Liberals are passing on a huge chance to potentially tip the
constituency scales in their favor. Liberals could make plenty good use
of an amendment on flag desecration. Unfortunately, they appear blinded
to the potential bludgeon this amendment could be. The Democrats'
desperate need for a Rove-like soothsayer was never more apparent.
Right-wing Republicans could rue the day they force this amendment
through the state houses of America.
How? Stars and Stripes schwag is de rigeur for today's right-wing
Republican. On everything from ties, hats and even bug deflectors,
right-wingers feel naked unless they can wrap themselves in the flag. It
would appear that Republicans do not see the potential for problems were
liberals to pursue the old right-wing course of persecuting hippies and
progressives for displaying the flag everywhere during the sixties. An
American flag patch on the bottom of one's ratty jeans or a stylized
flag on one's motorcycle helmet and other such "protest" displays could
get one beat up, back in the day.
Unfortunately, you see the term "desecration" does have some ambiguity
to it. Is it burning the flag? No, it cannot be that, because the proper
disposal of a flag that is no longer in serviceable condition is for it
to be burned. To properly prosecute the perpetrator of a flag burning,
said perpetrator would almost have to admit that the burning was an act
of desecration otherwise the burner could simply state that the flag was
no longer in respectable condition. We would need to have "thought
police" to determine the true intent of a flag burning were the burner
to plead flag code adherence as an excuse.
Here is where liberals can really vex the right-wingers. In an effort to
narrowly define "desecration", the flag code is a perfect tool to remove
ambiguity. Failure to adhere to the flag code should by definition be
"desecration". Seems logical to me. To further remove ambiguity,
liberals should try to force in language more exactly defining the
current flag code as well as increasing the penalties for said
desecration to something quite onerous, for example, make it a felony
punishable by at least 5 years in jail. Liberals should get some
clarifications inserted in the flag code to make sure they will be able
to leverage the amendment for its maximum political impact.
Democrats could ask, what exactly are the criteria for making a flag
unserviceable and therefore mandating its disposal? In this digital
imaging age, it will be quite easy to distribute small cards with the
approved shades of red, white and blue. That way it will be easy to see
when a flag needs to be retired by simply comparing the colors on a
"candidate" flag that may have faded beyond acceptable limits to the
government approved "These Colors Don't Run" flag desecration color
match card. The flag code could also be enhanced to state exactly how
many foot candles of light must be falling on an American flag that is
displayed at night. In addition, the definition of rain should include
exactly how many drops per unit per square foot defines "rain" as well
as similar benchmarks for all other types of precipitation.
The flag burning amendment presents a tremendous opportunity to remove
the super (pseudo) patriots who fly the American flag 24/7 in front of
their houses and on their automobiles and these verbiage clarifications
will only sharpen the tool. These pseudo-patriotic persons are almost
exclusively Republicans and big Bush supporters to boot. The
pseudo-patriots regularly violate the flag code based upon my
observations. By flying the flag 24/7, the flag tends to become faded
and tattered in short order, but these alleged patriots never take the
flag down. Similarly, during raining or inclement weather, they do not
take the flag down as the flag code specifies, but let it fly in
drenching rains. This further damages the flag and disrespects it. Also,
by flying the flag of this nation 24/7 the pseudo-patriots leave their
flags up past sunset most of the time, if they take it in at all, ever.
The ability to remove these pseudo-patriotic flag desecraters from the
streets of America will definitely make things safer in America. After
all, flag desecration is a serious offense and sets a very poor example
for our youth. The flag code clearly states that the flag should be
brought in after sunset unless a spot light is shined upon it,
parenthetically; a porch light 50 feet away in a doorway would not
qualify. The flag code also clearly states the flag should be brought in
during inclement weather. If liberals can get an exact definition of the
official colors of the American flag, those that are faded and ready for
burning will be readily identifiable.
The most compelling reason for liberal support of the flag desecration
amendment should be the widespread display of the Confederate flag by
right-wing southerners. Everyone knows, of course, that the Confederate
flag was the banner of secession and treason, as the Union saw it. But
most people don't know that the Confederate flag design itself was a
physical desecration of the Stars-and-Stripes. It takes the physical
elements of the Union flag and rearranges them in a parody. It was meant
to anger the Union and symbolically split the flag as the south wanted
to split the union. Any and all displays of this treasonous banner would
have to cease. Continued displays of the banner could be viewed as more
than just desecration, but actual treasonous incitement of the masses.
With many conservative right-wing southerners cooling their heels in
Gitmo detention for flag desecration and potentially high treason, the
Democrats should have no trouble taking back the South
Think of the growth of liberal power as more and more pseudo-patriotic
right-wingers and Bush supporters are rightfully imprisoned for their
desecration transgressions. The liberals might even be able to get large
mandatory sentencing guidelines pushed through along with the amendment
to prevent right wing activist judges from trying to let their compatriots off with a wrist slap.
Will liberals really pursue this opportunity with the necessary zeal to
change the political landscape? Probably not, after all, Dick Cheney
said it best, liberals believe in restraint and tolerance, not
imprisonment and exclusionary ideas of patriotism. Liberals will likely
continue to show that tolerance and see flag-burning as a necessary
evil. In the eyes of a liberal, unless the flag can be desecrated with
impunity, then it actually stands for nothing. When protected as if it
were a religious icon, then it stands for dogma, not freedom!