Letters to the Editor

American values

June 25, 2012


To the editor:

Lapel pin patriot (LPP), this is what I call people who believe that having an American flag on their house or on their lapel makes them an American. Well there is a lot more to being an American than that. LPPs strut around, declaring that this is a land of majority rules and quoting the Constitution, waving a tea bag in the air declaring that this is the land of the free and the brave and at the same time proposing laws and constitutional amendments that abolish the rights of others in the minority.

Well, LLPs have it wrong. The Constitution is there to protect the rights of all, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or not,  rich or not, male or not, white or not, native born or not, or straight or LGBT. We are a nation of differences, and these differences have made us a strong nation. This is a nation of rights, and to force your beliefs upon another through constitutional amendments and laws that limit the rights of others isn’t what our founders envisioned.

So all you lapel pin patriots need to read the Constitution and respect the rights of others or take that pin off your lapel because you aren’t an American where it counts.


BornAgainAmerican 5 years, 10 months ago

"it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or not, rich or not, male or not, white or not, native born or not, or straight or LGBT."

I fall pretty much in the "you're not" side of your description, and I use the American flag as my avatar as well as flying the flag on July 4th. You must be speaking to me. You aren't very specific about what rights I am denying others who are not like me, but I suspect that your rant is really more about creating chaos and divisiveness than it is about solving problems. Nothing worth discussing in your letter. A good LTE writer, "you're not".

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

You deny gay and lesbian Americans the right to marry one they love.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for your honesty.

I'm glad to know where you stand, and why I think people like you are dangerous and un-American.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

I'll stick with my description, thanks.

Anybody who's glad that minorities don't have the same rights as the rest of us is un-American in my estimation, and people who try to enforce that through legislation, etc. are dangerous.

Michael Pinegar 5 years, 10 months ago

Some of us are proud of being Americans. E Pluribus unum. The trouble is some people want to divide and conquer.

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

The theme of your letter is great, Bruce, and spot on. The "LPP" shtick, however, aside from being blatantly partisan, cynical, and a massive generalization, is just a cheap attempt at being cute. Pity.

beatrice 5 years, 10 months ago

Partisan? I think the letter applies across the board. It is, however, cynical and a massive generalization.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 10 months ago

In other words, where it counts in being an American is tolerating left-wing, moonbat nutcases, and we do.

whats_going_on 5 years, 10 months ago

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 10 months ago

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Irenaku 5 years, 10 months ago

I am very liberal, a liberal feminist, and an Obama-mama. Iam an LGBTQ advocate and do not believe in organized religion. I am going to get an American flag to hang off of my house, too. Just make sure that you don't make blanket assumptions about those of us who display our nation's flag.

Getaroom 5 years, 10 months ago

It's all about the money, follow the money, money is people too, money speaks louder that words, corporations are people too, money talks. In this country, money is Liberty. And people, we are losing it faster than ever.
Get some money before it all gets sucked up by the 1%'ers and you can have a 'side' of Liberty to-go. Romney sucks, he sucks in money with the best of 'em.
Wear a lapel pin and wave the the stars and stripes all you want, but don't believe it's going to win you seat in Liberty-ville - without the big bucks.
You got'a have $mula, lots of $mula. Money makes the world go round, until most of us are flat broke.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

We had to have a revolution in the 18th Century to get rid of a tyrant. All it will take this year is an election. Things are getting better all the time.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, what a strawman. If you wear a lapel pin you are part of the war on women, against all LBGT interests, impose your religious values on others and so on. Is it possible that people wear lapel pins because they value a country that allows you to debate these issues? One that does not make women wear head coverings. One that does not send members of the Jewish faith to the gas chambers and so on.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"... and at the same time proposing laws and constitutional amendments that abolish the rights of others in the minority."

As opposed to those who propose laws that abolish the rights of others in the majority.

hujiko 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes, because slavery was a good thing.

So wait, are you saying it's okay for the majority to deny rights to the minority? And exactly when was the last time the majority was denied anything at all by anyone other than themselves?

I see it this way. There are those in favor of liberty for all, and then there are those in favor of liberty only for themselves and their cronies. The latter generally being on the losing side of history (i.e. The Confederacy).

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 10 months ago

I think the writer of this letter is really expressing a resentment toward hypocrisy but the solution is not to stop displaying the flag.

Just as it is not a good solution to stop praying simply because people you do not like happen to pray.

It is important to practice certain disciplines because it makes us better people, a better society and a better country.

I will continue to display the flag on important days and I will continue to honor my country and my countrymen and I hope you will not consider it a display of hypocrisy but learn to enjoy it, as I do.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

The letter writer was not calling all people who display the flag hypocrites. Read the first sentence again. What he's decrying, and rightfully so in my opinion, is those who equate it with patriotism and yet advocate taking away rights from those they don't agree with.

If you recall, in the 2008 election, if a presidential candidate wasn't wearing a flag pin, their Americanism was certainly called into question with great glee and gusto. So they all went around with lapel flag pins to prove their patriotism---at which point it became totally meaningless.

The flag is a symbol. Use that symbol with care. The meaning of a symbol can and does change. Make sure that your use of it is not dishonoring.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

No he was calling a large group with whom he disagree un-american. I would argue that such notions are un-american

tbaker 5 years, 10 months ago

"...and to force your beliefs upon another through constitutional amendments and laws that limit the rights of others isn’t what our founders envisioned."

Sorry Bruce, but that’s exactly what the founders envisioned. You see Bruce, in a constitutional republic the majority rules. If the majority wants to amend the constitution and they receive a super-majority vote in congress and two-thirds of the states ratify it, then the amendment is adopted and said beliefs are codified in law and therefore, I suppose, forced upon the minority.

The "rights" of the minority you claim are being limited are not "rights" unless they are specified in the constitution. Their "desires" are being limited. Sucks to be in the minority I guess, but that’s how it works.

Love it or leave it Bruce. (or get enough votes to change it). Don't despair Bruce. Research the 18th and 22nd amendments. It’s a great contemporary example of how the majority turned into the minority.

BTW, I have an extra-large flag lapel pin.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

No it isn't.

They envisioned a system that protected the fundamental rights of all American citizens regardless of majority opinion.

And it's a good thing, given how many people are only too glad to impose their will on others, and infringe on their rights.

It's true that a "super majority" can amend the constitution, but that's a very difficult thing to achieve, so it's clear that the founders didn't intend for it to be easy.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

The is a difference between "rights" that are codified in the constitution, and "personal desires" as I pointed out. The former is protected, the later is not. Majority rule doesn't negate anyone's "rights."

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Of course it does, if the majority wants to take those away.

And, you're not really saying all rights have to be specified, are you? The constitution is also a limiting factor on government, and allows for more rights than are specified.

10th amendment - those powers that aren't directly granted to the feds or prohibited by them to the states, revert to the states or the people.

Also, there's something in there about how the specific description of certain rights doesn't mean the people don't possess others as well.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 10 months ago

Really? Something isn't a right unless it's specified in the Constitution?

How specific does it have to be?

I suppose you're really talking about your own right to be married to a person of the opposite sex...or would that be one of your "desires"?

Please show me where, in the Constitution, it specifically says you have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex...

The Constitution has always been a document that GIVES people rights, not takes them away...but now, so many people want to use it to deny rights...and that's shameful...

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

You are correct Crazy. The "rights" Americans enjoy are codified in the constitution. I haven't seen an example of someone using the constitution to take away anyone's rights. As you point out, it gurantees them.

And as you probably know, there is no gay marriage "right" in the constitution, that doesn't mean there can't be one though. The constitution has been ammended 27 times.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

There's also no "straight marriage" right specified.

Does that mean straight people don't have a right to marry, even though the SC held that marriage was a "fundamental right" in Loving v. Virginia?

Brock Masters 5 years, 10 months ago

Tbaker you're not exactly right. A republic is not majority rule. This is why each state only gets two senators regardless of their population

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

In the interest of being exactly right, the majority "of our elected representatives" rule.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

The founding fathers also feared that a charismatic leader could mislead a naivete majority and endanger our republic and so they established the electoral college. This is very controversial and a lot of people do not understand the need for this.

I believe we will see an effort to change the way elections are held but I am not in favor of it. This would fundamentally change the political landscape in this country and possibly reduce the influence of less populated states. The more liberal and larger urban areas would have more influence according to some.

mom_of_three 5 years, 9 months ago

actually, maybe its the way you have worded it, but I believe you are not entirely correct. The founding fathers wrote the constitution and bill of rights to protect the minority from the majority. 2nd amendment - to protect the rights of a small religious group against a larger group which didn't agree with their religion or politics. if you dont guarantee the right to worship as you see fit, then a large majority could take that right away.
The declaration of Independence says all men are created with the rights...of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By not giving those rights to certain portions of the population, aren't you denying them those rights?

tbaker 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry Bruce. I meant 21st amendment.

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

What this letter writer left out was those who wrap themselves in the flag, and say they support the troops, but wanted tax cuts during a war. Pay for the war, if you want to convince me you are a true patriot. The wars did not end when Bush donned that jacket.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Are taxes the only measure of being an American. Should the men/women who fought the war be considered un-American because they paid no tax for the opportunity to do so?

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

Most of us can't fight. But we have bankrupted this country with a war, blamed it on poor people, and now there are going to be a bunch of soldiers coming home to no job. Unless you have a relative in the service, or you are in the service, you haven't had to sacrifice anything for these wars. Many in our country don't even know we are at war. If we can't go fight the war, the least we can do is quit whining and pay for the war. End the Bush tax cuts, now!

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Your logic escapes me. The issue was being un American. Are you now defining one as un American if they do not agree to pay more taxes?

Fine, Tax tomatogrower more - a lot more. I pay enough and yes I did fight two of the wars.

Sorry but the bankruptcy you note will be caused by unfunded entitlements. Mr. Obama has increased the annual deficit by 1 trillion per year almost all for entitlements with no tax increase even though his party controlled the total government and his increase is not to fund wars. .

I believe that Mr. Obama has called for the end of our current wars so why do we need a tax increase for wars that are over. Sounds like a big straw man to me

notaubermime 5 years, 10 months ago

"Wealthy Americans aren’t just leaving tax-heavy states like New York and California, they’re leaving the country."

Yeah, except that wealthy Americans haven't left New York or California when they hiked up their taxes on the wealthy: http://psc-cuny.org/clarion/april-2011/are-highest-paid-people-leaving-new-york

I also looked through your link and the links it links to, but could not find any actual data to indicate the average wealth of those renouncing citizenship, a comparison of this average to previous year's averages, or just about any hard data. Just quotes. It is, after all, much easier to make stuff up than examine facts like the article I linked to did.

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

"About 8,000 U.S. citizens are projected to renounce their citizenship in 2012."

Let them go. Then maybe they will be out of the way for others to start businesses. You think that all these regulations come from poor people? Many government regulations were supported by businesses to kill competition. Immigrants have always brought entrepreneurship, and that's why they are fighting the Mexican immigrants, just like they fought the Vietnamese and Laotians. I hope the door kicks them in the behind as they leave.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 10 months ago

Juan Williams, a patriotic American and committed Democrat, was wearing an American flag lapel pin on television tonight.

I had never known that he wasn't "an American where it counts."

Mike Ford 5 years, 10 months ago

america is named after amerigo vespucci who saw Long Island in the 1500's Why not learn what it was called by the 700 or so indigenous nations before all of this imported chest beating started? I was at an artillery museum in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, in June 2003 when I spoke with a Chippewa veteran of the Canadian Military. He said those Americans have no quiet dignity or grace....they're loud and disrespectful and one can spot them a mile away.....

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Guilty. Of course they could be identified as friendly, self confident, energetic, creative. ...

I re3member a member of the Australian Military branding us as always looking to be the biggest, fastest, strongest ...

Satirical 5 years, 9 months ago

"The Constitution is there to protect the rights of all, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or not, rich or not, male or not, white or not, native born or not, or straight or LGBT."

Would you add "unborn" to your list of "protecting the rights of all"?

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