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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Post just doesn't get it... again...

Philip Kennicott in the Washington Post writes a piece deconstucting American fascination with this map:

He chooses to conclude with:

"In his Nov. 9 column, John Derbyshire, a right-wing polemicist for the National Review Online, made one of the many little lists of undesirables floating around cyberspace: "the academic deconstructors, the teacher-union multiculturalists, the media guilt-mongers, the love-the-world pacifists, the criminal-lovers and family-breakers, the inventors of bogus rights and destroyers of cherished traditions, the haters of normality and scoffers at restraint, the enterprise-destroying litigators and pain-feelers."

In the flurries of hate rhetoric that followed in the wake of this election, the message of this list -- you are not welcome -- is clear. As is the rancor in an essay, on Slate.com, by novelist Jane Smiley, which proclaimed "red state types" to be virtually "unteachable." The level of descriptive and demonizing detail in these screeds reflects the dark side of our collective demographic self-absorption.

All of these rants show how thoroughly we are caught up in the secessionist/expulsionist fantasy, and how painful it is to realize that perhaps the United States is nothing more than an arbitrary lumping together of people inside a shape on a map. Other national symbols have a comforting ambiguity. The map, however, says one thing, and very clearly: the only truly shared identity a diverse people has is that it lives in this place, confined within these lines. Everything else is up for grabs, and so the contest is on."

Mr. Kennicott, I don't see readers of The National Review holding public "gloating rallies" where they burn this map, but I do see readers of the Washington Post holding "peace rallies" where they burn the flag.

Get your readers to show a little restraint, Mr. Kennicott, and maybe then I'll consider your arguments.

Actions speak louder than words, Sir.

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