We’ve finished with the bi-annual marriage amendment stupidity, but it’s still an election year. That means we still have to knock down the bi-annual anti-flag desecration amendment. I don’t have much new to add that hasn’t already been said. The First Amendment still exists and actual flag desecrations remain rare, so our (lack of) need doesn’t seem changed. But we’ve solved every other issue facing the United States, so it’s worth revisiting the
most important second most important issue facing our nation.
On this issue, I like former Senator Bob Kerrey’s editorial in today’s Washington Post for what he says about the strength of our nation’s symbol. In demonstrating the principles for which the flag represents, he also makes the following point:
No doubt the sponsors and advocates of this amendment mean well. They believe it is a reasonable and small sacrifice of our freedoms. They believe no serious consequence will come of this change.
It does not matter how well-intentioned they are. Those who advocate this amendment do not understand our freedom. They do not believe our government derives its power from the people it represents. They do not believe in individual rights. They do not believe in dissent. They do not believe we are strong. If they did, they would know that rare occurances of flag burning will not destroy our nation. If it offends, the fault lies with the offended who does not trust the indestructible truth of our principles.
Real patriotism cannot be coerced.
This amendment’s advocates believe it can, and must, be coerced if it does not pour forth from everyone. They are wrong.