My guttural response to this picture is this guy is an jerk and if someone put a bullet between his eyes I wouldn’t shed a tear. That’s my id responding, it is neither rational nor practical. Intellect and a higher calling to defend the Constitution kicks in to tell me, no, this too must be defended.
Standing on the flag is a form of protest that is blatantly disrespectful to the United States of America and all who have fought to defend the right to do so. Counter-intuitively, in order to defend the First Amendment of the Constitution we must also defend those who have unpopular and opposing views, even this guy.
Instead of calling names and dreaming of high velocity lead therapy, have we ever stepped back and asked the question why? What’s the root cause for people acting out angrily in socially unacceptable ways? Stepping on the flag is minor and almost laughable compared to the acts of violence this palpable anger has generated.
More and more people are feeling apart from the American system. Regardless of political ideology, the political climate in this country is angry. Those who feel they are included in the system fear losing it. Those who feel they are not included in the system fear they will never belong. Anger, like energy, must be dissipated, preferably channeled.
The only way to channel anger constructively is to do the hardest thing when angry, think before acting. One of our most influential founder fathers, Thomas Jefferson, said, “When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred”. How high would he recommend we count before acting?
I believe the root cause of our anger and fear is financial insecurity. If not directly effected, we all know several people who have suffered at the hands of unemployment and/or underemployment. Frequently people are asked by their employers to train overseas replacements as they are handed pink slips. Corporations are reacting to the incentives given by the US government which were written by lobbyist. Basically, the corporations are writing laws to govern themselves.
The financial incentives overwhelmingly support corporate abandonment of the American people. Our anger is at the establishment, but channeled towards each other.
It’s not the idiot standing on the flag that’s shipping your job overseas or writing the laws allowing it. It’s not the illegal immigrant. It’s not the Muslim immigrant. It’s not black teenagers. It’s not even the Chinese. The root cause is our government has tilted the rules so far towards rewarding business that average citizens are left to fight each other for the scraps. Whether it’s an intentional or unintentional result is debatable. As it stands now our government has morphed into something that no longer represents the people effectively.
Don’t just focus on the presidential election. The make up of Congress has as much to do with our laws as the president. Stop re-electing incumbents because it’s the only name you recognize on the ballot. Channel the anger into education about the issues and the candidates and most importantly vote.
Here’s just a few websites to look into: