Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he doesn't wear the American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Asked about the decision Wednesday in an interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Illinois senator said he stopped doing so shortly after the attacks and instead hoped to show his patriotism by explaining his ideas to citizens.
"The truth is that right after 9-11 I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9-11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.
"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said in the interview. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."
If wearing a lapel pin is not an expression of true patriotism, why did Obama wear one "right after 9-11"? Because 9-11 was the defining moment for Progressives and Liberals: it was finally okay to love America, because America was a wounded victim.
Victimhood is the only basis for holding the moral high ground in the minds of American Leftists. Only the weak and oppressed deserve sympathy, admiration and solidarity. All others are oppressors, who deserve to be despised.
The classic example of this phenomenon is Israel. The Left felt sympathy and admiration for Israel when the perception was that Israel was comprised of victims of white European oppression. The Six-Day War changed things: ever since, Israel has been an outpost of white European oppression against the noble and long-suffering Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East. (Never mind that a large number of Israelis or their parents fled the nations neighboring Israel to escape Muslim oppression.)
So, too, has the United States fallen from grace in the eyes of Progressives and Liberals. They mourn the fact that President Bush had the audacity and short-sightedness to strike back at our enemies, thus "robbing America of its moral authority" and "squandering the goodwill of the world." Their oft-repeated lament, that "after 9-11, the whole world was on our side," tells you what they truly believe: they are ashamed of an America that isn't weak, wounded and helpless. They also completely misunderstand the nature of America's enemies, for rather than feeling remorse or shame at the 9-11 attacks, our enemies felt emboldened, invigorated and thirsty for more American blood.
This is why Obama says, "I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great" -- not, "I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe makes this country great." For Obama and the other Progressives and Liberals, America ascendant and victorious in military battle is the opposite of a great country, and only an America that bows and scrapes to its enemies -- and subordinates its own national interests to the "greater good" defined by those enemies -- can be truly great. They love this country so much that they want to see it destroyed in order to become the ultimate morally admirable victim.