Here’s a tease:
Believing in Bush�s perfidy gives some people the same comfort and emotional nourishment others get from believing in Jesus. It validates them, cements their view of the world � venal, conspiratorial, run by capering chimps who are somehow ten times less intelligent than Usenet posters but somehow able to yank strings on a global scale. A commenter on a Fark thread called Bush �The Unelected Murder Monkey,� for heaven�s sake. Not all the opponents are unhinged, of course. Of course. There are many levels of opposition, from the serene and reasonable to the char-broiled nutburgers who haunt the comments sections of my favorite blogs. Or my favorite talk shows. Today I heard a caller describe how �Fahrenheit 9/11� affected him; now he believed that the Bush administration attacked the Taliban and Iraq because the Saudis wanted it. The host pointed out that the Saudis didn�t want it. The caller said �well, that�s your opinion.� Movies are facts, you see. Facts are just opinions.
[quoting Michael Moore]
For too long now we have abandoned our flag to those who see it as a symbol of war and dominance, as a way to crush dissent at home. Flags are flying from the back of SUVs, rising high above car dealerships, plastering the windows of businesses and adorning paper bags from fast-food restaurants. But these flags are intended to send a message: “You’re either with us or you’re against us,” “Bring it on!” or “Watch what you say, watch what you do.”
I knew a paranoid schizophrenic once. He believed that the New York Times was sending him personal messages through its front-page headlines. He might also have believed that car-dealership flags were telling him to watch what he said.
These so-called patriots hold the flag tightly in their grip and, in a threatening pose, demand that no one ask questions. Those who speak out find themselves shunned at work, harassed at school, booed off Oscar stages. The flag has become a muzzle, a piece of cloth stuffed into the mouths of those who dare to ask questions.
Or draped backwards on the broad trunk of brave dissenters who manage to schedule in a photo shoot before they�re carted off to the lime pits. You know, this is just so old. So tired. It would be old and tired if it ran in a high school newspaper. Shunned at work? Oh, I can�t tell you the number of times around the newspaper office I�ve been told to avoid someone because he was critical of the Shrub Regime. Harassed at school? I�ve heard of such things, yes.
Read it and bask in the warmth.