I just don’t get it.
This isn’t a debate about rights and freedoms, it’s a matter of common sense.
Has no one heard the expression, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”…?
I deeply believe in the United States Constitution and the rights that it gives to, and protects for, its citizens. Such rights protected are the freedom of assembly, freedom to protest, and yes — however stupid and nonsensical it is — the freedom to burn an American flag.
So, it doesn’t peeve me when I see someone exercise one of his or her freedoms so much as it disappoints me that his or her protests are aimed at the wrong target.
While flag burners are intending to send a signal to the government that they are unhappy with what’s going on in the country at the moment, they confusedly are sending an entirely different message…
That they hate, dislike, have zero pride in, or no respect for the country that they habit.
To which, the immediate reply is, “Why the hell are you living here?”
If this country has wronged you so much, why not move to a different one? Why would anybody choose to be miserable? Go somewhere else where you feel their laws better suit your needs.
Wait, what? You don’t want to leave? You have a life here? You have friends and family here? You don’t have to fear for your life that a suicide bomber will blow you up in a marketplace or that the government will tear you from your home and imprison you simply for saying that you disagree with it?
What novel concepts. It sounds like you don’t hate this country as much as your flag-burning portends.
Happening now: a confrontation on the ped mall as people burn an American flag as protest. pic.twitter.com/aPkMdls6oQ
— Stephen GruberMiller (@sgrubermiller) January 26, 2017
You see, the flag is a symbol for this country, not for whoever currently sits in the Oval Office in any given year. The flag doesn’t represent Donald Trump. These are not the United States of Trump, just like they weren’t the US of Obama, US of Bush, US of Clinton … all the way back to US of George Washington.
No. These are the United States of America, for which the stars and stripes of the flag represent. By burning the flag, you’re flipping the middle finger at — essentially — yourself. Because you are a citizen of this country, and the freedom that you are exercising was given to you by this country.
How oxymoronic is that?
That’s like getting a birthday gift from someone, liking it, and then throwing the gift at the face of the person who gave it to you.
You are upset with the President, not the country, so why burn the symbol for the country?
No, the American flag is not a symbol for the President of the United States, but the President can be a symbol for the country. Still, you are upset with the President, not the country, so why burn the symbol for the country?
If you want to send a message that you disapprove of Donald Trump, go protest outside one of his hotels. Go walk around outside the White House or anywhere through the streets of Washington, D.C. Make an effigy of Trump and do whatever you want to it.
All of these — while still idiotic and a pointless waste of time — are well within your rights and they send the right signal — that you are angry with the man in charge, not with the country that has given you everything you have in life.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. The country against which you protest and whose flag you burn is protecting you from getting imprisoned or shot dead for doing so.
Why would you turn your back on it and misplace your anger and resentment?