The ACLU responded to the 9-11 terrorist attack by threatening to sue schools that hung god bless america signs. Is the ACLU more or less patriotic than the Daughters of the American Revolution? Public schools across the nation prohibited the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance. Is it more patriotic or less patriotic to prevent schoolchildren from saying the Pledge of Allegiance? University professors called patriotic Americans "naive" and described patriotism as a "benign umbrella for angry people."(2) Is it more patriotic to love your country or to ridicule those who do as "naive" and "angry"? These are not questions impenetrable to human logic.
Liberals want to be able to attack America without anyone making an issue of it. Patriotism is vitally important -- but somehow impossible to measure. Liberals relentlessly oppose the military, the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag, and national defense. But if anyone calls them on it, they say he's a kook and a nut. Citing the unpatriotic positions of liberals constitutes "McCarthyism."
In the 1988 presidential campaign, Vice President George Bush pointed out that his opponent Michael Dukakis had vetoed a bill requiring students to begin their day with the Pledge of Allegiance. Liberal heads spun with the dark reminders of the McCarthy era. Dukakis instantly compared Bush's dastardly trick of citing his record "to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Red-baiting during the 1950s."(3) Despite this slur against his patriotism, Dukakis said, "The American people can smell the garbage."(4) At least sophisticated Americans could smell the garbage. As one journalist said of Bush's unwarranted reference to Dukakis's record, it was intended to "rile up" ignoramuses in the American populace: the "folks who don't know any better," whose inferior "education or experience has not taught them that the right to speak out is the rudder of this great big boat we call America."(5) The only people whose "right to speak out" is not part of this great big boat we call America are Republicans who dare to mention that a Democrat vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance. Free speech is a one-way ratchet for traitors. While journalists assailed Bush for creating an atmosphere of intolerance for those who "object to patriotic oaths," they didn't mind creating an atmosphere of intolerance toward those who support patriotic oaths.(6)
Later, while campaigning at a naval base, Bush said of Dukakis, "I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks a naval exercise is something you find in the Jane Fonda Workout Book."(7) Again, there were wails of "McCarthyism" all around. Showing the left's renowned ability to get a joke, one reporter earnestly demanded to know: "Did Bush mean to imply that Dukakis is anti-military?"(8) Bush responded to the hysteria over his Jane Fonda joke, saying, "Was that funny? Reasonably funny? A naval exercise -- I thought that was pretty funny."(9)