Back in April, I went to opening day for the local sportsball team here in Lagos. I’m not a fan of the local team, but I still enjoy following baseball. That and opening day is one of the great traditions of old America. Like everything else in America, the oleaginous grifters in charge of us have monetize the tradition, turning it into a tacky spectacle. If you can look past that, it is a nice reminder of what it was like to have a real country. What I could not look past or even tolerate, was the endless, over the top appeals to patriotism.
Before the game, there were a number of demands to celebrate the armed forces, “first responders” and school teachers, of all things. The claim was that these “brave men and women defend our democracy.” Then there was the singing of patriotic songs and the playing of the national anthem. In the seventh inning, we had more singing of patriotic songs. I’ve always been a bit sentimental with regards to patriotism, but I found the whole thing revolting. I knew what it was like to live in North Korea or Nazi Germany.
Now, a lot of the over the top patriotism is the aftermath of 9/11 and the resulting culture war over the response to it. The neocons cleverly couched their schemes in patriotic terms, painting their critics as un-American. That worked, so the Left is now doing the same thing with the great replacement. After all, America is a land of immigrants! You’ll note that most displays of patriotism in the mass media rely on people who “look like America” by not looking anything like Americans. Patriotism has been turned on its head.
There’s also the fact that the people in charge have nothing much to offer us, so like any business with a bad product, they have invested in marketing. This is a well documented phenomenon in business. When a company’s product is not selling, they ramp up the marketing, promising that it is new and improved. That’s the vibe I get with our ruling class flag waving. You’ll note they never sell open borders and globalism as something good for you. Instead, they appeal to your patriotism, claiming it is good for the country.
The trouble with what they’re selling is it contradicts the sales pitch. If America is just a place where you earn a paycheck and buy stuff, like a big shopping mall, why have any loyalty to it? Who has ever had an emotional bond with a shopping center? If anyone can wander in, become a citizen and vote, citizenship has no more value than a validated parking ticket at the mall. In other words, the patriotism on offer, just ensures that patriotism becomes increasingly worthless, along with tour citizenship.
Patriotism, properly understood, is a loyalty to the citizens who came before you. The emotional draw is gratitude for what they bequeathed. That implies a duty to preserve it for the next generation. If citizenship is just a meaningless transaction, then those citizens who came before us are no more important than the next guy who wanders over the border. Put another way, according to our rulers, our ancestors are strangers and so are our decedents. What possible reason would anyone have to be loyal to strangers?
It’s actually worse than that. The reason America is descending into a transactional land of strangers is that our ancestors decided to piss it all away. Why should anyone feel loyalty to the people who pushed through the 1986 immigration act? Why should we want to preserve what they passed onto us? If anything, we should take this day to dig up their bones and smash them to bits on the capital mall. That sounds harsh, but is there anything more monstrous than denying your decedents a chance to live the life you lived?
There’s another side to patriotism. That’s the loyalty to the institutions. In a liberal democracy, the citizen respects the office, even if he does not respect the man holding the office. Look around at our institutions. They are just as corrupt as the men who are in charge of them. No rational person can look at what is happening with the FBI and not think the entire political class needs to meet Madame Guillotine. After the last chop, send in the bulldozers to flatten the place. Maybe salt the earth afterwards.
For most of my life, I was an easy mark, when it came to flag waving. I believed the stuff they taught us in school and preached to us in the media. Despite her flaws, I thought the ideal of America was worth defending. The trouble is, the people in charge had other ideas. Like a lot of people over the last dozen or so years, I’ve had a change of heart about a lot of things. One of them is patriotism. You can be loyal to people, but you cannot be loyal to ideas or institutions. That’s a sucker’s play and I’m not a sucker anymore.