I don’t seem to have made enough people mad enough with yesterday’s post about the 22% of America (according to a FoxNews poll last week) who personally hope that the new plan in Iraq fails. Here’s some more, based in part on the comments section of that post.
First, here’s the poll question in, um, question:
You can click to enlarge it, and the entire poll is here (.pdf). The question is “Do you personally want the Iraq plan that President Bush announced last week to succeed?”
63% answered “Yes”, 22% answered “No”, and 15% answered “Don’t Know”.
A reader commented:
What about the 15% that “don’t know?” I think you have 37% that would be definitively UNPATRIOTIC, for he exact reasons you lay out.
I will agree with the 37% number to an extent, but here we wade into dictionary territory. Not to define “patriotism”, which I believe to be sort of like trying to define “love”, but to define degrees of patriotism.
Just patriotic to some other nation or ideal besides the United States of America.
I would say that, if we’re playing these dictionary games, those undecided 15% are “un-patriotic” in the sense of “not actively patriotic”. That would make the 22%, I guess, “anti-patriotic”, as in “actively interested in the opposite of patriotism”.
All “patriotism”, of course, is from the United States’ perspective. I apologize to MO’s international readers, but Murdoc is American, the overwhelming majority of his readers are American, and he’s not going to write “American patriotism” or “unpatriotic American” every time.
Along those lines, I suspect that at least some of those 22% are, actually, quite patriotic. Just patriotic to some other nation or ideal besides the United States of America.
So, yes, 37% of poll respondents are not patriotic.
Another possibility would be that some of the 15% were totally unaware of any new plan and just said “don’t know” because they didn’t know anything about it. I’ve been polled over the phone like this before, and it’s sometimes tough to know what to answer when you’re not familiar with the subject. Still, I must repeat that it shouldn’t matter what the plan is or how much you know or don’t know about it. Wouldn’t “patriots” want it to succeed no matter what?
I guess I will say at this point that I don’t feel the same about “un-patriotics” (as vaguely defined here) as I do about “anti-patriotics”. “Anti-patriotics” are at least tantamount to being the enemy of America and in some cases the active enemy of America. My enemy. Not someone with a different opinion than I have. My enemy.
Those “anti-patriotics” who are active enemies of America and do something about it are traitors. Often not in the legal sense, but traitors nonetheless.
The “un-patriotics”, on the other hand, aren’t really my enemy. They’re sort of like France. Not a friend, but we’re not going to start bombing any time soon. We can be useful to each other at times, and we often have similar interests. Even though our basic beliefs are different, much of what we want is, in the end, very similar. No reason to fight as long they remain non-enemy. (Stupid, though…)
The large percentage of undecideds is part of what made me decide that the 22% number is genuine. Some of the “undecideds” probably were confused or something, and some might have answered “No” if they had been personally courageous enough to tell a pollster that they hoped America’s new plan would fail.
It also occurred to me that saying you “don’t hope it succeeds” is not necessarily the same as you “do hope it fails“. I guess I’m pretty skeptical that more than a small few who answered “No” could have been thinking that when they did so, though.
Another commenter writes:
Deport the bastards.
Now, Murdoc will admit that he would get a great deal of satisfaction out of such a policy. But not enough to offset the feeling that it was wrong and against the values that I hold dear. Even for the “anti-patriots”.
In many ways, it’s like Murdoc feels about flag burners. I certainly have no respect for flag burners. But I also don’t think their act is one that should be illegal. I think it’s terribly sad and stupid, and it always makes me feel badly for the poor misguided folks who think they’re doing a great thing by burning a flag, but I’m basically for letting folks do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm other folks.
On the other hand, if the “anti-patriots” (or flag burners, for that matter) crossed the line into actively harming the United States, I still would not favor deportation. Murdoc’s policy would be “Hang the bastards.”
In any event, as long as they don’t cross that line I will agree with the commenter who said:
Incentives to emigrate? Absolutely!!!
That’s part of what I don’t get about those folks (mostly on the Left) who want so bad for America to be like Old Europe. Why make the effort? Why not just move to Old Europe? Many people gave up a lot for a chance to make it in America expressly because it was different than Europe, and I believe that many of them were from the “prime” cut of the European population. Now that generations of time have given us so many “less than primes”, we should be helping them relocate back to their “soul homes”. But that’s another post.
Yet another commenter wrote:
Yes, it would make sense to want to succeed in Iraq, that we could convince the Iraqis to stop killing each other and our troops, that their government could learn to be less corrupt and more efficient. But it would make even more sense to support a plan THAT WOULD WORK. It may be patriotic to support the president’s plan, but it’s beyond foolish to not criticize his lack of success (and future failure).
Yesbut sighting. Why do folks get so uppity when they get called “unpatriotic”? I mean, most of the time it’s people who are clearly acting unpatriotic. Why so many word games? Why so many attempts to shift the topic? Why not actually discuss the point?
As I pointed out in the original post, it doesn’t matter what the plan is. Patriotic Americans should personally hope it succeeds.
It doesn’t matter if supporting a better plan would make more sense. Patriotic Americans should personally hope it succeeds.
It doesn’t matter if previous plans, supported or not, succeeded or not. Patriotic Americans should personally hope it succeeds.
Note that personally hoping the plan succeeds does not preclude discussion of other plans. It does not preclude criticism of the plan or of previous successes and failures. It is independent of those things, and that is exactly what I said.
Dean Esmay writes on his site:
And by the way, don’t question their patriotism. After all, all they’re doing is “criticizing.”
Mind you, criticizing THEM for acting unpatriotic is wrong. That would be stifling their dissent.
So let’s get it clear:
They have a right to criticize. You don’t have a right to criticize them.
See how easy it is?
He’s mocking someone, but I’m not quite sure who. It might be everyone.