Perhaps I'm being cynical. Perhaps I'm being unpatriotic. Perhaps I'm insane. Why you ask?
Because I am SO tired of seeing yellow or red/white/blue ribbons on cars. You know...the little magnetic things you can now buy at every retail store, grocery store, and gas station? Some say "Support our troops." Some say "God Bless America." At any rate, they are freaking everywhere!
Please do not misunderstand me here: I do support our troops, despite my absolute abhorence of this war (read occupation). And for those who are displaying these images because they are truly supporting the TROOPS, kudos. What I am tired of, however, is the use of these symbols to support "freedom and democracy." Or to be "patriotic." I do not believe it is unpatriotic to be against the war or the president. I do not believe I have to display a logo to support the troops themselves. As a raging homo, I understand the power and importance of symbols. I DO display many on my car, briefcase, and office. However, I know what the symbols mean and choose them carefully.
How many people are buying these because they are popular? Because they fear what friends, neighbors, family, or significant others will think if they DON'T display them? How many are displaying them because they sport the words "God Bless..." and they just think anything with God is good? For what percentage is it REALLY about the truth.
As I walked across campus today I paid special attention to these magnetic marvels. Many have the words "Freedom" on them. I personally think that freedom and democracy are good things. But I recognize that as MY BELIEF. And I think that it is not our place to tell other countries, regions, or religions they must think like me. It is not out place to determine what other people should value. That's assimilationism. Impirialism ring a bell? We're going to bring freedom/religion/salvation to you heathens.
Display whatever symbols you like, but PLEASE know what they mean. Choose them carefully. Understand the intent behind them. And do not criticize those who do NOT put up your symbols.