|No red, no white, no blue: Gabby Douglas might just be a terrorist.|
Gabby Douglas was the topic du jour for Olympic commentators throughout last week, but over the weekend, she became a centerpiece in another manufactured controversy at Fox News, America’s top outlet for manufactured controversies. Douglas’ pink leotard, Fox host Alisyn Camerota lamented, was emblematic of an Olympic “trend” (one that, Fox wants you to believe, is part of a liberal-left conspiracy to rid the world of red, white, and blue) of athletes wearing colors that don’t appear on the American flag.
“Some folks have noticed that the American athletes’ uniforms don’t carry the stars and stripes look as much as they have in past years,” Camerota complained, without any evidence of who “some folks” might be. “The famous flag-styled outfits worn in year’s past replaced with yellow shirts, gray track suits, pink leotards.” Radio host/Tea Partier David Webb later chimed in with a sad tome about how America has “lost over time that jingoistic feeling” because “a soft anti-American feeling that Americans can’t show their exceptionalism.”
Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country’s advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.
The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude towards Russia in the 1870s. “Jingoism” did not enter the American vernacular until near the end of the 19th century. This nationalistic belligerence was intensified by the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbour that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898.
And jingoism? It’s for bullying, unthinking morons with an extremist right-wing political agenda — yes, like the fucking idiots who populate Fox News.