Self-Righteousness is a Drug

Outrage rang forth from the nation's capital at Wednesday's court ruling that the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional. All the congressman beat their breasts, said the pledge on the Capitol's steps, and passed resolutions, high on self-righteousness.

"High" is not a metaphor. Self-righteousness is anger at the out-group, self-congratulation at your chosen status, blended with your group's approval, all shaken[Link removed 03/24/2004] , not stirred, into a lovely but toxic drug cocktail using drugs already in the brain. I remember from when I was religious.

So no, the ruling is not silly or the pledge trivial. The ruling won't stand in the current group-think environment, in which political cartoonists are being persecuted and most news articles didn't quote anyone in favor of the decision. CNN quoted U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan professing bewilderment.

Group-think is not patriotism—America was founded on dissent! Criticizing the President is different from criticizing the constitution, or the democratic ideal of the United States, both of which I'm patriotic about. No "war on terrorism" is worth destroying either.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, June 27, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Anne Frank Friday, June 28, 2002 at 09:37 AM

We are entering into a second Red Scare. But this time it's not communists. It's everyone. Anyone could be a terrorist, so everyone must be unquestionably patriotic - or you get fired, persecuted, and locked up.