I am hearing all over the news how surprised Republicans are to hear that Democrats appear to love their country after all! Imagine that.
They had come to believe their own propaganda that Dems are anti-American haters, drilled incessantly for many years into the consciousness of ordinary Americans by a daily narrative of Right Wing Media led by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, their content given credibility when bleeding over into mainstream media outlets.
Karl Rove took this narrative to the next level and made it into an art form. Marketing the Republican brand as "Support our Troops" was brilliantly evil. As a result, opposing the Iraq war became not supporting our troops. The ubiquitous (made in China) magnetic yellow ribbon supporting an illegal and immoral war of choice became a symbol of Republican pride. Rove was a marketing genius.
How could Dems who opposed the war sport one of those on their car? It was a no win situation. American flags became the property of Republicans as well - "What are you doing with a flag flying off your porch, I thought you were a democrat?".
Wow... insidious and odious and very effective. A compliant corporate media went along for the ride.
Republicans have been wrongly asserting their ownership over America and its ideals for some time now but with the nomination of Donald Trump the ugly truths of conservatism are finally coming out of the shadows and being broadcast around the world, unfiltered for all to see. Good people are questioning their old belief systems and the conservative propaganda machine's hold is finally slipping away.
“This country isn’t yours,” Jon Stewart said. “You don’t own it, it never was. There is no real America . . . You don’t own patriotism, you don’t own Christianity. You sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police, and firefighters.” Jon is so right and the media is finally catching up.
Now, imagine the language of patriotism used to advance a different agenda. One of peace, prosperity for all, good government, and inclusion. Imagine that. The speeches at the DNC were reported as overwhelmingly positive, "Reganesque" the media cooed with blank, stunned expressions on their faces.
Of course Democrats have never stopped loving their country and maybe have had to love their country a little bit more because the narrative has been so negatively slanted for so long: "Dems don't love their country because they believe in civil rights, a living wage, gay marriage, banking regulation, inclusion, universal health care, solar power/clean energy, no unnecessary wars, separation of church and state..." and on and on. Republicans are always looking for an easy way to divide the American people into us and them. That is their way. The new "you don't support our troops" is not speaking the phrase "Militant Islam".
But this moment in time seems to have the potential to actually pull Americans together culturally and spiritually after years of intentional division and cultural wedges being driven between us for political gain. We can only hope that this opportunity is embraced and a "new" American paradigm of one nation, indivisible, for all can be re-established root and branch.