Warning: One explicit word at the very end
As with so many things that spawn writings for me, it begins with my unbalanced family members. Labor Day of 2021 was spent with my daughter and I at my brother's house - the only other conservative in the family, which I'm guessing you all know by now.
The issue of Colin Kaepernick's kneeling clown-show was brought up and how it became a Left vs Right thing? The liberal question poser said something along the lines of, "it was about police brutality of black people. How did that become a Liberal vs Conservative issue?" I said, "ok... well... he's an idiot," which was apparently an unacceptable label for a fine stooge of historical knowledge as C.K. and near had me on the receiving end of a lost temper, with a very ruler-across-the-knuckles-in-old-timey-Catholic-school style, "ok! Ya know what!? When you start calling someone an idiot!....." I coolly and quietly pointed out that this same person on the verge of losing their temper towards me calls everyone under the Sun an idiot they don't agree with. Calm seas returned. I began again, "Colin Kaepernick is an idiot. He won't ever take questions from reporters because he knows nothing and he's afraid he'll have to answer off the top of his head, which he can't. He has press conferences wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, slamming capitalism and portraying himself as an oppressed slave all while making millions from Nike throwing money at him for being the moron he is. If that's not capitalism, I don't know what is. And! He chose the wrong symbol to protest. He chose the Flag and the National Anthem. What do you expect? The Right is not the side of trashing America and burning the flag."
We then got into a discussion, or rather the original questioner described how their grandfather always had a flag at his house but because of today's conservatives (which was code for "Trumpers") and how they have basically commandeered the idea of uber patriotism and flag waving, this person would be hesitant to fly one.
The point in this is, the people similar to the one I'm describing from my conversation have voluntarily given up or seceded the symbols of this Country, the greatest country ever conceived, to those of us on the Right. They have given up the Flag on account of fear that it makes them look conservative. That is on them. There is no other way to describe it. There is no other way to explain it. "I am hesitant to fly an American flag at my house for fear that I will be seen as a Trump voting conservative." Then it is truly ours for the taking. America, in all its flaws and glory is ours for the taking. As in, it is ours to save, to continue making better, to continue loving the way it was intended to be - to always strive to leave it better than it was yesterday, for our children and every generation after.
Which brings me to my final thought on this subject. The same family that has willfully sacrificed their claim to the American Flag were the same family that continuously sent articles and thoughts about how America was such a disgrace under Trump that no one wanted to immigrate here anymore, no one in the world looked up to America anymore, America was the laughing stock of the world and we were on the verge of a total fascist dictator take-over (truly not a joke - highly intelligent people, convinced we were staring down the barrel of a Nazi Germany style story about to be written). They couldn't possibly be proud of America for anything whatsoever from January of 2017-2021.
Yet here we are, nearing the middle of quite possibly the most cartoonishly clownish Administrations in modern American history (I'll leave it to VDH to find one from well before my time) and yesterday, on July 4th, 2022, my family and I hung out with our beautiful Buffalo, MN friends, all wearing American Flags and loving the greatest country the world has ever known.
That is, I believe, one of the most telling and starkest differences in what the two sides have become. One will gladly throw their Country away when they see fit, see that it doesn't measure up to their impossible and laughably unhinged standards like a spoiled child who has been given birthday presents beyond their wildest beliefs and has the audacity to cry that they didn't get more. The other side will look at its flaws, look at its accomplishments, look at its current disasters and still stand in an amazingly generous friend's yard, staring out at a lake filled with American flags everywhere and go, "son of a bitch! This place is awesome."
America.... Fuck yeah