Friday, April 18, 2008

In the best of all possible worlds...

In the best of all possible worlds, this is the answer that Barack Obama gave to the question in Wednesday's debate about his refusal to wear a flag pin:

"One of the problems we have in America right now is that too many people confuse symbols with the principles that those symbols stand for. We claim that terrorists 'hate us for our freedoms', yet we're willing to give up those very freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. This administration has suspended Habeas Corpus, circumvented legal protections against spying on Americans, violated Constitutional mandates for due process and against cruel and unusual punishment, kept vital information from the American people about Iraq and the war on terror, and carried out other policies that fly in the face of the Constitution and our deepest values as Americans. Yet, they wave the flag and claim to be patriots. Let me tell you something: wearing the flag does not make you a patriot, particularly when you fight against free speech, due process, and the very liberties that it stands for. And not wearing the flag doesn't mean you're not patriotic, particularly when you are fighting for those values. When we go to war, we are not fighting for the flag; we're fighting for what it stands for. We're not fighting for the flag, we're fighting for the people who it represents. And when we confuse the symbol for the principle, we risk giving up the very thing that gives the flag its value."

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