Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The new patriotism

With Obama's election, Americans are suddenly patriotic again. How cool is that?

They painted Barack Obama as an unpatriotic, "terrorist sympathizing" candidate whose values are foreign to the American way of life. How could it be that his ascendance to the presidency should be the occasion for the new patriotic spirit sweeping America?

Yesterday on the mall in Washington hundreds of thousands belted out "This Land is Your Land" led by 90-year-old labor activist and folk singer Pete Seeger who was blacklisted in the 50s. The eyes of white middle aged working guys moistened as they listened to a black children's choir sing "America the Beautiful". And throughout the crowd -- even among the aging 60s activists who had struggled against the Vietnam War -- there was a genuine, deep admiration for the men and women who risk it all every day in our armed forces.

And it's not just in Washington. As unlikely as it might seem to the right, the election of Barack Hussein Obama has caused an intense feeling of patriotism to well up across the country.

I guess a president that inspires optimism and that wonderful we're-all-in-this-together spirit will do that.

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