One of the healthiest developments of this election has been the rebirth of open patriotism by Democrats and liberals. Democrats and liberals are patriotic, of course, but for a long time they let their opponents take the flag and the songs of national pride as their own private emblems. We fly the flag at the Gruntled house at every election, but we used to be the only Democrats on the street who always did so. No longer. Flags were everywhere at every Democratic event I saw or went to, culminating in Sen. Obama's rally in Grant Park last night, as this picture shows. In fact, my favorite image from the great event was a shot of Jesse Jackson, just another guy in the enormous crowd, with tears in his eyes and a flag in his hands.
Sen. McCain gave a glorious concession speech, and Sen. Obama responded in kind. Both were emblems of decent America.
The Grant Park rally began with the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance. We stood for the pledge, watching the flag on television, at our house last night.
My favorite instance of flag-waving Democracy, though, came in a magnificent dispatch from Megblum, Gruntled Child #1, amidst the College Democrats at Swarthmore College, which she entitled "Election Reflections/Taking My Country Back":
Mom told me that in 1980, when Reagan won, many campus leftists were disturbed by people running around campus singing "God Bless America." Tonight, I called her to let her hear as a campus a capella group led the crowd in an impromptu rendition of the national anthem.
And when the senator came on with his acceptance speech, a funny thing happened. Having responded throughout the night with rousing choruses of the familiar "Yes We Can," at some point they switched to something very different. A room full of lefty, intellectual, cosmopolitan Swatties spontaneously started chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
I have never been prouder to be a Swattie. I have never been prouder to be a campus organizer. I have never been prouder to be a Democrat. I have never been prouder to be an American.