Archives for: May 2012, 10
Millstones were used since prehistoric times to crush grain into flour for baking. Mills were turned by animals power and the millstones attached to a shaft would turn over the grain. Millstones eventually had to be replaced. They found their way other uses in those barbaric times.
When a crime was deemed so heinous it deserved a punishment more horrible even than crucifixion, the millstone sometimes came into final use. The Gospel of Matthew makes reference to that form of execution in describing the souls of those who would make advances on children, enticing them into sins: "it were better for him that millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
Largely because of that stray reference, the millstone came to a place in our language. It became known as a heavy, painful, perhaps fatal burden. It later evolved into its current definition: the traditional Republican attack on the patriotism of Democrats.
I thought about it this past week as conservative blogger John Houk reviewed a piece I had forwarded to him. He derided the very idea that "that a Liberal could possess Patriotism..." I suspect John may have meant "liberal." You know, with a small "L"? Anyway, he goes on:
Making ugly epithets about military personal is not an abundance of Patriotism (you know e.g. baby killers, murderers and the such thinking).
[Italics are John's]
Even combat heroes like Max Cleland, who had lost three limbs in Vietnam, and John Kerry were attacked as unpatriotic by opponents who had never served. Max Cleland opposed an anti-Union provision of a portion of Homeland security legislation. So he was portrayed as soft on terrorism. Kerry was attacked by fellow veterans, most of whom had never met him. They were recruited and financed by a small and secretive group of conservative billionaires, then propped up to appear as if they were exposing some wartime fraud they had themselves witnessed.
This was a new variant, but it's the sort of thing that has been going on for as long as I can remember. Even clear personal sacrifice can be turned around and used to show a lack of patriotism.
Al Gore, who served in Vietnam as a military reporter with the 20th Engineer Brigade in Bien Hoa, is routinely attacked because of his activism on global warming, for which he has been awarded the Nobel Prize. He is attacked as ... you guessed it ... unpatriotic for believing the clear evidence on global climate change.
It is the millstone around our necks. If we oppose an unwise war, we are unpatriotic. If we are pro-union, we are unpatriotic. If we are for a rational environmental policy based on science, we are unpatriotic. If we sneeze, we are unpatriotic.
One leader of the shouting is Michele Bachmann, who once begged reporters to investigate the patriotism of Democrats in Congress.
So we might not expect restraint among Democrats as Ms. Bachmann achieves a feat most of us thought was impossible, increasing the proportion of Swiss citizens in the US Congress by ... well ... how do you calculate a percentage of increase from a base of zero? She has applied for and been granted citizenship by the government of Switzerland. Yeah that Switzerland. Right in the middle (I think) of that part of Europe derided by Dick Cheney. A chocolate republic. Wouldn't stand up to the Nazis or to the USSR. Geneva Convention. Peace.
It seems she did it for the children. Her husband is of Swiss descent, which made her eligible. According to her spokesperson, "...some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family."
It seems harmless to me. Still, we can speculate what her reaction might have been had a Democrat become a citizen of a European country with a national identity known for neutrality.
We do not have to wonder about the reaction of some on the right. Their knives are sharpened, they are on the attack. Mark Krikorian, writing in National Review Online, is brutal.
The fact that even a patriot like Bachmann would do something like this is testament to how thoroughly the moral relativism of the post-national Left has permeated our culture.
Yup. You read it right. Ms. Bachmann became a European citizen because of a lack of patriotism on the part of liberals. We leftist hippies made her do it.
More proof we are unpatriotic.