Today's Bizarro cartoon has been brought to you by Samurai Hitler.
To my surprise, this cartoon attracted some of the most vehement hate mail I've received in a long time. I suppose I should have seen it coming, but to me the joke is an innocuous take on the feeling so many Americans have had in the past eight years of being anywhere from embarrassed about our government, to afraid of retribution from others while traveling abroad. We progressives joked regularly about disguising our citizenship while out of the country and some actually did so with Canadian patches on their backpacks, etc.
To be brutally honest, I think that people who find this cartoon to be offensive have a very childish view of patriotism. I can't find the exact quote, but Al Franken said in one of his books that conservatives love their country the way a toddler loves his mother: she is always right, she can do no wrong, and god help anyone who speaks against her. A liberal loves his country the way adults love each other: you support them and want the best for them so you are not averse to offering constructive criticism, putting your foot down when they misbehave, and refusing to be abused by them. (Al said it much better but you get the idea.)
Some of my favorite quotes on the subject:
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. – Edward R. Murrow
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it. –George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles. –George Jean Nathan
I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. –James Baldwin
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. – Sinclair Lewis
As for me, when America is contributing to the welfare of its citizens and the world, and upholding the principles on which it was founded, I am patriotic. When it is invading sovereign nations on false premises, torturing its captives, and robbing its poor to feed the rich, I'm ashamed of it. Your results may vary.
I promise tomorrow's post will be funny instead of serious.