Your Daily Dose of Hyper-Nationalistic Bullshit

I saw this meme on Facebook and it just irritated the shit out of me. It’s pure emotional blackmail, which is what this kind of empty nationalism always is. And it’s using a disabled soldier to make a political point, when that political point is flatly wrong.


First of all, it’s just false. That soldier did not lose his legs defending the right not to say the pledge of allegiance. There is no war we have fought since at least WW2 where the declared enemy posed even the most remote threat to the United States at all, much less to our freedom. In fact, the only possible threat to our freedom is the government that sent that soldier off to lose his legs fighting an enemy that was no threat to use whatsoever.

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  • bmiller

    Disgusting meme. :(

  • kantalope

    some of us served specifically because we wanted to defend your right not to stand. In fact we served specifically so you had the right to do whatever you wanted.

  • colnago80

    In the aftermath of the Civil War, this type of jingoism was called waving the bloody shirt.

  • Bruce

    I say service members in WWII gave their legs to protect future generations from moralizing fascists on Facebook. Who are campaigning to undo our liberties.

    By the way, during WWII and the Korean War, the Pledge of Allegiance said nothing about God, just as our founders intended. And in the First World War, the pledge in that boys’ magazine had no official government recognition. The founders, and Lincoln, never thought of having one. And the constitution lets one affirm rather than swear, because they knew it was not appropriate to demand or coerce oaths for patriotism, possibly against one’s conscience.

  • typecaster

    Bruce @4 – Your point is quite correct, of course. But using the pledge is a bad example, since it wasn’t written until 1892, so the founders had no intentions at all concerning it. They’d never heard of it, and I’m pretty sure a great many of them would have been appalled by the idea of mandatory loyalty oaths.

  • rationalinks

    Let’s be honest here, conservatives don’t really care about veterans, they only care if you actually die while serving. If they truly cared about veterans they would be doing everything they could to extended veteran benefits…instead of trying to gut those benefits.

  • theschwa

    They fought for your rights…just don’t exercise them.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Several years ago a cousin posted a cartoon to her fb wall. It had a classroom with a teacher and a solider in a wheelchair at the front. All of the students were standing, hand over heart, for the pledge except one who stayed sitting. Naturally his arms were defiantly crossed and there was a petulant, pouting expression on his face. The teacher was-quite reasonably, of course- explaining to this student that he had the right to not say the pledge but reminded him that the disabled soldier sitting in front of him gave his ability to stand for his right to not stand.

    I pointed out that if the soldier in question really had done that, he would tell the teacher she was correct: he did fight and lose his legs for the student’s right not stand. However, what he didn’t fight and lose his legs for was the teacher’s right to abuse her authority to browbeat her students into giving up their rights because she doesn’t have that right. I then went on to note that if anyone believed otherwise then they probably didn’t understand the rights they claimed to love so much.

    People were not too happy with me that day.

  • marcus

    I served, like so many did, because I was poor, lacked any real prospects, and needed to get the fuck out of where I was (Alabama).

    Oh and also, so you could sit on your ass during the Pledge of Allegiance. You’re welcome.

  • Saad

    marcus, #9

    Oh and also, so you could sit on your ass during the Pledge of Allegiance. You’re welcome.

    Since the only people who would pressure me to stand during the pledge come from within the United States, I’m assuming you served in the Civil War.

  • Georgia Sam

    @marcus (9): My story is similar to yours. As for myself, I will stand but I will not say “under God.” And I contend that we should pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not to a piece of cloth.

  • lorn

    The propaganda doesn’t bother me.

    But then again it likely pluck different strings. The marine, in the context of a chauvinist society that uses unemployment and lack of opportunity, and thinly veiled by the ‘all-volunteer’ assertion that places the burden back upon the volunteer, lost his legs. The marine is making the best of a lousy situation that includes: maiming, a lack of services, likely poverty, a loss of status, PTSD, and a whole lot of fair weather friends who drag him out for the 4th of July and as a prop in their propaganda. Knowing this he bravely puts a strong front. It is a study in resilience in the face of an ocean of suck.

    The producers wanted me to feel boundless and unquestioning patriotism, I feel sadness and a deep foreboding about military matters.

  • Modusoperandi

    You’re all wrong. If they win, Al Qaeda will specifically take away your “right” to sit during the American national anthem. Then who’ll you come cryin’ to?

  • Zmidponk

    It occurs to me that, if that soldier really had lost his legs defending the right of people not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, the best way of actually showing he didn’t lose his legs for nothing would be to exercise that right.

  • marcus

    Saad @ 10 I’m old, but not that old. I was (barely) post Viet Nam.

    Georgia Sam @ 11 I agree. While, obviously, no one should be pressured or coerced to “pledge” a goddamned thing, pledging to honor and uphold the Constitution would at least make some kind of sense.

  • sabrekgb

    That’s not a soldier, that’s a marine.

  • Synfandel

    That looks like a sporting event. Do Americans recite their pledge of allegiance at sporting events? If so, why?

  • marcus

    @^ I would assume that you are correct and it is a sporting event and that they are actually standing for the anthem.

    @^ I think you are correct, they are probably standing for the Nationalist Anthem. Why let facts ruin good propaganda?

  • marcus