Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has received much grief about his failure to wear the U.S. flag pin on his lapel and, as a result, has appeared periodically with it on his suit jacket in recent weeks. Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell wrote a thought provoking article in this morning's edition entitled, "Wearing a flag pin doesn't prove a darn thing." It is worth the read.
When this topic comes up, I can't help but think back to the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets a beat down while participating in an AIDS walk for his failure to wear a red AIDS awareness ribbon. Here's how the scene goes down...
WALKER #1: Hey, where's your ribbon?
KRAMER: Oh, I don't wear the ribbon.
WALKER #2: Oh, you don't wear the ribbon? Aren't you against AIDS?
KRAMER: Yeah, I'm against AIDS. I mean, I'm walking, aren't I? I just don't wear the ribbon.
WALKER #3: Who do you think you are?
WALKER #1: Put the ribbon on!
WALKER #2: Hey, Cedric! Bob! This guy won't wear a ribbon!
BOB: Who? Who does not want to wear the ribbon?
New scene - Kramer surrounded by Cedric, Bob, and the other walkers.
BOB: So! What's it going to be? Are you going to wear the ribbon?
KRAMER (nervously): No! Never.
BOB: But I am wearing the ribbon. He is wearing the ribbon. We are all wearing the ribbon! So why aren't you going to wear the ribbon!?
KRAMER: This is America! I don't have to wear anything I don't want to wear!
CEDRIC: What are we gonna do with him?
BOB: I guess we are just going to have to teach him to wear the ribbon!
Wearing a U.S. flag pin doesn't prove that I love America, nor does wearing a WWJD bracelet prove that I love Jesus nor wearing a yellow "Live Strong" bracelet that I'm against cancer. Now if someone wants to wear a pin or a bracelet or a t-shirt promoting a cause, that's great. But those that don't should not be judged for it. I would hope that in something as important as electing a new president we would place more emphasis on a candidate's stances on issues important to us and our country than on their fashion choices.
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