Press Corps Patriotism

Jonah Goldberg yearns for the golden days of yore, when American journalists wore their patriotism on their sleeve.

In a recent speech at the National Press Club, Katie Couric expressed somber disapproval of the jingoistic excesses after 9/11. Among the things that vexed her: “The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States.” From what I can tell, nobody among the journalistic swells bothered to ask, “Who isn’t ‘we,’ Kemo Sabe?”

I don’t want to revisit those supposedly Orwellian flag pins, which sat so heavily on so many journalistic lapels. But it’s worth recalling that during World War II, civilian correspondent Walter Cronkite — whose anchor job Couric now holds — gladly wore a uniform, not just a pin, and subjected himself to military censors. He also used, I’m sure, the word “we” when referring to the United States.

That was a different time and a different war. FDR’s kids joined the military, too, and the whole economy switched over to support the war effort. For this war, the president quite literally told Americans that they could best help by going shopping.

Do we really want Katie Couric wearing a military uniform? For that matter, isn’t Cronkite the guy who, a couple of decades later, is blamed for singlehandedly turning public opinion against the Vietnam War after Tet?

Matthew Yglesias thinks the question bizarre, anyway, wondering how Goldberg could possibly “think that American nationalism is insufficiently present in American television news?”

Marc Danziger thinks it in fact is but, more importantly, tends to agree with Goldberg’s premise that the particular strain of liberalism that dominates the elite media is one of a cosmopolitan rejection of the very notion of nationalism. He contends that the “civic religion” of flag waving, Fourth of July celebrations, and all the rest is essential for binding a nation of immigrants into a cohesive society.

Goldberg:

Many liberals hear talk of national culture and shout, “Nativist!” first and ask questions later, if at all. They believe it is a sign of their patriotism that they hold fast to the idea that we are a “nation of immigrants” — forgetting that we are also a nation of immigrants who became Americans.

As the host of the “Today” show in 2003, Couric said of the lost crew members of the space shuttle Columbia: “They were an airborne United Nations — men, women, an African American, an Indian woman, an Israeli. . . .” As my National Review colleague Mark Steyn noted, they weren’t an airborne U.N., they were an airborne America. The “Indian woman” came to America in the 1980s, and, in about a decade’s time, she was an astronaut. “There’s no other country on Earth where you can do that,” Steyn rightly noted.

That’s certainly true technically; there aren’t many countries where one can become an astronaut, period. There are other societies that take in immigrants and assimilate them into their society but the United States is no doubt one of the most open in that regard and certainly unrivaled in the sheer diversity of our immigrant population.

Just how far journalists should go in preaching the civic religion is an interesting question, although not one I’m sure I can answer. Americans rightly criticize the foreign press for its distorted vision of American policy and scoff at journalists in less free societies who are mere shills for the government. For that matter, conservatives like Goldberg routinely criticize the Katie Courics of the world for interjecting their personal ideological bias into their reporting. More “objectivity” rather than more cheerleading is likely to produce the best reporting.

At its extreme, though, I agree that journalists are Americans first. Marc and I have both referred to this exchange 1987 roundtable discussion between the late Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace about a hypothetical war to make that point:

With Jennings in their midst, the northern soldiers set up a perfect ambush, which will let them gun down the Americans and Southerners, every one. What does Jennings do? Ogletree asks. Would he tell his cameramen to “Roll tape!” as the North Kosanese opened fire? What would go through his mind as he watched the North Kosanese prepare to ambush the Americans? Jennings sat silent for about fifteen seconds after Ogletree asked this question. “Well, I guess I wouldn’t,” he finally said. “I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans.” Even if it means losing the story? Ogletree asked.

Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. “But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That’s purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction.” Immediately Mike Wallace spoke up. “I think some other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover.” “I am astonished, really,” at Jennings’s answer, Wallace said a moment later. He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: “You’re a reporter. Granted you’re an American”-at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship. “I’m a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you’re an American, you would not have covered that story.” Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn’t Jennings have some higher duty, either patriotic or human, to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot? “No,” Wallace said flatly and immediately. “You don’t have a higher duty. No. No. You’re a reporter!” Jennings backtracked fast. Wallace was right, he said. “I chickened out.” Jennings said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the hypothetical questions that he had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached.

Fairness in covering the story, including conveying an understanding of the enemy’s point of view, is a journalist’s job. Being neutral to the point of allowing fellow citizens to be murdered, it seems obvious, is crossing a bright line. I’m not sure, however, about the many shades of gray in between.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m not sure that I agree with Jonah that the glue that holds our society together is or ever was patriotism. I haven’t thought it through completely yet but I’m inclined to think that rather than patriotism (being derided by those more transnationally inclined as “nationalism”) it’s something a little broader and more nebulous I’d call consensus.

    Yes, I recognize that consensus is even more endangered than patriotism.

    What I’m thinking of as consensus is something along the lines of “we hold these truths to be self-evident”. The problem today is that that “we” is fragmented, some don’t believe there are any truths, and nothing seems to be self-evident.

    This consensus or Americanism was once a sort of secular religion and was on its last legs some 50 years ago. It used to be taught in the schools and, indeed, if you read John Dewey, it’s what the public schools were created for. It included the idea that the Founding Fathers were good men, that the general de-centralization of American society was a good thing, and that people should try to rely on themselves but that communities should take care of their own.

    Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Just how far journalists should go in preaching the civic religion …

    Hmmm… I always thought that journalists reported the news in an unbiased fashion. When did preaching enter the profession?

  3. mannning says:

    Put the two concepts together: Patriotic Consensus. Patriotism is not dead in America, at least it isn’t everywhere I have been since 9/11. Discounting the fringe anti-Americans and the divisive Leftists in the media as irrelevant, most people appear to me to be simply a bit more reticent about waving the flag too much. Perhaps this is because they are not ready to receive arguments and scoffing from the Leftists on a daily basis, but when the chips are down, they are indeed patriots, and there is a huge consensus about America and Americanism. Many flags fly at the right times, many lapels display the flag, and many cars display patriotic symbols. Most meetings and lectures I have attended here in Virginia are begun with the Pledge, and continue with unabashed patriotic applause and fervor.

    It ain’t dead yet!

  4. Michael says:

    The “Indian woman” came to America in the 1980s, and, in about a decade’s time, she was an astronaut. “There’s no other country on Earth where you can do that,” Steyn rightly noted.

    Until recently there were only 2 countries in the world that could put a man in space. Of them, America is by far the slowest in terms getting a foreigner from application to space. In 2002 Russia made Mark Shuttleworth (A South African) a cosmonaut after just 1 year. So unless Goldberg wants to be hyper-literal and claim that only America uses the therm “Astronaut” so that he is still technically right, he is technically wrong.

  5. mannning says:

    In my opinion, 80 to 90% of journalists are left-leaning in their approach to reporting, and willingly go along with their editors and owners that ensure the left slant to publications and broadcasts. They subtly attack the patriotic viewpoint at every opportunity, and practice Bushophobia to a fault.

    As long as misguided owners and leftist editors set the policy, we will not have objective reporting at all, nor will we have a truly patriotic press. I would cite the decline of the NY Times as a significant indicator of the public’s realization of its biases and leftist memes, and therefore their growing rejection of it as a news source.

    sic transit gloria!

  6. Michael says:

    Discounting the fringe anti-Americans and the divisive Leftists in the media as irrelevant, most people appear to me to be simply a bit more reticent about waving the flag too much.

    Most of us on the left believe that there is more to American than the flag, and wrapping your actions in the flag doesn’t automatically make them American.

    That is why you receive “arguments and scoffing” from us whenever you use Americanism to justify doing something un-American, not because we don’t like seeing the flag.

  7. Michael says:

    In my opinion, 80 to 90% of journalists are left-leaning in their approach to reporting, and willingly go along with their editors and owners that ensure the left slant to publications and broadcasts.

    It’s funny, people on the left say the exact same thing, only they replace the word “left” with the word “right”. The truth of the matter is that 80% to 90% of the “facts” of a story don’t align with either ideology. You are entitled to you own opinion, but not your own facts.

  8. cian says:

    most people appear to me to be simply a bit more reticent about waving the flag too much.

    Perhaps because more and more have come to realize that the war for which they waved those flags was a lie. That the country they love has been disgraced by its present government, and young men sent to their deaths not to protect the nation, but to fulfil the fantasies of a group of men who never served themselves, who, in their own time, failed their country.

    To continue blaming the left for where we are today is not just dishonest, it is cowardice.

  9. James Joyner says:

    Until recently there were only 2 countries in the world that could put a man in space. Of them, America is by far the slowest in terms getting a foreigner from application to space. In 2002 Russia made Mark Shuttleworth (A South African) a cosmonaut after just 1 year. So unless Goldberg wants to be hyper-literal and claim that only America uses the therm "Astronaut" so that he is still technically right, he is technically wrong.

    Well, no. His argument isn’t about putting someone in space but integrating them into one’s society. Shuttleworth didn’t become a Russian; he just get sent into space.

  10. mannning says:

    Comment in violation of site policies deleted.

    Keep the discussion on topic and no trolling.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    Of course! The problem is we just don’t have enough shallow patriotism and jingois in America.

    Everything is so clear and simple through Corky Goldberg’s eyes.

  12. davod says:

    Not to get picky, but I believe FDR’s kids were in the military as careers. The didn’t just join up because we went to war.

  13. mannning says:

    Seems that one can blast conservatives here but not leftists. My post was on topic, since the subject was political bias, patriotism and press coverage. It is the slant of stories, or the lack of coverage of stories that shows the bias of broadcasts and newspapers. While some percent of a story may be valid and objective reporting, it is often the case that titles, subtitles and a number of slippery adjectives are used to bias the reader’s opinion. What is left out is simply not known by the average reader. In most cases, these biases reflect the leftist slant. Thus, the patriotism of the press today is much in question .

  14. mannning says:

    Blame the left? Oh, pardon me! I would never do that! Why they haven’t done a thing against the country. Not one thing.

    It is one thing to reject a war or some grounds or another, and it is something else to carry that objection to the level of making things up about the President, or slandering him personally.

    There is no reason to harm the nation now by surrendering, either. Doing that does not satisfy anyone but anti-Americans.

  15. Michael says:

    Seems that one can blast conservatives here but not leftists. My post was on topic, since the subject was political bias, patriotism and press coverage.

    You mean it actually was you that posted that steaming pile of crap? And to think I gave you the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to someone’s childish impersonation of you. You disappoint me, manning.

  16. Triumph says:

    Let us remember what Benedict Anderson said about nationalism: it is purely a social construct.

    As such, there is nothing “natural” or “holy” about it. It can operate in a way that enhances human freedom, but it can also be dreadfully reactionary.

    Demagogues have historically used nationalism and patriotism as a pretext to oppress people for various reasons.

    It is important to recognize what function it serves in informing our social relations. Mindless gestures like singing the National Anthem at baseball games, wearing a flag as a piece of jewlery, or changing the names of food (aka Freedom Fries) serve no useful purpose as it relates to human freedom.

    As the world becomes more “globalized” it is likely that nationalism/patriotism will become less important signifiers of identity. This will neither be smooth nor quick, but I would argue that it is inevitable and the world will be better for it.

  17. G.A.Phillips says:

    Dude why?

    It is important to recognize what function it serves in informing our social relations. Mindless gestures like singing the National Anthem at baseball games, wearing a flag as a piece of jewlery, or changing the names of food (aka Freedom Fries) serve no useful purpose as it relates to human freedom.

    Mindless geustures, this country under God is responsible for human freedom as we know it!

    that we should give all prase onto him for giving us the power to do this I agree, but the way you say that this country founded under His Law doing what it has done for this world with blood should be giving no honor, is an ungreatfull gesture.

  18. Steve Plunk says:

    Patriotism serves this country very well. It’s not mindless, cheap, or useless.

    Patriotism makes us feel as one with another. It gives us purpose as a group. It makes us want to do better as a group year after year.

    Patriotism can bring together diverse groups and give them common cause. Blacks, whites, latinos, whoever, we all sing that silly song before a ball game and all cheer when we finish.

    A true patriot knows we have done bad things and likely will do bad things in the future but also realizes what great things we have done and will do in the future. Like a team player in any sport a patriot should help his teammates without criticizing them more than necessary. Play up the positives but point out the negatives in a responsible manner.

    Goldberg is pointing out post Watergate journalism. The kind where dirt gets you promoted so look for dirt even if it hurts the rest of the country. There’s a more responsible way to be a reporter.

    War is full of dirt so many journalists find the pickings easy. The old school journalists were just more responsible in how they handled the dirt.

  19. Peter says:

    Journalists today consider their job a profession. Wallace’s approach is thoroughly consistent with that. To Wallace, it’s the same question as whether an Army doctor should treat enemy wounded. Of course he should. He’s a doctor!

    It’s the same mindset that leads the NYT to claim that its journalists aren’t subject to ordinary subpoenas.

    Are journalists a profession, to the point where they’re entitled to such esteem? The answer will count 50% towards your final grade.

  20. mannning says:

    Now it is clear who is the leftist. The one who calls their inventory of true sins “crap”. I wouldn’t want to own up to that inventory either, it disgusts me, especially the demises.

    This screed of Michael’s is a perfect illustration of the problem with today’s left-of-center. There is only left-of-left-of-center, but no moderates, hence no possibility of rational discussion, only invective. It is also true that the press isn’t the only place where we are treated to moral relativism, shaded and biased comments, and the pacifist mantra. (Pacifism is a much stronger word than passivism, I learned.)

    Journalist schools today do not turn out an even-handed, unbiased product, witness CSJ. Thus we can only hope that age will temper the irrationality of their writings as idealistic boys grow to manhood, and then, eventually and painfully, to maturity.

  21. Grewgills says:

    Many liberals hear talk of national culture and shout, “Nativist!” first and ask questions later, if at all. They believe it is a sign of their patriotism that they hold fast to the idea that we are a “nation of immigrants” — forgetting that we are also a nation of immigrants who became Americans.

    What Goldberg is missing here is that as this nation has absorbed people of culture after culture our national culture has changed and grown. What Goldberg and others like him refer to when they talk about national culture is the culture of 1950s white America. Deviation from this or desire to include more recent immigrant cultures is somehow un-American. Pointing out that those cultures deserve to be included in our national culture, just as the cultures of earlier immigrants were, is somehow the equivalent of “shouting nativist!”

    Being neutral to the point of allowing fellow citizens to be murdered, it seems obvious, is crossing a bright line.

    Not to be petty, but do you really think murder is the correct word in this context?

    manning,
    It seems your bias leads you to see bias in anything that doesn’t conform to your pov.

    GA,
    Your back in form. You should consider writing for whitehouse.org.

  22. Tlaloc says:

    There is no reason to harm the nation now by surrendering, either. Doing that does not satisfy anyone but anti-Americans.

    Some people apparently insist on struggling when they blunder into quicksand.

  23. mannning says:

    Some people apparently insist on struggling when they blunder into quicksand.

    You had rather that they sink without a trace?

    The better solution is to call in some good support, get out of the sticky part, and cover it over thoroughly. And then thumb your nose at the nay-sayers.

    Where did we get the good support? Same place as you got the quicksand.

  24. mannning says:

    Grewgill: How prescient of you! Rather than joining the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, I’d rather conserve our freedoms and liberties from Utopians, outright progressives (read communists), and pacifists that want to give away the store!

    There is no rule that says I should give any credence whatsoever to destabilizing, foolish and impractical ideas or ideologies, except to understand the opposition.

    I feel a syllogism coming on!

    Most newspaper reporters are leftists.
    Leftists hate America and want to bring it down, in order to “save” it. (Marx at his, ah, worst!)
    ———————————————
    Thus, most newspaper reporters want to bring the US down.

    Moral: Read newspapers for the sports only. They can hardly fake the scores.

  25. mannning says:

    What Goldberg is missing here is that as this nation has absorbed people of culture after culture our national culture has changed and grown. What Goldberg and others like him refer to when they talk about national culture is the culture of 1950s white America. Deviation from this or desire to include more recent immigrant cultures is somehow un-American. Pointing out that those cultures deserve to be included in our national culture, just as the cultures of earlier immigrants were, is somehow the equivalent of “shouting nativist!”

    I suggest to you that we are, or should be, striving for a single, common, and well-understood national morality and culture, with the many subcultures we have appended as in a Leitkulture. The model for that national Leitkulture is most likely to be the culture of the pre-Vietnam era, thus removing much of the poison that has corrupted our scene ever since then.

  26. G.A.Phillips says:

    GA,
    Your back in form. You should consider writing for whitehouse.org.

    You are never gonna get that I used to think the way you do.

    You can acuse me or lump me in with any group of so called cristians you want, I just want you to remember under who’s law you got that right. here is a hint: it was not from a group of fantasy liberal humanists in your selectivly alterd public history books.

    and you can preach to the mob all you want, I have cast aside my pitchfork and torch!

    Do me favor please:) take your open mind and like 10 bucks and go get the book “Original Intent” by “David Barton” and read it, thats if your not afraid to read a book writin by a Cristian.

  27. Michael says:

    You are never gonna get that I used to think the way you do.

    It’s not the “the way you do” part that we find hard to believe, it’s the “I used to think” part.

    Do me favor please:) take your open mind and like 10 bucks and go get the book “Original Intent” by “David Barton” and read it, thats if your not afraid to read a book writin by a Cristian.

    So this one book should be taken more seriously than any of the hundreds of history books claiming that the majority of the founding fathers were deists? Why should we give any weight to David Barton, a man it seems, who is dedicated to convincing people that the founders did not want a separation of church and state, even if he has to lie and misquote (and admit to lying and misquoting) to do so?

  28. G.A.Phillips says:

    Whatever dude, we all know how you think, just like every other liberal, and its always the Cristian that lies with you. It could not be the liberal who only will believe what the small mind of another liberal or the I can’t handle truth affetecing my little selfish life thinkers that are the ones who lie to every one and them selves?

    ****the seperation of church and state****

    A foolish statment like this shows your lack of ability to understand the simple facts of the history of this country.

    This is something you and your kind have invented to use as an attack opon our Christian heratige, and I know where you you got it from, and also the fact that can’t understand what it means, and how your brotherhood has rewritin much of our history with it.

    … but so many other liberals agree with me… lol…Why dude?

  29. Michael says:

    It could not be the liberal who only will believe what the small mind of another liberal

    Recent studies have shown that those who describe themselves as liberals are more open to recognizing and accepting facts than those who describe themselves as conservatives, so I doubt that is why.

    A foolish statment like this shows your lack of ability to understand the simple facts of the history of this country.

    This is something you and your kind have invented to use as an attack opon our Christian heratige, and I know where you you got it from

    Well of course you know where I got it from, Thomas Jefferson, everybody knows that’s where I got it from. And if you are saying that he is my “kind”, than I take that as high praise, so thank you.

    … but so many other liberals agree with me… lol…Why dude?

    Oh geez, I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the one to explain this to you. When people say “Oh yeah, sure, that makes perfect sense” and then slowly back away from you, they’re not _really_ agreeing with you.

  30. Tlaloc says:

    You had rather that they sink without a trace?

    Thank you, manning, for walking right into that one.

    Apparently you don’t know how quicksand works, which under the circumstances hardly surprises me.

    When you struggle you get pulled in faster and die. The way you get out is to calmly float out with as little motion as possible.

    Hence the parallel, your type blundered into Vietnam Iraq and now wants to thrash about. I’m tempted to let you, frankly. Darwinism and all that.

  31. Tlaloc says:

    This is something you and your kind have invented to use as an attack opon our Christian heratige

    Somebody’s theocracy is showing…

  32. mannning says:

    You don’t read well, Tlaloc. First of all, I am perhaps more familiar than you with quicksand and its properties. It holds well, as I wrote earlier, that by far the best way out is with immediate support and help. And the best way to prevent anyone else from going in is to cover the area up as far as possible–in other words, pacify it.

    Your little analogy ends up to your detriment.

    Thank you for the opportunity to set your type straight. You have been the primary cause for over 2 million deaths in SE Asia after your leftist Congress refused to honor its promises to support the S. Vietnam government. Your leftist press and children of all ages forced a pullout just as we were about to win, too, making a mockery of both our country’s promises, and the deaths and wounds of so many of our men. You are repeating this huge mistake yet again, which shows how little you learn from history, and how little common sense your type has.

    I hope to God that you never see the reins of power.

  33. mannning says:

    GA Phillips: By now you should realize that
    leftwingers are impervious to argument. They have a history of assuming that they are right and everyone else is wrong, and sticking to it as if it is the moral high ground. Even when it is scraping the very bottom of the human cesspool. If they cannot meet your argument, they turn to invective and personal attacks, or nitpicking diversions that lead nowhere. They will NOT accept responsibility for their actions, as has been made clear in Nam.

    Several examples of these methods are just above this post. In fact, simply because I wanted to throw a few brickbats at them, I engaged several myself, knowing full well that it is a useless waste of time. Never the two shall meet, because you cannot cope with irrationality.

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    Ya Mannning I know, but its fun, take this dude for a min.

    Recent studies have shown that those who describe themselves as liberals are more open to recognizing and accepting facts than those who describe themselves as conservatives, so I doubt that is why.

    he says facts…lol..hmm I wonder who did the study…lol….after what i just told him about liberals making up and believing their own Donkeypoop he comes back at me with that…lol

    And the he types

    Well of course you know where I got it from, Thomas Jefferson, everybody knows that’s where I got it from. And if you are saying that he is my “kind”, than I take that as high praise, so thank you.

    after I told him he has no idea what Jefferson was talking about or why or to who, he does it again to prove my point.

    and then he don’t get that I was making fun of him and tolaly gets it backwards and proves my point again.

    … but so many other liberals agree with me lol…Why dude?

    Oh geez, I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the one to explain this to you. When people say “Oh yeah, sure, that makes perfect sense” and then slowly back away from you, they’re not _really_ agreeing with you.

    the jest was that I said all you liberals think alike Mike and you say you must be right because most liberals think like you……right over your head….lol

    liberal Thinking: whatever some liberal makes up and tells another liberal.

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    This is something you and your kind have invented to use as an attack opon our Christian heratige

    Somebody’s theocracy is showing…

    gee I thought it was your nazi-like librealism I was talking about.

    lol, why burn books when you can rewrite them.

  36. Grewgills says:

    manning,

    If you want to keep up the mutual admiration society with the resident troll keep on with posts like your syllogism. That type of discourse serves no constructive purpose and poisons rational discussion of any issue.

    I suggest to you that we are, or should be, striving for a single, common, and well-understood national morality and culture, with the many subcultures we have appended as in a Leitkulture.

    It depends upon what you mean by Leitkultur. If you mean that our culture should embrace democracy, secularism, the Enlightenment, human rights and civil society as Tibi originally stated, then yes. If however you mean it as it came to be used by the CDU in Germany, as your next sentence indicates, then no.

    The model for that national Leitkulture is most likely to be the culture of the pre-Vietnam era, thus removing much of the poison that has corrupted our scene ever since then.

    In other words it should be based on a white male dominated segregated society in which women and minorities know their place and dissent is frowned upon.

  37. Michael says:

    gee I thought it was your nazi-like librealism I was talking about.

    Ding ding ding! Congratulations G.A.Phillips, you’re this threads Godwin award winner. You can collect your prize somewhere (anywhere) else. Thanks for playing.

  38. mannning says:

    I thought I was dealing with secular humanists; you know, the one’s that are atheists, want children to be raised by the state, and want no hint of our Christian heritage showing, among other odious tenets, such as internationalism.

    The world is not ready for a master government: there are far too many amoral or immoral nations in the pot that make a mockery of democratic procedures, and we do not want a dictatorship of the world.

    The US should never give up one iota of sovereignty so long as this situation persists.

    Nor should we turn our backs on our Christian heritage by allowing further secularism. In fact, much of what has been done in this past 50 years must be rolled back, especially that which involved the ACLU, our schools, and display of Christian symbols.

    Segregation of blacks and whites or any other color by law is not part of the Leitkulture I suggest.

    Your dirty little assumption that I am suggesting white supremacy is likewise odious. However, if there is to be a leadership, it should come from the dominant majority of Judeo-Christians, not atheists or followers of Islam. They only represent 1% and 2.1% of the population respectively at the moment anyway, so their chances are not all that good if they are allowed to run.

    If by human rights is meant natural rights as derived from natural law, then that is good, but if it means further open-ended expansion of rights as they are created every other week by HS people, or demanded by Muslims, absolutely no.

    Except for abortion, which is apparently a no-no topic here, women should have equal rights in the society. I believe that human life begins with conception, and that artificial tampering with the process is, in most cases, wrong. Woman’s rights are quite open up until they allow conception to take place of their own volition, at which point they are dealing with a human life in the womb that they proactively helped to create. They must not play God.

  39. mannning says:

    My syllogism was in correct form, so what are you complaining about? The conclusion follows from the premises. The premises are true. There it is! Your response was typically leftist. No real answer, just invective. I do believe that you have the idea you must have the last word, else you fail. So go on, have it!

  40. Michael says:

    I thought I was dealing with secular humanists; you know, the one’s that are atheists, want children to be raised by the state, and want no hint of our Christian heritage showing, among other odious tenets, such as internationalism.

    You mean those people you created in your own mind or label those you disagree with to justify your intense dislike for everything they believe? Do do realize that your description doesn’t fit any _real_ people, right?

    However, if there is to be a leadership, it should come from the dominant majority of Judeo-Christians

    Ok, would that be Catholic leadership, Methodist leadership, Baptist leadership, Southern Baptist (yes, different) leadership, Unitarian leadership, Presbyterian leadership, etc? Because you know, they disagree with each other almost as much as they disagree with Atheists and Muslims. I guess I shouldn’t even bother asking if you consider Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses as part of your “Judeo-Christian” majority.

  41. Grewgills says:

    The US should never give up one iota of sovereignty so long as this situation persists.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    Nor should we turn our backs on our Christian heritage by allowing further secularism.

    You were the one who suggested Leitkultur. As originally proposed by Tibi, secularism is fundamental to the concept.
    The term was later hijacked by German nativists who wanted to remove foreign elements from German culture. You are apparently using this version of the term.

    Segregation of blacks and whites or any other color by law is not part of the Leitkulture I suggest.
    Your dirty little assumption that I am suggesting white supremacy is likewise odious.

    I was just taking your statement at face value. You said “The model for that national Leitkulture is most likely to be the culture of the pre-Vietnam era.” Jim Crow laws persisted well after our engagement in Vietnam. The 50s and early 60s were a time of much more overt racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. This is the era that you said we should base our Leitkultur on and those are realities of that era.

    if there is to be a leadership, it should come from the dominant majority of Judeo-Christians, not atheists or followers of Islam. They only represent 1% and 2.1% of the population respectively

    Jewish people only make up about 1% of US population so it’s mighty kind of you to include them. According to CIA World Factbook, 10% list religion as other and 10% list none. The latest Newsweek poll says that 90% of Americans believe in God, though only 3% self identify as atheists. I guess this leaves that 7% as agnostics. All that however is beside the point. Religious affiliation should in no way be a requirement to lead in America. To say otherwise is frankly un-American.

    …so their chances are not all that good if they are allowed to run.

    Fortunately they are allowed to run, though apparently it is quite difficult to get elected if you admit to not believing in some invisible, unprovable entity controlling everything.

    Woman’s rights are quite open up until they allow conception to take place of their own volition

    and if that conception is not of their own volition then what?

    If by human rights is meant natural rights as derived from natural law, then that is good

    Whose formulation of natural law are you referring to?

    if it means further open-ended expansion of rights as they are created every other week by HS people, or demanded by Muslims, absolutely no.

    What are HS people?
    What rights demanded by Muslims are you referring to? Presumably if they are coming out weekly you should have no difficulty in compiling a formidable list.

  42. Grewgills says:

    manning,

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you had just fallen to a little GA style hyperbole with your inane syllogism. I guess I was wrong.

    People like you, who label all those with whom they disagree as hating America, being Nazi, Stalinists, etc, are poisoning political discourse in America. This does far more harm to our country than any of your imagined excesses of the Left.

  43. G.A.Phillips says:

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you had just fallen to a little GA style hyperbole with your inane syllogism. I guess I was wrong.

    Mannning you are right, no argument here, they just try to make someone feel bad for what they have said, its the best weapon they have next to fabracation, but is it not funny how there best weapon works mostly aganist them and to their own harm, but their second best has no effect on them at all.

    People like you, who label all those with whom they disagree as hating America, being Nazi, Stalinists, etc, are poisoning political discourse in America. This does far more harm to our country than any of your imagined excesses of the Left.

    Dude why,
    Once again, “Disagree” has what to do with what you people are up to and doing to this country, once again you take the part of the sad little guy that some mean conservative is picking on.

    if you don’t see that you always label those who point out the “fact” that the most of the labels you use on them fit you better after you labeled them first then you have no sence of irony, but what it all come down to is that you think your smarter then us, and why, cause some other liberal told you you where, lol.

  44. G.A.Phillips says:

    Who you calling a troll, Donkeylover? lol, I love this guy…

  45. mannning says:

    People like you, who label all those with whom they disagree as hating America, being Nazi, Stalinists, etc, are poisoning political discourse in America. This does far more harm to our country than any of your imagined excesses of the Left.

    Well, I’ll be! You got it exactly basackwards! Those who are Nazi-like, Stalinist, HSers (or Shers)and America-haters are spoiling not only political discourse, but also daily life in this nation. Those are the ones that I label enemies of the nation, and it isn’t just MY opinion, it is the opinion of most Americans. Again, you complain when you cannot refute the argument in my syllogism.

    HS = Humanists/Secularists,or Secular Humanists, whichever you can understand.

    Have you been tracking what Muslims have been demanding here, in Sweden and in the UK and Canada? It starts small with demands for foot baths in all bathrooms so they can wash their feet before prayers. Next, they have demanded their own Islamic schools, then it is permission to build a large Islamic facility in a dominantly Christian town, including a mosque, and then they turn to demanding Sharia in their neighborhoods. Not hard to guess the next steps. All of these steps have occurred now, and their tempo is increasing.

    We rightly exclude certain citizens from voting or holding office, including criminals, although there is another leftist trick being pursued to gain votes… Anyone who advocates overthrow of our government and way of life should not be allowed to vote or hold office. That is what Muslims are dedicated to do by their adherence to Islam.

    Let me see….oh, using very careful wording, I left open the question of allowing abortion for involuntary pregnancies, as well as the question of whose life should be saved in a medical emergency. Sometimes, these issues must be handled on a case by case basis.

    This is getting hilarious! We now have an admitted atheist here. It is clear that you are speaking for a very small minority, and would indeed resent not being included in any leadership positions. But, you see, how can the majority trust you, since you think they are fools that believe in God? This by your own statement!

    Rights? “…among those are….” But not equality of outcome!

  46. mannning says:

    Newsweek! Sure…

  47. Grewgills says:

    Manning,

    Way to go! You got in a double Godwin and an all Muslims are evil America haters in just one comment and even threw in a blatant misreading to boot.
    Thanks for showing your true colors in all their glory. I now know exactly how much weight to give anything you post;.

  48. mannning says:

    Wonderful! That is the best measure I could have gotten on your state of mind.

  49. Michael says:

    Nazi-like, Stalinist, HSers (or Shers)and America-haters

    I’m curious as to how one can be both “Nazi-like” and “Stalinist” at the same time. It seems to be even more contradictory than “Compassionate Conservative”. Didn’t we just have a long thread about how Hitler’s Nazi ideology and Stalin’s Communist ideology were so antithetical to each other that the war between the two was inevitable?

  50. G.A.Phillips says:

    I’m curious as to how one can be both “Nazi-like” and “Stalinist” at the same time. It seems to be even more contradictory than “Compassionate Conservative”. Didn’t we just have a long thread about how Hitler’s Nazi ideology and Stalin’s Communist ideology were so antithetical to each other that the war between the two was inevitable?

    Its becauce you use the methods of one, and the ideolgy of the other, or vice versa, what ever it takes at the time to get the job done.

    mabee it’s evolution, lol.