Jaime Franchi's Blog

Jaime Franchi

Jaime Franchi
New York, US
July 07
Misses Write
Freelance writer living in New York. My work can be found in the NY Times, "Big" Salon, Punchnel's, Fictionique, The Broad Side, and on JedMorey.com, where I am a regular contributor. Follow me on Twitter at JaimimiMama. www.JaimeFranchi.com


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MAY 7, 2011 4:35PM

The True Colors of Patriotism

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I love that bin Laden was caught during Obama’s Presidency.  I love that although the Republican party is hailed (by themselves) as the stronger, tougher party that treats things like terror threats and national security with utmost importance, it was proven that  the Democrats, although quieter, proved more effective.  But most of all, I love that despite all of the criticism (including from myself), Obama stayed focused, planned methodically, could not be rushed to make hasty decisions, and it paid off.  It makes me trust that he’s on it.  The economy?  It isn’t a quick fix, but I know he’s on it.  Education, health care, Wall Street -- he’s on it.  


We gave him the job, now how about we let him go about doing it?


I can hear the protest from about 50% of you: I didn’t give him a job.   I voted for McCain. McCain, the war hero, would have found bin Laden in his first six months of office.  


You then go on to craft some criticism, to turn a success into a questionable failure.  Wait a minute - where’s the photo of bin Laden?  W. would have produced a photo (indeed, he would have.) And hey - wasn’t Obama the one who said he wanted to close down Guantanamo?  Wasn’t he a proponent of those so-called human rights?  If he had his way, where would we be now?


And the Liberals, you can’t let him off the hook either: We will not celebrate death, you admonish.  And I can see that point, lefty that I am.  If we echo in behavior that which we criticize the Islamic extremists for, i.e. celebrating the fall of the towers in the streets, then what do we stand for as a nation?  Yet, I find fault there by comparing the death of innocents to the death of a murderer.  And although I do not support the death penalty, I find this execution sitting fairly comfortably in my stomach.  Hypocritical, probably, but I’ve been called worse. 


The thing is, politics is complicated and clearcut positions usually don’t line up with the splintered and patched together parties we’re asked to choose between.  The right has co-opted what it means to be religious, leaving the left to defend itself as godless and amoral.  The left has taken on the social positions of a woman’s right to choose, gay rights, and unions.  Yet most people’s personal beliefs don’t fall concretely within the party they affiliate themselves with.  Some Republicans aren’t woman-bashing homophobes.  Some Liberals go to church on Sunday.  The ideas of small government versus big and reasonable spending have been so annihilated by the administrations of both parties as of late, that there is virtually little difference in economic ideology between the parties.  It’s just a color divide.  You’re with us, or you’re with the enemy.  Somehow, those who support different politicians have become our enemies.  Our countrymen, enemies.  Our neighbors, enemies.  Our President, enemy.


I’m going to let you in on something you might not have let yourself consider.  He’s your President too.  Let out your breath.  He doesn’t only administrate over his supporters, but over the entire electorate.  This is your victory too.  


Obama has compromised so much to meet the right halfway that he had lost support of many of his most arduous followers.  What, is he a republican now? they wondered out loud and in op-eds across the nation.  Extend Bush’s tax cuts?  Keep Guantanamo open?  Step back from kicking Wall street’s ass so badly that they wouldn’t recognize a bonus if it hit them in the face?  


And yet, no one on the right gave him credit.  No one moved. No one met him halfway into the center and said, “This is a guy who is making true on his promise of working together.  This is a man who is actually embodying bipartisanship, like we said we wanted.”


Because that’s not what you wanted.  It was never about policy.  It was never about having a President who would accomplish for the country what you felt it needed in order to be successful.  Your true agenda was that Obama’s failure would mean your success.  Success by default.  Good plan. Obama got bin Laden in a navy seal mission that caused no extraneous deaths.  A good, clean mission.  Where champagne should be popping, it is strangely quiet.


Your true colors are showing.  You want the American President to fail, because he is not one of you. Brown doesn’t fly in a red state.  He is a Democrat.  Victory isn’t victory if it happens under a Democrat’s watch.


Here’s something to remember when you raise your flag: the United States flag is  mixture of red, white, and blue.  We put country before party.  That is what patriotism is.  You can share it.  


We don’t own it either.

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yeah my full congrats to obama on "capturing" bin laden.
Absolutely right on! You expressed my sentiments exactly, Jaime. We as a country forget what patriotism really is. I salute you and Obama.
Vzn - absolutely! And Michele - hi! Thank you so much - I've been dying to write this and was looking for the right words. I salute all of us Mommies!