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Raise the Flag or Step on It? That Is Our Real Choice

By | May 2, 2016 | 2 Comments

Some time ago, the cover of Time magazine was a parody of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima. For those who went through school recently and know little history, Iwo Jima was a terrible battle of World War II. To conquer the tiny island from Japanese troops in 1945, Marines suffered 6825 dead and 19,026 wounded in only 36 days. But the island served as a valuable air base, on which 2400 American planes carrying 27,000 crew made emergency landings rather than crashing into the Pacific.

         

The iconic picture of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the flag was taken by journalist Joe Rosenthal. It served as the model for the statue at Arlington National Cemetery, which as much as anything is the World War II memorial. Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of history is familiar with that photo. Anyone with even shred of gratitude for our warriors’ sacrifice holds the photo in the highest esteem. Anyone who stood in front of that statue can never forget the experience. Three of the six men in the photo died on Iwo Jima, further sanctifying the image.

But that wasn’t important to the editors of Time, who showed the troops raising a tree instead of a flag. What was important was their environmentalist agenda, so the story was titled, “How to Win the War on Global Warming.” It concluded, “Going green: What could be redder, whiter and bluer than that?” Well, let’s see − how about risking your life to defend your country?

Is recycling plastic bottles equivalent to risking death or disability to defend freedom? Is driving a hybrid car equivalent to suffering extreme heat, freezing cold, deafening noise, exhaustion, and fear in order to do one’s duty? Only to self-destructive fools. Only to those who live in a fantasy world where tyranny and terrorism are defeated by “sitting down to talk” and “seeing the other side’s point of view,” rather than by overwhelming military force − and the blood of heroes.

The chief characteristic of “progressives” is that, whatever they do, it progresses − they always want more. Merely desecrating the image of the Iwo Jima flag-raising wasn’t enough. Merely substituting a liberal agenda for patriotism wasn’t sufficient. Merely insulting our military wasn’t adequate. Merely disrespecting those who gave their lives to defend us wasn’t acceptable.

So The Nation magazine’s cover outdid Time’s. The leftist journal featured another parody of the flag-raising. Men in suits, notably including President Obama, were raising not a flag but an IV pole holding bags of fluid and blood. If that were all, this would represent the substitution of yet another liberal agenda for patriotism and sacrifice.

At least Time showed troops raising a tree while standing on a hilltop. But The Nation shows Obama and his friends raising an IV pole while standing on a crumpled American flag. The editors were not fools. They understood that many Americans would see the cover as insulting and offensive. But they published the picture despite this. To them, trampling on the American flag while insulting our troops was a necessary step in the “change” they are bringing about.

The key question is this: What is the fundamental reason America was founded? To encourage recycling? To place health care under government control? Or to assure that Americans remain free?

To those leftists who now call themselves “liberals,” environmentalist regulations, government-controlled health care, and other elements of the liberal agenda are indeed more important than freedom. “Liberals” intend to replace freedom with a host of regulations that appear to be well-intended, but which in fact stifle freedom and strangle individual initiative. They intend to “change” us from independent adults into children dependent on the government to care for us and make decisions for us.

If you doubt this, ask yourself why it is “liberal” for the government to control what kind of toilets and light bulbs you can use, as well as what kind of care you can get from your doctor − and what kind you can’t. To use “liberal” to describe such intrusive regulation of daily life is to insult and demean this noble word.

● In what sense am I free if I cannot chose what kind of toilet to install or what kind of light bulb to buy?

● In what sense am I free if my doctor cannot choose what kind of treatment to give me, based on his best judgment of my medical condition?

● In what sense am I free if the government forces me to buy a tiny car that endangers my life in a crash?

● In what sense am I free if the government tries to dictate what I hear on the radio and see on the Internet, as if I were a child and it imposed parental control.

● In what sense am I free if the government takes more of my money and makes spending decisions for me, thus reducing me to the status of a child with an allowance?

● In what sense am I free if the government takes over large segments of the economy in ways that some call socialism, but which actually resemble the economics of fascism, with private owners allowed to remain − and the government controlling what they do.

● In what sense am I free if the government controls more and more aspects of my daily life?

●In what sense am I free if these decisions are increasingly made not by my elected representatives, but by unelected, unaccountable, remote, faceless bureaucrats and judges? And in what sense is America still a republic?

● In what sense am I free if I hesitate to attend a political rally, for fear of physical intimidation by a mob.

Unruly demonstrators prevent Trump supporters from attending his rallies, sometimes assaulting them while destroying property and waving Mexican flags. Disrupting the rallies of political opponents is typical of communists and fascists, but it is incompatible with free elections in a constitutional republic. It’s time we remembered that.

Costa Mesa, California, April 28, 2016
Is that “tolerant” enough for you?

         

Burlingame, California, April 29, 2016
Is that “diverse” enough for you?

To demonstrate our loss of freedom, “liberal” magazines replace raising the flag in victory over tyranny with raising trees, raising IV poles, or raising whatever their latest agenda item may be. But no matter what these “liberal” programs may be, they take precedence over freedom.

Some Americans enjoy trampling on their own flag, but they need not exert themselves. If we continue to admit millions of unvetted immigrants, and then fail to Americanize them, they will do enough flag trampling to bring joy to the heart of the most dedicated leftist.

Many “liberals” and “progressives” just don’t get it. “It” is America. If you don’t get a nation − understand it, empathize with it, and love it for what it is, not for what you plan to change it into − how can you hope to lead it in a time of danger? Of the presidential candidates, which ones get America, and which ones don’t?

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

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