Rally 'Round The Flag? We The People

News & SocietyPolitics

  • Author Christopher Szumilas
  • Published May 15, 2020
  • Word count 801

February 2020

With the impending political and military activity due to the actions surrounding the US Embassy in Iraq, now is a good time for citizens to sharpen their "observatory lenses" when assessing the United States politicians' actions and behaviors. Yes indeed, President Donald Trump is a key player and we should regularly zoom our focuses on him. Just as important, though, we as citizens, have a duty to also remind ourselves to regularly switch to a panoramic view and note those politicians who march in lockstep agreement with Trump on the international stage.

It's one thing to put your past moralistic and altruistic notions in your idealistic pockets in a blind effort to protect your party's leader during a politically-engendered impeachment process – it's entirely different, and much more grave an act, to do so when American policy effects U.S. citizens abroad due to the negative spotlight being shone upon them as appendages of our politicians' cowardice in the face of true avarice demonstrated by the blatant, impetuously childlike actions of our politically impulsive president.

For those who reside on the political left and now feel that the allegorical morally-righteous needle has swung to their favor in light of the impeachment process and the facts revealed during the process (presidential tweets, White House staff emails), a more vital and telling test is sure to come: Will they back the president on military actions based on the traditionally fantastical (if only that were an oxymoron) notion that the nation must be united in times of war and blindly adhere to the concept known as the "Rally 'round the flag effect" (or syndrome). Two schools of thought derive from this effect – patriotic inclinations in the citizenry to support the president unconditionally in military actions; and political impotency of the opposition party – in this case the Democrats – evidenced by that party's unwillingness to question a commander-in-chief's war wagering.

As former CIA director (of the Clinton administration) Michael Morell told "CBS This Morning" the drone strike on Iranian General Qassim Soleimani will lead to "dead civilian Americans."

On "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" Matthew Dowd pointedly noted that the attack on Soleimani was a direct attack on a military leader "of a foreign sovereign nation", and added that countries around the world will indeed take note. What this means is that people the world over will absolutely be keenly aware of how our president conducts U.S. Military operations abroad.

But be assured citizens of the United States, with the timing of this attack and its chronological relationship with the upcoming elections, you, the electorate, the people of this country who will be selecting the next commander-in-chief, will be under an observational scope never before available to a world audience with such easy access to information; which will provide a 'brutal' level of scrutiny. Previous degrees of the natural cloaking of our electoral process provided by both geographical distance and general disinterest will be unmasked.

Those nations with pervasive anti-American bias will experience an enhanced version of such sentiment if we re-elect a leader whose definition of military protocol for such an invasive military action is to inform a party-friendly sitting Senator of such an act on a golf course. (Any consultation with domestic or foreign intelligence agencies/entities?) Nations with an underlying resentment of America's seemingly presumed station of superiority will nationally disrobe of any such aesthetic restraint.

If political preservation trumps national security (no pun intended, but unavoidable here) and even international security, America's spotlight as operating as the "leader of the free world" will diminish our standing to that of a dimly lit station - just another nation "in the mix". Or maybe... a shinier object - a target of resentment for our arrogantly self-appointed role atop of the world's moral hierarchy.

This is not a call for anti-Republicanism – it's an appeal for the end of the current hyper-partisan state of our national political psyche. This president has 'skillfully' guided this nation, using his maniacal tendencies, into a partisan divide we haven't seen since... the Civil War? Okay, I'll cease and desist of my own hyperbolic transgressions and return to a normalcy of straightforward talk: Just keep your eyes open, people, forget about the politics, and vote for the person you believe to be best to move this country forward and is able to do so without allowing their own personal interests and inflated ego to obstruct their view of what is in the best interest of our nation. Don't fall victim to the comfort zone you so cherish in your political party's rhetorically soothing environs.

Maybe I can simplify this even further with the opening line of a document you might be familiar with – the United States Constitution. It is: "We the People of the United States"... NOT "We the Party".

U.S. Veteran – started with the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) of Public Affairs Officer/Journalist in the 1980s. Meandered through a career which included many roles requiring extensive writing in various formats. Now I'm looking to begin freelancing and have chosen politics as a launching theme in these precarious times.

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