Sunday, October 17, 2004

Bill Moyers on the "leave no lobbyist behind" Tax Bill

In A Little Patriotic Sacrifice Bill Moyers expresses the distressing problems with the way the government is being run by both the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress.

Bill is invoking patriotism for his main point of their hypocrisy. While this highlights the disheartening hypocrisy and logical contradictions of legislators when they invoke patriotism, it just leaves patriotism as a tool, not as anything really meaningful (because the meaning is purely political and therefore changes in any given context - it has more outfits than Carrie in Sex in the City).

I think patriotism needs to start being interrogated more critically*. It's been attempted to be reclaimed from the left, but I'm not sure how successful this strategy has been. To argue that someone is or isn't patriotic is a discursive wielding of power and obfuscates the practices that can be spun as patriotic and therefore legitimated.

This may be a touchy subject, but analytically, what is the usefulness of "patriotism" as a framing device besides pointing out contradictions? If that is the extent of its usefulness, then aren't we shooting out own feet by reifying patriotism as a legitimating discourse? I'm just trying to think "outside the box" here.**

* Please, don't question my "patriotism" because of my questioning the analytics of patriotism.

**Notice I basically have to apologize for even bringing this up!


At 9:55 AM, Blogger Goesh said...

Nope, I detect no sedition in your post - how patriotic of me to say that - the stars and stripes are still faintly waving in the background, afterall, there may be better vehicles to polarize a nation than mundane patriotism - I always thought first and foremost it meant speaking out with no fear of retribution from either camp.


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