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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Brock's Beef: It’s not just about a float

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  • Over the holiday weekend, an "unpatriotic float" featured in the Fourth of July parade in Norfolk, Nebraska made national headlines.
    The float, which depicted an emaciated figure standing outside an outhouse labeled "Obama Presidential Library," was well received by some people in the crowd, according to Hunter Woodall of the Omaha World-Herald.
    But photos of the float went viral on social media sites last weekend, attracting attention from angry Americans as far away as New York and California.
    This reminds me of the incident last summer at the Missouri State Fair, when the rodeo clown was fired for wearing the President Obama mask and cracking jokes about the President being "run down" by a bull.
    Do I have to agree with this? No.
    But we have to remember what the Fourth of July and being an American is all about. We have to respect the concept of freedom ofspeech even when we don't agree with what our fellow Americans have to say.
    When we declared our independence from the British government, speaking freely about anything – specifically the throne – was not allowed.  
    As an American journalist, I have the unique ability to criticize the actions of our democratically elected officials, including our Commander-in-Chief.
    The men and women who have gone to war wearing the uniform of this great nation fought for the freedoms we take for granted, including the right to malign the President with a float that only makes its creator look ridiculous.
    I am grateful we live in a country where we can express our opinions freely, because God knows I express mine more than the average Joe.
    I think the key is to learn to agree to disagree.
    When the rodeo clown in Missouri was fired for the "Obama stunt," I was not happy. I am liberal-leaning, but when I watched the video on YouTube, I thought it was funny.
    I remember telling people if the President didn't find it amusing as well, he seriously needed a vacation – perhaps a permanent one.
    We have become so fixated on being politically correct that it's nearly impossible to move forward. We spend more time spinning our wheels with the cosmetic issues that the worst of our problems are completely ignored.
    At some point, we have to stop treating the symptoms and cure the illness that has kept America in the ICU for 60 years.
    The first step is unity. We are not 50 individual states – we are the United States of America. Perhaps we should think about that when we go to the polls in November.
    A wise man once told me, "Fix yourself first, and the rest will fall into place."
    What if we all did that? I doubt it will happen, but one can alway hope.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ponder that!
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