By Matt Johnson
Earlier today in Cleveland, just outside of the Republican National Convention, protesters attempted to burn the national ensign. Of course, these protesters weren’t republicans, or were they? They were more than likely supporters from the left side of the political aisle.
Why would these protesters burn the American flag? Moral foundations.
As Jonathan Haidt explains in his book The Righteous Mind, conservatives and liberals tend to favor different sets of morals. For conservatives, their set of morals contain authority, purity, sacredness, and tradition. For liberals, their set includes fairness and tolerance.
Does this mean that conservatives can’t be fair or tolerant, or that liberals can’t hold authority, purity, sacredness, and tradition as important? Of course it doesn’t. Liberals and conservatives can express either set of traits. There is variation within these two groups, and these groups do overlap.
To be explicitly clear, there are liberals and those who vote democrat that would be disgusted with the sight of protestors burning the American flag. Just ask a veteran who votes democrat.
However, conservatives do favor and express their set of moral foundations more often; whereas, liberals do favor and express their set of moral foundations more often. So which set of moral foundations would favor protecting the American flag? The conservative moral foundations would.
This is because conservatives view the flag as being sacred. Moreover, it is the flag’s sacredness that binds a community together. And any such perception of unbinding the community would be considered disrespectful and disgusting. The flag is also a symbol of authority and tradition. However, it is not unreasonable to see how some American groups would see the American flag’s authority and tradition as unfair and intolerant – oppressive.
There’s quite a bit more to this topic. Here’s an article previously published on this site that elaborates and provides real world examples and a lot more detail on this very subject.
Do you agree with this premise? Do you agree with these sets of moral foundations? Do you agree that those on the left are the Americans who are the most likely to burn the American flag? Would a republican ever burn the flag? Where those protesters outside the arena in Cleveland republicans? Decide for yourself.
Here are two videos from earlier today.
Here’s one video of a flag burning incident courtesy of Fox News:
Here’s a video of another flag burning courtesy of WeAreChange.org:
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