Friday, November 26, 2004

I'm An American

Let me preface my remarks here by saying that my views do not necessarily reflect those of the editor.
I don't normally get very worked up about politics as I really dislike conflict. I've also come to realize that although it is fun to share ideas, no matter how many ways I explain my views, you are probably going to hang on tight to your own.
I've been thinking the last few days about what it means to be an American. That started me thinking about freedom. Specifically the freedom we have as Americans to burn our own flag. Now, I'm not going to get into a big discussion about should we be allowed to burn the flag. We can if we want to. It's the law, and I'm not going to try to change it in the next few minutes.
What I've been thinking about is the message that flag burners send to the rest of us. They tell us that they hate our leaders. Not merely dislike, but really hate them. They tell us that they hate the decisions and policies that our leaders are making. Not merely disagree with , but really hate them. Well, I'm a big girl, and I can handle that.
What really hurts me, is that flag burners tell us that they hate America. We are America. So are they. Our children and our grandparents are America. Does America have problems? Sure. So do I. So do you. But I don't hate you. We can disagree on everything but the color of dirt, and I still won't hate you. Why? Because hatred is destructive. It is designed to be destructive. But maybe not in the way you are thinking. Hatred destroys those who hold on to it the tightest. Those who cherish it and nurture it.
I don't always like our leaders, and I certainly don't always agree with their decisions and policies. But I love America. This is my land, and these are my people. All of them.