Bracelet Brouhaha

If it’s not American-flag lapel pins, it’s bracelets bearing the names of deceased soldiers. Unbelievably, a conflict is brewing over whether or not Barack Obama has permission to wear such a bracelet. As ABC’s Jake Tapper reports, it was given to him by the soldier’s mother. But the soldier’s father (who divorced the mother) is a McCain fan and has apparently decided that Obama doesn’t have permission to wear it.

Exactly where his right to give or deny such permission — aside from the emotional hook of being the soldier’s father — is not exactly clear. Maybe I missed the law that was passed giving fathers of deceased soldiers this permission?

At any rate, the mother is apparently waffling … she gave Obama the bracelet, then later said he shouldn’t wear it, but then was happy he had it at last Friday’s debate.

There’s a lot here I confess not to understand … beginning with the relevance to being president, of whether or not one has “permission” to wear bracelets of this type, not to mention exactly who is entitled to grant it and under what conditions s/he can do so. When you get right down to it, what do bracelets have to do with the Oval Office? Answer: Absolutely nothing whatsoever!

While this probably means a great deal to the two parents (and one of them is confused about it), it really has nothing to do with who should be president, and should play no part in the election.

But it does … because Americans have been fooled into thinking that sentimentality means something. It doesn’t and never will, but most refuse to understand it. Thus the two parties will keep pulling the wool over Americans’ eyes and prevent them from making a bona fide, rational choice based on the facts.


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