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How to spot plastic patriotism, using 'the troops' for your pet cause
Plastic patriotism only appeals to the lowest common denominator of American. It’s the kind of rah-rah posturing that the-less educated, less-intelligent, less-motivated, and wholly immature of our population seek when they’re unable to find any satisfaction in their personal lives.
Its structure, its nature, is designed to give the satisfaction of success to people who lack success on an individual basis. With plastic patriotism, they can feel accomplished based on historical and group successes — "We won gold at the Olympics"; "We won WWII"; and "We beat the British."
It’s the kind of patriotism that masks for unhealthy levels of nationalism. Those who engage in it are smitten by the rules of liberty, a set of rules they made up that quantifies just how American someone is based on their social behavior and political thoughts. When those rules are broken or tested, we often see the plastic-patriot hordes engage in facile verbal offensives to correct the perceived indiscretions.
When it comes to shaming others into their idea of patriotism, the most valuable tool the plastics have is "the troops." No controversial or talked-about issue is immune from the plastics injecting "the troops" in order to score cheap points.
We saw this during the NFL’s flag kneeling controversy of 2017. It started as a few players constitutionally and quietly protesting police brutality during the national anthem. But the plastics hijacked the narrative, pitting the “ungrateful thug football players” against all the troops who ever died in an American uniform. No metaphor or cliche was sparred by the plastics in their campaign to derail peaceful protest while fetishizing the anthem and the troops.
That’s one of the easy examples. It’s become such a common occurrence to cite the troops in every political argument that it's essentially a joke to everyone but the plastics, who lack the self-awareness to see irony or hypocrisy.
But here’s the dirty open secret about plastic patriots: Their love and admiration for service members more often than not stops the second a troop or veteran tests their worldview. It’s never been about them actually loving the kind of individual that puts on a uniform: It’s about how that individual's super-hero brand can validate their groupthink.
We’ve seen time and time again how Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipients, former POWs, Purple Heart recipients, Gold Star families, and thousands of combat veterans have had their service or experience relegated because they broke step with the plastics' narratives.
That’s why we often see the plastics using deceased service members as talking points. The dead can’t burst their bubbles by disagreeing. The dead are perfect tools for dismissing athletes who try to peacefully stand up against racial injustice.
It’s selfishness and insincerity in its most egregious form. If you’re a veteran, no matter what end of the political spectrum you fall on, you are not immune from these people speaking for you, telling you how you’re supposed to act, and tossing you to the side once you’re of no use to them anymore.
It’s not a matter of whether certain views of theirs align with yours or not. This is a matter of them having no respect for your service to begin with. You’ll always just be a talking point to them.
The decorated Marine pilot whose heroics helped stop the 1973 New Orleans sniper attack has died at 84
The decorated U.S. Marine Corps pilot who risked his life and military career to help New Orleans police halt the Howard Johnson's hotel sniper attack that shattered the quiet of a Sunday morning and claimed seven lives in 1973 died Feb. 13 following a lengthy battle with cancer, according to his family.
Retired Lt. Gen. Charles "Chuck" Pitman Sr., whose heroics against Mark Essex that day earned him the eternal gratitude of city leaders and first responders, was 84.
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
On Feb. 19, 1945, more than 70,000 U.S. Marines conducted an amphibious assault to take the Island of Iwo Jima from fortified Japanese forces. Over the next 36 days nearly 7,000 Marines would be killed during the battle, which is regarded as one of the bloodiest of World War II, as they faced hidden enemy artillery, machine guns, vast bunker systems and underground tunnels. Of the 82 Marines who earned the Medal of Honor during all of World War II, 22 medals were earned for actions on Iwo Jima.
Now, 75 years later, 28 Marines and Sailors who fought on Iwo Jima gathered to remember the battle at the 75th and final commemoration sunset ceremony Feb. 15, 2020, at the Pacific Views Event Center on Camp Pendleton, California.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.