamber should beware of underestimating the community support for the measure. All the Reps and Senators voting for it obviously feel there is a significant constituency out there for the constitutional amendment, obviously more so in the redder parts of the country. The constituency might not be particularly large (it's certainly far from a majority), but if I were to venture a guess, most conservative politicians would think at the moment that those on the right who oppose the bill (such as most of the blogosphere, it seems) will more readily forgive them voting for it than those on the right who support the bill will forgive them for voting against it. Call it pragmatic politics or call it opportunism, playing to the base, or at least a part of the base it's a fact of political life.

Still, while I'm not against symbolism, I'm also all for prioritizing, and as many readers suggested there are perhaps more pressing issues than flag desecration to worry about at the moment. In the aftermath of the Kelo decision, for example, I would argue that a bigger threat to the American way of life is coming right now from governments that want to take away your flagpole than from a few morons who want to burn a flag.


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