We hear a lot these days about Patriotism. Those who support the war in Iraq and the War on Terror and all its endeavors are Patriots. Those who question the policies of the Administration and are in favor of bringing home the troops are Un-Patriotic. Those who profess eternal vigilance and protest the overreach of our current Administration are Patriotic, while those who feel that the Patriot Act and similar legislation protect us from another terrorist attack are Un-Patriotic. All of these can be right or wrong, depending on your definitions and your point of view. Personally, I think that if you love your country, for whatever reason, you are a Patriot. You will take whatever action you feel is right to support and guide it.
But there is another label that has been cropping up here and there in political arguments for years. One that no one wants to have thrown at them. The kiss of death for any reasonable discussion you may have going:
Given the recent push for legislation to improve the health and morality of American citizens, I feel the time is ripe for me to bring up an issue with which I have been becoming increasingly concerned for quite some time. The War on Drugs has done some remarkable things for this country. Hell, if nothing else, think of the revenue it has brought in to our legal system! We may not actually have less people on drugs, but at least they’re more paranoid when they’re doing them. I think legislating to keep people from smoking, even in public, open spaces is a really positive step in assuring the rights of all Americans to have their lungs pink and healthy. Of course, in an open air environment they are more likely to contract skin cancer than they are to inhale enough secondhand tobacco smoke to cause them any physical harm, but if we don’t tell them that maybe they won’t notice. And I, for one, do not want my children exposed to the explicit phallic symbolism of a beautiful woman sucking on a coffin nail. Allowing the insurance companies leeway to impose more and stricter standards as to what they will pay for has certainly done a lot of good, since those who are now unable to afford to go to the doctor will certainly spend a little more time thinking about how they treat their bodies. And if we could just get abortion made illegal, that’ll keep people from having sex, thereby preventing the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, right? But none of this has gone far enough. None of it addresses the single, number one health care issue in our country: Girl Scout Cookies.