Black Americans are justifiably proud of their country in the wake of the election of Barack Obama as President. In fact, most Americans, including yours truly and other conservatives and Republicans, are proud that the election of a Black man is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that America is not a racist country.
Of this, I am much thankful on this most American of holidays. I have known for decades that America isn’t racist, but do understand, as one African-American columnist put it, that only such an election could convince many blacks that “America loved them back.”
As I wrote on the day after Election Day, we have but one president at a time, and the President-Elect will be my President come Inauguration Day. But we have only one country for all time (if we can keep it), and my patriotic love for it is unrelated to the outcome of elections.
But, not all Americans share this kind of patriotism:
“I felt [Old Glory, pictured] was no longer a symbol of the country I love, but of Bush and support for his war,” said [Ronnie Chapman, a] 48-year-old pharmacist from Cary. “The first thing I did the morning after the election was take it from my den and fly it proudly in front of my house.”
You did the right thing, finally, as did all those that were flying their Star Spangled Banners the day before the election who didn’t take theirs down.
The Raleigh News & Observer considers Chapman’s response as reflecting “the emergence of an unusual – and some might say contradictory – new figure: the flag-waving liberal.”
“For years it's felt like patriotism was a Republican thing,” said Raven Moeslinger, 21, a senior at UNC Chapel Hill. “Now I feel like we've reclaimed it.”
Why did you feel that way for years?
Could it be because you have so often heard liberal Democrats complaining of having their patriotism challenged when only their judgment is challenged and remembered Shakespeare’s “Methinks thou dost protest too much” and reached the obvious conclusion?
“We’ve” reclaimed “it”? No, Raven, but hopefully you have joined “it” and that “it” will be a lifelong marriage in love for the extended family we call country. I pray we are not two irreconcilable Americas.
You can build that love by following this example:
“The night after the election, I got in bed and started reading the Declaration of Independence for the first time in a long time,” said Sherry Harmon, 55, of Cary. “I felt I needed to touch base with our roots because I think we need to refresh our ideas of who we are as Americans.”
Bravo. Read the reasons for loving this “Best hope of man on Earth” from the first Independence Day in 1776 thru Election Day 2008.
What you will discover is that, but for the “old” patriotism that led men and women to sacrifice their lives, fortunes and scared honor to found and preserve this Shining City on a Hill, no matter the party of the Commander-in-Chief, there would have been far less to be thankful for.
Here is hoping that the “new” patriots will remain so when the sunshine reflected off Barack’s visage has turned to night.
God Bless America and pass the turkey!
Mike DeVine’s Examiner.com and Charlotte Observer columns.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson