Senator Obama's brand of patriotism

Mike Gallagher

10/12/2007 12:00:00 AM - Mike Gallagher

Wanna see a liberal go bonkers?

Dare to suggest that liberals aren’t very patriotic, nor do they love their country very much. Their heads will start rotating like the little girl possessed by the devil in “The Exorcist.”

Be sure to duck when the pea soup starts flying.

But it is mighty difficult to think otherwise when the man who will likely be either the presidential or vice-presidential Democratic nominee in 2008 is perfectly content with telling the world that he is unwilling to display an American flag.

That’s right, an American presidential candidate refuses to display an American flag.

Hard to believe?

According to the New York Times, “Senator Barack Obama said Thursday that he stopped wearing an American flag pin in his lapel years ago, saying the symbol has become an empty substitute for true patriotism.” The Times said that “(Obama) told a television reporter one day earlier that he stopped wearing an American flag pin shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.” He was quoted as proclaiming, “I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.”

That’s enough to make any veteran burst with pride, eh?

Allow me to get this straight: after the United States suffered the worst terrorist attack in history, Sen. Obama decided to join the rest of us in displaying the symbol of what unites us. Remember what that was like? We had flags on clothes, on cars, hanging from buildings, and flying in front of American homes.

But then time marched on. People began to forget the pain and heartache and yes, the patriotism. Flags started disappearing.

Come to think of it, as flags started to come down, more and more Americans grew impatient with the war and our president. According to the polls, “the tide of public sentiment” turned against a war that so many initially supported.

I think there’s a correlation between flags coming down and war discontent going up.

But one group of people who never stopped wearing flags are the ones in the public eye, especially politicians. In fact, many public figures who never before wore a flag on their person began to do so. In the world of collegiate and professional athletics, both the players and the officials almost always have an American flag sewn onto their uniforms. Police, fire and rescue vehicles have Old Glory somewhere on the exteriors. Fox News Channel, by far the highest-rated cable news network, frequently displays an American flag graphic on the screen. Often TV personalities wear a flag lapel pin while on camera. By far, my favorite NFL analysis TV team is the one on CBS, headed by Greg Gumbel, who always wear a flag on their lapels.

But Sen. Barack Obama, a man who wants to be our next American president, decided he just won’t wear “that pin” on his chest.

It might be tempting to dismiss this story as minor or inconsequential. Okay, you might say, the guy doesn’t want to wear a flag on his suit, what’s the big deal?

This isn’t a matter of Barack Obama quietly deciding to stop wearing a flag lapel pin. The man has practically bragged about it. I listened to the audio of his remarks and he sounded positively triumphant in refusing to go out in public wearing an American flag.

Could he really believe that displaying a symbol of our country disqualifies him as a patriotic American? Worse, does he believe that those of us who do display a flag in public are phonies? Can’t he have the love of country he claims he has in his heart and wear a flag pin at the same time?

Sorry to make certain people start growling and floating above their beds, but let’s face it. Liberals like Barack Obama just don’t love our country very much.

If he did, he’d put “that pin” right back where it belongs. On the lapel of his suit coat for all the world to see.