Dover Bitch

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Never a boast or a brag

Though many of our awesome representatives in D.C. are willing to let Net Neutrality die because it's "a solution in search of a problem," they have no problem debating a Constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. Go figure.

Even though this entire debate is a waste of time and taxpayer money (love those self-voted pay increases) because there is clearly no danger of losing all our flags -- or even, say, three of them -- to crazy flag burners, it strikes DB that the opposite would be equally true.

Imagine that American flags were being burned so often that Congress would be debating something that actually happens all over the country. Think how bad things would have to be in this country for that to be the reality. If these same Senators ever live in an America like that, it's their own fault.

Of course, nothing says you believe in your country, Constitution and freedom of expression more than the confidence that it will survive any tiny gesture, including the burning of its very symbol. In short, you don't have to like the pieces of crap who burn flags. But it doesn't say much for your belief in freedom (or understanding of irony) to fight against expression in order to save it.

What happens if they succeed in passing this law? Will nobody burn a flag again? Doesn't it seem likely that someone angry enough to burn one today might still do it? OK, so now you can throw them in jail, but the flag is still toast and the gesture is no longer empty. That person's not just some jerk, but someone willing to make a real personal sacrifice in order to make whatever point.

Or maybe they'll just burn maps of the United States. Or the presidential seal. Or a photo of the president. Or maybe an "American flag" with the wrong number of stars or stripes. Will we be so uptight to amend the Constitution for all that?

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