Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Van Jones video accuses the GOP of being unpatriotic and labeling all who oppose the GOP as unpatriotic. What's your take on his claim?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) July 4th, 2012

This question refers to this video from Van Jones, author of Rebuild the Dream. He sent it out in the following email message today.

“There are a set of folks in our country who claim that loving America means handing its wealth to a select few, destroying its natural beauty, and undermining the middle class that makes it great… while hating all but a narrow slice of actual Americans.”

“I think you know who I’m talking about.”

Given that either Democrats or Republicans will win in 2012, it’s a question worth pondering as the party that prevails in this debate will shape our future as a nation. The nation’s birthday, the 4th of July, seems a good time to consider his claim. What do you think? Which party is fighting harder for liberty and justice for all?

Here’s a take action link to the Rebuild the Dream website should you wish to add your name to those supporting the Rebuild the Dream dream effort.

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21 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

EDIT: I’m whispering my comments and letting @ETpro know I’m trying to be funny, but I suspect that this post is called a straw man.—I swear to God, @ETpro, I almost flagged it as spam. lol I saw where you are offering people a chance to sign up for Rebuild the Dream. I didn’t know you could do that. Cool. I didn’t look at the link. Is it Van Jones?

ragingloli's avatar

Yes that is exactly what it means to love america.
Do not listen to those commies

marinelife's avatar

Certainly not.

filmfann's avatar

I think that people on both conservative and liberal extremes allow their hate to control what they believe.
If the conservatives didn’t hate Obama, they would never have believed the complete garbage about his being born in Kenya.
If the liberals didn’t hate Bush, they wouldn’t have believed the hokum about 9/11 being an inside job.

Rarebear's avatar

Never hoid of him. And I am wary of anybody who accuses anybody of being unpatriotic for whatever reason. Actually, I’m wary of anybody who calls anybody patriotic for that matter.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham The question got pushed to editing twice, but nobody complained about the link. I reworded it twice and the second time it was posted back up with the link still there. If that link is a problem, I am happy for any of the mods to just remove it and leave it to those who wish to search for it to find a way to lend their support to the Rebuild the Dream movement. And yes, Van Jones is a major part of the Web site and organization.

@ragingloli Thanks for the link. Great song as an answer.

@marinelife My efforts to edit leave your answer seemingly a nonsequitur. So at the risk of offending, I will repost what the question originally asked when you answered, and before my edits. It asked, “Does loving America mean we have to ensure all its wealth goes to those who are already the wealthy beyond their wildest dreams?”.

@filmfann I agree that there is a lunatic fringe on both extremes, but the 9/11 Truthers hardly dominate the Democratic Party. I’ve never heard of them managing to force a serving member of Congress into a brutal primary fight. On the other side of the aisle, Tea Party extremists have virtually purged of all the GOP legislators willing to reach across the aisle and compromise. They are labeled as RINOs.

Jaxk's avatar

Just what we need, a self proclaimed communist and 9/11 truther, telling us whose patriotic and whose not. Not exactly the voice I want leading any charge.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear How would you say Progressives should respond to the charges of being unpatriotic, of being socialists, of being communists, enemies of America and such. Just take it in stride?

@Jaxk Who are you claiming is a 9/11 Truther and who is a self proclaimed communist?

bolwerk's avatar

After two decades of capitulating to the Republicans on budget matters, you can hardly say the Democrats are adverse to letting wealth concentrate in the hands of a few. The only difference is Democrats are the true conservatives; they want to maintain order, and they’re willing to throw some scraps to the impoverished now and then to do it.

ETpro's avatar

@bolwerk Both parties get a great deal of funding from those who would profit from a corporatocracy in America. Last year, lobbyists dropped $3.33 billion in Washington DC alone. Add in all the state level lobbying, and that figure would be much more. A small bit of that lobbying was from trade unions, but just a tad. Almost all was spent pushing things that will benefit some corporate interests enough to make it worth the investment. And we’d be fools to think that all that money went to Republicans. Both sides have their hands out.

But looking objectively at the political landscape right now, I see no hope of getting the GOP to abandon the idea of converting America into a banana republic. Their very party platform insists on our immediately taking every tax and regulatory step required to achieve that. If there is any hope of reviving the dying American Dream, it lies either with the Democratic Party or with an as-yet-undisclosed third party arising that can compete at both the state and national levels.

Jaxk's avatar


Van Jones to both.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Where did Van Jones ever say he believed George W. Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks? I have read his book, and in it he derides such claims by others as utterly loony. He equates them with those in the GOP who remained dedicated Birthers even after Obama actually got a special waiver from the Hawaii legislature and released his long-form birth certificate.

He may have flirted with socialist ideas in his college years, but he frankly says that getting out and trying to help struggling inner city neighborhoods soon taught him that education, jobs, business friendliness, and “shudder” capitalism were the only way to achieve those goals. So he is definitely not a communist. Your attacks just underscore what this question says. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”

Jaxk's avatar


This sounds pretty straight forward.”“I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.” I’m sure he tried to walk his comments back but that is pretty plain. If you read the article it is a glowing testimony to him, you’ll love it. I was bored to tears. He continued to work with the anarchists and communists he met in jail FOR 10 YEARS. It’s pretty hard to believe it was a passing phase.

Van Jones appears as one of the signatories on the 911truthers letter. He would have us believe they pulled his name out of a hat. I guess you would too.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Did you just sweep that article looking for specific words, or did you assume that “search” is such an arcane technology I would never be able to detect your deliberate deletion of context? Let me put those quotes into context:

“I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.”

In 1994, the young activists formed a socialist collective, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, which held study groups on the theories of Marx and Lenin and dreamed of a multiracial socialist utopia. They protested police brutality and got arrested for crashing through police barricades.

None of that text came from the speech Van Jones gave at the recent conference your link mentioned. It is verbiage right out of Rebuild The Dream. If you read further down, you will learn that around 2000, the young man came to an epiphany that turned him into a confirmed capitalist.

As to the 911 Truthers letter, yes, Jones says he never signed the petition and I believe him. I have read his book, and I believe it reflects his true convictions. I also know, as a Web developer, how stupidly simple it is to search the Internet for names that have a given political leaning and add them to a Web petition so it has lots of names on it.

marinelife's avatar

@ETpro Thank you as my answer did not make sense with your edited Q.

cazzie's avatar

My take is I am super glad I don’t live in ‘A’merka’ anymore.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Being ‘Patriotic’ in the United States (at this point in time) is problematic at best. A person has to be very careful of what they say. We are involved in wars that have been going on for a decade & we may well become involved in additional wars in Iran & Syria. The decade long war was started under a Republican President, but it is being continued by a Democratic President. I do not think that the military personnel are “fighting for our freedom”, I think they are fighting so that the big corporations will continue to have access to other countries natural resources. The job situation is still dire & the military is ALWAYS hiring. The enlistees are told this glorious fabrication that they are “fighting for our freedom”, but then they find out how they have been mislead & large numbers of them become bitter, then depressed, & then large numbers of them commit suicide. I am very sad for the families of the military personnel who get killed while they are deployed & sad that this young person’s life has been cut short. But I also care about the countries where we have invaded & occupied, & all of the civilians (including women & children) who have died. I question our government’s motives in these wars & I realize that as long as the military keeps receiving most of our tax dollars – the rest of the US is going to continue to suffer & our infra-structure is going to continue to fall apart & our education opportunities are going to continue to decline. As for 9/11, there are a lot of unanswered questions that have been blocked & not considered to be ‘relevant’. It is very hard to be ‘Patriotic’ under the current circumstances of the United States & it comes down to whom do you believe has the best interests of the US at heart. Personally I come down on the side of the Democrats even though I know that they are as prone to dishonesty as any political party is – but I feel that putting faith/trust in the Republicans is tossing caution to the winds of chance. Clearly the Republican candidate, Romney, has no connection to the reality of the average American & his focus has been on allowing the religious-right to interfere in our government & allowing the wealthiest of Americans to become even more wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

disquisitive's avatar

My take is that I would not spend one minute listening to Van Jones.

Jaxk's avatar


I don’t see any change what so ever in what you seem to think is ‘context’. The guy is and was a communist. He had an epiphany that changed his tactics not his ideology. He decided to use capitalism to accomplish his communist goals and I’m supposed to be impressed with that.

I have no interest in reading his book nor listening to his propaganda. Manipulating weak minds is his claim to fame. I’m not interested and more than happy to see him fall back into obscurity where he belongs.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I tend to ignore wingnuts.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear A very rational reaction. They are living in an evidence free zone.

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