Officer Wesley Cheeks of the Fairfax County Police Department has a run in with a Tea Bagger at the recent Town Hall Meeting in Reston, Virginia hosted by Representative Jim Moran.
This one is one of the latest attempts by the right to characterize opposition to their efforts to disrupt Town Hall meetings as “Freedom of Speech”.
Now, to be honest, I know the Officer involved. I’ve met him several times in social situations. He’s been with the Fairfax Police 18 or 20 years, and has been an exemplary officer to my knowledge.
I’m not going to get into the legal basis of who is right or wrong here – but I am going to get into something else – Patriotism.
During the Vietnam protest era, one of the favorite bumper stickers of the right was “My Country, right or wrong”, a second was “America – Love it or leave it”. Indeed, one of the most bitter and cutting criticisms of the actions of some of the War protesters is how they derided, and disrespected American institutions, members of the Armed Forces, and our government.
Starting with the Raygun ascendancy, Republicans turned that bitterness into political hay, making Vietnam Vets who were bitter about their mistreatment by the “left” into a functional arm of the Republican Party. The Republican Party would claim the Patriotism high ground for the next 20 years when George W. Bush’s attempts at jingoism, and plastic patriotism in to hide the fact he had lied the country into the Iraq Invasion became painfully apparent to even the most red, white, and blue soul.
Under the American core belief structure of Freedom, Fair Play, and honsesty – what the Bushits did wasn’t anything a Patriot could be proud of – perhaps leading to Michelle Obama’s much maligned comment about her pride being restored in the country.
The point being, patriotism has moved fully to the other side of the political coin. As such, some folks – particularly minority folks aren’t going to be too thrilled about seeing their President defamed…
Did I mention “Love it or leave it”?