By Colleen Raezler
Culture and Media Institute
February 25, 2009
Patriotism is cool again. Some would say patriotism, defined as “love of one’s country,” never goes out of style. But to the Left, it’s clearly not an unconditional love. Narcissistic liberals demand a country in their own image.
Still, it’s good to see so many of the nation’s cultural and entertainment elite waving the flag. Hollywood producer and People for the American Way founder Norman Lear is a perfect example. Lear is so moved by the spirit of patriotism these days that he created a campaign focused on being a “Born Again American.”
Unfortunately, liberals like Lear are so out of practice with patriotism that they seem to have adopted it as a surrogate spirituality, or confused it with a very un-American cult of personality.
Hope and Change
Michael Kazin, a Georgetown University history professor, argued in a Feb. 8 Washington Post article that it’s President Barack Obama who has revived patriotism. “Barack Obama’s rise to power, has, to many people’s surprise, once again made patriotism a liberal faith.” Kazin pointed out, “since liberals turned against the war in Vietnam 40 years go, they have struggled to prove that they love their country even while opposing most of the policies of its government” and they just now “have finally realized that they cannot lead America if America does not hold a privileged place in their hearts.”
This revitalization has spurred Hollywood players to proclaim their pride in America.
A video in which celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Eva Longoria Parker pledge to perform various actions to create “change” hit the Internet last month. Many were small actions like “smile more” or “laugh more” but Kutcher pledged to “always represent [his] country with pride, dignity, and honesty.” Moore and Kutcher concluded the video by leading the other celebrities in a pledge “to be a servant to our president and all mankind, because together we can, together we are and together we will be the change that we seek.”
Even citizens of far left Berkeley, Calif. used Obama’s inauguration to reclaim their patriotism. A Jan 6. Boston Globe article noted, “At Berkeley, the university has, quite deliberately, chosen to host its first-ever large-scale observance of a presidential inauguration in a spot more closely identified with its radicalism. Reporter Sasha Issenberg elaborated:
At Sproul Plaza, site of the Free Speech Movement protests beginning in 1964 – now commemorated with a monument declaring ‘this soil and the air space above it should not be part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity’s juristiction’ – students will gather round giant television screens to take in the ritual.
The Revival of “Civic Religion”
Apparently, it took Obama’s election to rouse Norman Lear’s affection for his country. Lear is an unabashed Obama supporter. Records show Lear gave over $33,000 to Obama’s campaign, as well as an additional $50,000 toward the inauguration.
A June 6, 2008 Los Angeles Times article reported, “[Hollywood’s] elder statesman, Norman Lear, declared Obama's victory Tuesday night as ‘another giant step for mankind.’ (Through his group, Declare Yourself, Lear has been busy signing up young voters who seem eager to turn out for the presumptive Democratic nominee.)”