An eagle-eyed reporter for the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, noticed something missing from Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., lapels.
“You don’t have the American flag pin on. Is that a fashion statement?” the reporter asked, at the end of a brief interview with Obama on Wednesday. “Those have been on politicians since Sept. 12, 2001.”
The standard political reply to that question might well have been, “My patriotism speaks for itself.”
But Obama didn’t say that.
Instead the Illinois senator answered the question at length, explaining that he no longer wears such a pin, at least in part, because of the Iraq War.
“You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin,” Obama said. “Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.
Instead,” he said, “I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”
Obama could also have just said that he thought politicians wearing US flag lapel pins had become a cliche, but he did not.
However diplomatically he puts it, stating publicly that he isn’t wearing the US flag because he does not support the war in Iraq is an extremely striking gesture of anti-patriotism.
There really ought to be an alternative lapel pin Obama could substitute, something featuring an emblem identifying the wearer’s membership in what Thomas Sowell likes to refer to as “the elect.” Perhaps a blue background pin with a gold halo on it would do the trick.