I was surfing through Corrente last night when I found this rather puzzling post by Mandos, Symbols, they are not your friends. Hmmm, said I, what is this all about and what does it have to do with The Confluence and the PUMAs? Well, as it turns out, I can see no correlation.
Let me clarify: Too much has been made of the flag burning amendment. I don’t have an issue with people burning the flag. The world will not come to an end. In fact, one of the only benefits of my Jehovah’s Witnesses upbringing is that I am not overly worshipful of flags. When everyone else in my class was saluting it, I was commanded by my fanatical mother to stand there silently. And in that moment of silence, I got to reflect on what everyone aroound me was doing. They were mindlessly mouthing some little ditty created as a kind of public loyalty oath. As a result of those hundreds of moments of silence, I decided it was much better to actually, you know, be loyal than worship some multicolored cloth. So, the JW training definitely backfired. It made me a stronger citizen.
Our worth is not tied up in a flag and I think Hillary knows it. The silly parade of flag burning amendments that we’ve had over the past several decades were an attempt to divide us once again. But they were also unconstitutional in some respects. And sometimes there is no better way for a divisive issue to go away than to come to some compromise. The changes Clinton made to the flag burning amendment were symbolic, not the flag burning amendment itself. And for some reason, the only ones who have ever been incensed by them have been those of us on the left. The people on the right just sort of let the issue drop.
So, let it go, people. Burning the flag is rude and offensive to some people, nothing more. It isn’t the blessed sacrament. You will not die if you do it and you will only face a fine if the flag you burn belongs to someone else, thank you Hillary.
Now, onto the PUMA stuff. The concept has gone viral and many people are claiming it is a shoe or a gourd. They can claim whatever they like. It is like any other flavor of a new religion, not that it *is* a new religion. But that was not the original intent of PUMA. If you need to be reminded of what we intended when we created the concept, see the tab at the top of this page. In summary: we are 18 million voters who are being given the finger by the DNC and the Obama campaign at the same time they are expecting us to deliver our votes to them. We are telling the DNC and the Obama campaign that they have to earn our vote or they can not count on us in November. They need to honor Hillary’s voters, commit to our issues and allow us fair representation at the convention. If they don’t, we must follow our consciences in the voting booth. Obama is the weaker candidate, we didn’t choose him, he was chosen for us and we are saying, that’s not good enough for us.
That’s it. There is no committment to either shoe or gourd, Obama or McCain. It is up to the DNC and the Obama campaign to decide if they need our votes in November. If they do, they need to start demonstrating it. So far, they have not. And that is why PUMA is getting to be such a potent symbol. But for those of you who are reading more into it than that or are hoping for a miracle, there isn’t one. Your vote is your own. You give it to the person who deserves it and who has worked to gain your trust. Or no one at all. That is PUMA. It is both simple and powerful.