Last night I went on a walk to deposit two more one-day paychecks to the bank via the ATM. It was 21:00 and was a pleasant evening. I had on my headphones and listened to very nice songs, such as “Super Bon Bon” by Soul Coughing, “History Repeating” by Propellorheads, “Ready to Go” by Republik, and “Fields of Gold” by Sting. On the way to the bank I saw a flier advertising an anti-war rally. I pondered this for the rest of my walk to the bank. I was going to take a different route home, stopping by a bar and dropping off a resume, but I decided to go back the way I came to see the flier again and note the time and date of the protest. By the time I had gotten back to the flier I had resolved to go to the rally. Not only just go, but go wearing my Marine Corps cammies and carrying the large American flag which has been with me at every other protest that I’ve gone to. I had written earlier how I thought I’d entertain the wrong people and the wrong questions, but as I walked back I decided it didn’t matter. I am opposed to the impending war with Iraq. I am not for shying from war, I am not one of those who oppose it right off the bat. I am not a pacifist. Yet the reasons for war with Iraq are weak. The tone of the arguments against Iraq are against what we (supposedly) hold dear. We are to go to war with Iraq because of the possibility of their developing weapons of mass destruction? Aren’t there many other countries now who already have these weapons? (yes) Are we done with Al Qaeda? (no) I think Mark Twain (a brilliant mind) said that “we Americans have the luxury of opinion without the burden of thought”. Perhaps it was J.F. Kennedy who said it. Whatever the case, while the notion of war with Iraq is given musical preludes and colorful graphics on news programs and talk shows, it hasn’t been thought about. The population makes their judgment on such through the filter of emotion and with the notion of “patriotism”. Patriotism and nationalism are attacked vigorously by social and political philosophers on the left and I agree with the damning words. To act in mere blindness of nationalism is to forget the nature of the thing before you. If I am to have nationalism and patriotism, it will be for a country built on and expressing principles of democracy. I am a patriot because my country is a country of citizens and as such we have dialogue on what our actions, via trade, military action, etc… are to be. Thus far I am quite opposed to the Bush administration. Secret meetings to change EPA standards without the “nussiance and annoying” public opinions getting in the way (Friday’s Register Guard article), the impending war for oil (watch for the pipeline through Afghanistan), for the rolling back of civil liberties… the Bush administration is, to me, violently anti-American.
As I neared the flier I saw that the time of the anti-war rally is today (Saturday) and I am slated to be at work at the stadium. And here I am at an act symbolic in the life of the character of America. I will choose not to go to the rally, instead going to the job to earn the money that I so desperately need to pay my rent in a week.