Why The Left is Unpatriotic and Why the Right Should Say So
Most conservative political commentators tiptoe around the unpatriotic positions maintained by many liberals in America. We hear prominent conservatives say things like this, "I am not challenging Mr. Liberal's patriotism. I am challenging his point of view."
The fact is that much of the new left is unpatriotic. And that is okay. The Founding Fathers knew that not all Americans would be patriots; in fact, they counted on it. In this article I will show why the culture of the left is not patriotic. My basic contention is that patriotism is now the responsibility of the right -- abandoned by the left. I will use stories and photographs from this year's Oregon Country Fair to help make the point.
The Oregon Country Fair is held every July on a large private plot of land about fifteen miles west of Eugene, Oregon. Nearly 50,000 people attend the three-day event. The fair is a celebration of environmentalism and left-wing politics.
When I drove onto the fairgrounds, I noticed that the six or seven parking lots were jammed with thousands of good old American gas guzzling SUVs. My wife and I tried to find a hybrid vehicle in our parking lot. We walked passed hundreds of cars and spotted only two hybrids. Nevertheless, the very first exhibit at the fair was this:
I could almost taste the deep fried hypocrisy.
One of the first things I observed was the absence of the American flag at the fair. As you can see, there are plenty of flags at the fair's entrance. Not one of them is the Stars and Stripes.
I walked around the nearly 300-acre site for two days and did not see one properly presented American flag. I did spot this "flag." It is the backdrop for the main stage of the fair.
My interpretation of this "work of art" is that the Stars and Stripes is consumed by a giant yin-yang ball of flame and is, in the process, transformed into a cloudy sky.
America was openly mocked and criticized at the Oregon Country Fair. Posted prominently in one of the clearings is the fair's "Pledge of Allegiance."
Over forty guest speakers were invited to this year's fair. Some of them were highly critical of the U.S. None of them advertised themselves as pro-American. Here are sketches (taken directly from the official "Spoken Word Schedule") of some of the speakers' topics and backgrounds:
"Julie Daniel, aka ‘The Goddess of Garbage', is Executive Director of BRING, the non-profit agency that's taken your stuff and sold it back to you for more than three decades. Under Julie's direction, BRING is reinventing itself to meet the community's needs for the next 30 years."
"Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is Oregon's second-highest ranking constitutional officer. Bill was one of 50 participants in Al Gore's Climate Change training sessions and has given over 110 presentations." [I had always wondered what a Secretary of State's job was.]
"Wren Davidson is an herbalist, gardener and earth minister. She co-founded Women's Herbalist Conference."
"Tim Hermach established ‘Zero Cut' to protect the nation's forest from the Forest Service which has become a servant of the corrupt timber industry at the taxpayer's expense."
"Johnny is a trainer focused on cultural competency in areas of gender, race, socio-economic, disability and other spheres of diversity."
"Annie Leonard has been investigating factories and dumps around the world. Annie's most recent project, the ‘Story of Stuff' (see it on YouTube), explores the global materials economy and the impact of consumerism on economy, environment and health."
"Jane Bates is unabashedly an activist of the tallest order. When the U.S. invaded Iraq she transformed from a cover artist to a singer songwriter and took up her pen to take on the war."
"Sara Rich is a social worker, doula and family therapist. She is a member of Courage to Resist, Military Families Speak Out and CODEPINK. Sara is also a part of the management team for the Oregon Country Fair."
And so on.
I listened to a few of these speakers. One young man, who fancied himself a poet, said in his speech,
America is in
A constant state of war.
It keeps the rich, rich --
And it keeps the poor, poor.
He then looked sternly at the audience of one hundred or so people in the small amphitheatre and claimed,
"I could be tasered and beaten and thrown in jail for saying this."
But instead of a tasering, a beating, or spending a few days in county, the young poet received a standing ovation.
The Oregon Country Fair is an excellent example of the culture of the left in today's America. This is not a culture that favors middle-class capitalism or the traditional form of American patriotism. It is a culture seeking a one-world government, a primitive socialist economic system, a low-tech manufacturing infrastructure, and a religion that worships nature instead of God.
One of the workers at the fair summed up this position with the slogans on his clothing:[i]