Since early in the primary season, there has been a whisper campaign suggesting that Barack Obama isn't a true American or isn't patriotic. Remember the absent flag pin? Of course John McCain doesn't wear one (though Gov. Palin wears one big enough all of them). Of course, he's a socialist (and no good American can be a socialist), he's a Muslim, he's an Arab, he's a racist Black radical, he pals around with terrorists . . . need I go on.
It is a sad fact of American life that we regularly question people's loyalty to the nation. If it's not as hot or fervent in its rhetoric as some others, then they're not sufficiently patriotic. But is such patriotism a virtue? Is putting "country first" necessarily a good thing? Remember, Americans aren't the only one's who love their country. Russians love their country. Nationalism fuels many of our crises in the world today.
Colin Powell said it well:
This business from the congresswoman from Minnesota saying, let's examine all congressman to see who is pro-American or not pro-American. We've got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together. And remember that our great strength is in our unity and diversity and so, that really was driving me.
Let's stop questioning if someone is sufficiently pro-American or not. I have significant disagreements with the Republican Party. But I think it inappropriate to question the patriotism of its members. Let us remember who we are. We are more than Republicans or Democrats or Independents. We come from across the globe. Some of us trace back our ancestry to colonial times, while others are first generation immigrants. Whatever our background we should remember our national motto: E Pluribus Unum -- Out of the Many, One. This is a motto that I think we too easily forget -- and to our detriment as a nation.