I have a "Dissenter" in the ranks!

An individual who goes by the moniker "Realist" decided to leave a small missive in the comments to my "Flag Post". For the sake of user friendliness, I'll quote this person here:

But though I understand what you are saying, I don't much agree and that's being polite. People who have almost a religious-like reverence for the flag should take a little time and read up on some of the despicable things that flag has been attached to. America has a long, LOOOOOOOONG history of brutalization, imperialism, genocide in the name of "manifest destiny", coup-fomenting, democracy-crushing assholery that smears that flag with more filth than any protester ever could. And I would MUCH rather see that flag wrapped around some hippie than see it wrapped around atrocious policies both here and abroad so as to stifle criticism as it so often is used for. If you would like to see someone shot as you said for using the flag in such a manner than you, sir, are about one bumper sticker away from the armband, jackboots and the whole Nazi nine yards. Get a grip.

Well, that was strongly worded. I'll try to use a little less rhetoric in my reply, but it might be difficult... I've been drinking a little. Let's start with a clarification of some phraseology that I used: Pull the Trigger. I probably should have put it in quotes like I usually would when I'm using a phrase "tongue in cheek", so it's quite easy for me to understand why this "realist" person would "Pull the Trigger" on me with that comment. I really wanted to "Pull the Trigger" on that fine upstanding hippie person, but as I stated "my understanding of the meaning of the first Amendment". It's his (the Protester's) Right to take our Flag and use it as a symbol of all the "assholery" that this country has gotten up to in lo these two and half centuries. As well, it's my Right to be completely offended by his actions. That's how it works.

As I've stated before, I'm an Atheist. That right there should (statistically) put me on the side of the Hippie, but it don't. I'm a libertarian (note the small "L" there) who is fiscally conservative, and socially wishy-washy (aka: moderate). I've read enough history to understand what this country should be, and I've lived enough life to understand how things really work. This does not stop me from acting on my "Ideals", instead of my "religious-like reverence". If it did, then I would've "Pulled the Trigger" on my hippie friend.

Why do I hold our Flag in such high esteem? Simple. To me, it represents all the freedoms that were outlined in the US Constitution, to-whit: all the things that Government Can't Do. It represents the Ideal. I feel that the Founder's took such care to outline a Republic for us (not a Democracy like it has been bastardized into) for the sole purpose of eliminating fiefdoms. Unfortunately, I was a part of getting "W" elected, and you see where that got us. We are in the Right War started for the Wrong Reasons, Bush has never seen a spending bill that he wouldn't sign... except for a research project that just might save a few lives, and despite all of that, I can still wake up in the morning and say to myself that I'm a good person. I did what I could to embody the Ideal. The Flag stands to me: for all of the young (and not so young) people that are in harm's way so that I don't have to be, it stands for the things that I'd like to be true...but currently aren't, the respect I have is for all the history that got us here...good and bad, but mostly it stands for the hope that people will wake up and see what is happening to this Republic ("If you can keep it."). I'd like to think that it is still possible to get where the Founders were pointing, but I fear that it may be too late.

As for the "Realist", I think that you too need to "Get a Grip" and realize that not all Patriots are headed for "jackboots and that whole Nazi nine yards", but they are interested in freedom. For everyone. Even the one's who disagree. I apologize for any miscommunication, and welcome any further thoughts you may have...just dispense with the Nazi bullshit. If I wanted to embody Hitler, I'd probably be wearing a flag upside-down right now. It's as close to making a religious symbol (swastika) into something evil, that I can think of.

Stand on your Ideal's, just don't tread on American's Freedoms to get there.