Our Boundaryless Wild Patriotism

By Ahsen Jillani

Patriotism has always fascinated me. When I see a Harley with four Made-in-China American flags flying on it, I scratch my head. What is the message this 57-year-old, 370 lb guy sending to me? I mean, waving your own flag in the middle of your own country is not exactly meant to impress your wife or mistress or co-workers. It's obviously for those third parties who dare think they can fly a Bosnian flag, or worse, an Islamic flag, or worse of the worse, a Mexican flag.

There's hardly even a debate that the world in this supposedly tolerant and progressive century has made a sharp right – and dived over a cliff. And as 40 percent of us spit toxic vitriol on the way to the rocks, we make sure it is about “them other" people, and especially about those darn coloreds trying to take those jobs we want the most as we drink beer and eat pizza—vegetable and fruit picking, slaughterhouses full of ankle-deep blood, or roofing and construction in 100 degree heat. And wait…the landscaping and ditch digging. Heck we would make America, Italy, Britain, Philippines and all of the world great again if only we could have the privilege of doing these high paying, benefits-laden jobs.

Heading to our jobs, we can only smile lovingly at the red-blooded sheep who ignore national flags and go down the road in roaring pickups with gigantic sports team flags – that's a subset of the gung-ho who would go to war not only for their country, but also for their football team. God bless them all. But the “Us v. Them" psychology behind the divisiveness of passion and patriotism runs deep in our veins. All “–isms" are fed by passion. Racism, sexism, socialism, capitalism, feminism, even machoism. The opposing parties must be set straight about how to digest the truth that is now in your possession.

The crooked line that runs straight between the two points that educate the ignorant in the minds of the patriots is where the pencil hits the ellipsograph. “Don't Mess with Texas." “These Colors Don't Run." “Death Before Dishonor." “Packers Rule the World." “49ers are King." The base testosterone injection of the need for violence throws us basically into the 50,000-year-old battlefield of hunting a woolly mammoth on the tundra. In short, we like it. We like to embrace our colors in the international arena.

As I discussed India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and the Impossible Whopper with various folks over the past few weeks, I learned you take no prisoners in love, war and hatred. We are in a constant state of agitation that blames others for our personal problems. It's the boss, it's the husband, it's the wife, it's the taxes, it's the … yeah, it's all the others, it has to be, because we just don't feel good. And that weakness can easily be exploited.

My decades working with politicians, I have learned a few things—they have our number, and they will dial it frequently. For years I have also argued with people about how nations go to war, and how nations grow and nurture hatred like pretty roses. A sophisticated elite takes an acupuncture needle and hits that magic spot that numbs your common sense, and then you give the Nazi salute and you march to the pied piper.

Yes, for decades I have asked the same question of right wing people trying to educate me about the importance of borders: “If I give you a gun and put a puppy and a Mexican illegal immigrant child in front of you right now, and tell you that you had to shoot one….well." The silence eats at your heart like a great white shark. The silence etches the answer into your soul. We humans were never in the Love business. Since the beginning of time, we have invaded, murdered, raped and pillaged whenever the opportunity presented itself. Today, patriotism has become a science—and maybe a branch of psychology.

The science of hatred is so much more sophisticated than standing on a rock, addressing the sheep: “These nasty invaders will enslave our women and children. Kill them!" Today, you sprinkle that spring wildflower mix on the sleeping populace and water it with the distractions of runaway capitalism. Occasionally, you fertilize with some Russian intelligence misinformation, or homegrown propaganda, or just plain old ancient lust for money and power—and voila! Let's burn a village. Let's cage some babies. Let's break into a Jewish home. We don't feel good until the oneness brings us together in this cleansing process. We want to stand in vast, empty countries with like minded smiling people, the flag flying gracefully in the background.

Some professor 15 years ago suggested that the US, as a percentage of global landmass, could and should accommodate one billion people. That didn't fly well with a Bush administration that was busy bombing Iraq to the tune of $2 Trillion taxpayer dollars in the pockets of bomb makers. In 2013, the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization suggested that the US has enough land and resources to exceed China and India and become the largest nation on the planet. Increase immigration to 10 million/year for the next 70-80 years. The economy would flourish, dead cities like Detroit would be reborn, democracy will spread globally. Plus, amnesty for all illegal aliens. Ahem.

Oh, the liberals and their fantasies. America delivered a loud and clear message in 2016, and how the dominoes have fallen globally since then—with refugee children being yanked from parents. With boats being banned from touching Australian shores. With the Rohingya Muslims being squeezed into genocide in Burma by a western-supported leader. India wants Kashmir. Pakistan wants Kashmir. Iran wants Iraq and the Saudis want the entire Middle East. We are on fire.

Patriotism has us on fire. We want to close the borders but enjoy the cash from global trade. We want to close the borders but enjoy the strawberries picked by illegal Mexicans. We want to close the borders but are running out of oil to support an Arab super-state. We have lines in the sands of Time drawn with the bleeding claws of patriotism. Welcome to our nation; please spend your tourist dollars—and go home.

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Ahsen Jillani a former editor and publisher, is originally from Islamabad, Pakistan, and now lives in Mint Hill. He owns Must Media, a PR company focusing on both political and corporate clients.