From Magic City Morning Star

Guest Column
America at Half-Staff
By Patrick J. Fornari
Aug 3, 2015 - 11:35:10 PM

There are federal policies in place regarding flying the American flag at half-staff and presidents have discretion when it comes to the display of the American flag. Our attention to the government sanctioned position of our flag at any given time on federally controlled property no matter how justified or vilified according to any particular perspective is worthy of serious discussion but not obsession. Symbolism, however appropriate, honorable and emotionally stirring is not action.

America has become a memorial culture. Americans are generous empathetic people. In much of the world life is cheap. Many Americans are blissfully unaware of the widespread brutality and despotism that reigns across the globe. Our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights make every second of our American lives possible. The rights, freedom and prosperity we enjoy are the direct result of our founding documents. In America life is valuable; as a result we rightly commemorate the loss of life. However, we should avoid the disparagement of our national identity which regrettably may sometime accompany our national grief. Everything that happens abroad or domestically isn't automatically America's fault.

My assertion that we are a memorial culture is bolstered by the events of September 11th 2001, the presidents' clumsy evocation of the Crusades in an early 2015 speech and his 2009 "Cairo speech" in which our ideologically driven president completely misrepresented the concept of "American Exceptionalism." 911 should be memorialized in the most heartfelt way possible but the Crusades should be reserved for history class and should not be encouraged to be internalized with contemporized relevance and solemnity. The Cairo speech is exemplary of demagoguery and emotional manipulation at its worst.

Why do these seemingly disparate events command attention? Because "Guilt" summons many an Americans' individual sense of fairness as it simultaneously feeds the Liberal narrative that portrays America as an "unfair" country. Americans were told by Liberals that 911 was our fault. The presidents' reference to the "Crusades" at the National Prayer Breakfast allowed Obama to once again utilize guilt in a disturbing comparison of moral equivalence and justification for the atrocities committed by ISIS. The Cairo speech was delivered in an inexcusable apologetic tone as Obama attempted to seek redemption for America's past sins by employing guilt along with a perverted definition of the term "American Exceptionalism." All three events are linked by the Progressive's coin of the realm currency; Guilt and collective atonement. This perspective, though certainly not shared by all Americans, is prevalent in our mainstream media's message as to how Americans should view themselves.

Cities, states and countries memorialize their historic and cultural milestones to one degree or another. My concern is that instant communication and electronic media have nationalized all tragedies. Are we to become a nation of people with tearful eyes cast downward? Will our national calendar be filled with candle lit public vigils adorned with flowers and stuffed animals under the fleeting light of Chinese Lanterns that drift skyward along with our contemplation of those lost? This is where the growth of Islamic terrorism and the Progressive movements' rewrite of American history converge in contrite uncertainty for some. The clear line between the good and evil has been blurred by political correctness and media propaganda. This dangerous ideological merger cleaves our American family and culture. A school, police, US military base incident or horrific accident are internal heartbreaks, even the perpetrator unless an illegal alien, is ours, its part of our culture. It's our business. There is a distinction between domestic calamity and the external menace which the Liberals' ceaseless bashing of America has been nourishing for decades. It's not good enough for a citizen or immigrant to hate America because it's America anymore. Today's Liberals more than ever before prod supporters to identify with foreign grievances then address those complaints from within the US. This is what I assert makes Obama's distorted, divisive, derisive Cairo speech seditious. I expect America's enemies to stir dissent across the globe; not our president. Racial division and mistrust in government are at a crescendo due to the appalling lack of the principled competent leadership that Americans deserve. The shaming of America, the effect of raising generations of new Americans in a culture so proficient in the celebration of shared grief and loss as a means to feel validated, inclusive and united will yield dire consequences. America cannot abide a culture that self-identifies as vanquished victims. Where will the capacity to face national challenges come from if the predominate national unifying social interaction is focused on loss, guilt and pain?

America has received a precious gift from our founders in the form of self-determination and liberty. It is the first time on the long arc of history that this circumstance exists to the degree Americans enjoy. America is the exception to history's eon's long rule. Ours is the first true government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is referred to as "American Exceptionalism." Asking "Is America an exceptional country?" is a much different question than asking "What is American Exceptionalism?" Our historic exceptionalism is not transferable to other countries or cultures as Obama so flippantly indicated in his Cairo speech. It's a fact logged on history's timeline, not a source of nationalistic pride that can be adopted by or applied to any and all countries.

Our America at Half-Staff culture is in danger of turning into a culture which flies the stars and stripes upside down as a sign of perpetual distress. Parents that shuffle their children to candle light vigils yet avoid Fourth of July celebrations for fear of instilling "overly patriotic sentiments" in those same children may wish to rethink their worldview.

As Americans we need to remember our losses, but not at the cost of forgetting our victories.

Patrick J. Fornari
Author of "Commoner Sense"

President Trump?
by Patrick J. Fornari
Jul 29, 2015

Politicians spend most of their time fund raising which traps them politically and minimizes their time working for, or listening to "We the People." Not Trump, he's not asking for political favors or money. Trump spends his time campaigning and answering questions. The establishment Republican candidates and elite class of political pundits that surround those candidates are indeed well educated, but "The Donald" holds the Trump Card because Donald Trump is actually -- Smart. He uses plain language to focus on a few core issues which the average voter is truly concerned with. I don't know if Mr. Trump will win this fight but I do know he has filled the arena. If there is one thing Donald Trump's substantial ego will not allow it is history or the American people remembering him as anything less than a great president.

Pure of Heart
by Patrick J Fornari
Jul 19, 2015

The reluctance to vote GOP is rooted in the perception that the Republican Party is not sufficiently conservative or libertarian. I agree; the Republican Party is a mere shadow of its ideological lineage. This harsh reality emerged with the ascension of the Tea Party in 2010. The rejection of the newly elected Tea Party types to congress by establishment Republicans is in my opinion the greatest political mistake of the last half century. This historic political snub defined and diminished the image of establishment Republicans whose campaigns and re-election benefited from the momentum of the Tea Party candidates. The failure of the establishment to embrace promising Republican political momentum revealed their self-serving aspirations taking precedent over GOP and national interest. The concept of "We the People" seemed to be furthest from the duplicitous political minds of our elected officials. We now have government of the government, by the government, for the government. I clearly understand the reluctance to vote Republican, even if you are a republican.

Other Article Published at Magic City:

Patrick J. Fornari was born and raised in Indiana, and spent the first half of his three plus decade construction career working in the Midwest and Western United States, including Illinois, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, California and Arizona. For the second half of his career, he worked construction on several Caribbean islands, giving him a unique perspective on his home country. Fornari currently lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"Commoner Sense"
By Patrick J. Fornari
iUniverse Press
Published 3/7/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4917-2273-2
156 pages
Softcover $16
E-book $4

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