Country First?

Country FirstI’m watching coverage of the Republican National Convention tonight (and making snide Twitter comments, like I did during the DNC as well, trying to be non-partisan) and noticing lots of signs that say “Country First.” It’s the theme of the evening.

And I’m confused. I don’t put country first in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. I experienced the incredible freedom we have here yesterday, freedom you won’t find in China. That’s amazing. I’m thankful and grateful for it.

But I don’t put country first. Is that so wrong?

I put my faith and my family and my principles before my country. Is that so wrong?

Country first? That kind of blind nationalism scares me.

And if by “Country First” you mean the people of this country, I have no problem putting others before myself. But those ‘others’ involve humanity at large, not just Americans.

Country first? I’m not comfortable with that.

RNC Protests in St. Paul

2008 RNC Protest MarchI went to a protest today. I didn’t really participate, more observed. And took lots of pictures (I’m still working on uploading them). And a video.

The event I went to was a peaceful march from the State Capitol to the Xcel Center and back. But things haven’t been so peaceful all day in St. Paul. The Pioneer Press has a good overview of the various skirmishes between police and protesters. It seems the 10,000 or so marchers were mostly peaceful, but some anarchist groups (for lack of a better description) have been causing mayhem downtown (breaking windows, slashing tires, blockading streets) and police are rightly moving in to stop them (tear gas and rubber bullets). The show of force is a little disturbing, but so is hurling bricks at cops. (It’s unclear at this point what’s rumor and what’s reality, so take what you hear with a grain of salt. At any rate, there was enough documenting going on that any police brutality should certainly come to light.)
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