In this country, we are very strongly divided politically. But, we do agree on some ideas, even though we often forget that in the heat of battle with each others. One of the ideas that is most strongly supported by both sides is that “these colors don’t run.” It refers to the idea that when the flag is involved in a fight, the fight is carried through to the end. Most often the idea refers to when we are involved in a physical conflict with another country or with terrorists. However, that sentiment also comes out when we are defending an important privilege in our society.
In fact, we sometimes hold on to that principle so strongly that we have difficulty telling when a conflict has come to the point that it needs to be ended. So, both in Viet Nam, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have had difficulty in telling when we should end our involvement because there has not been—and cannot be—a clear resolution. We like our endings neat and tidy but neither set of involvements have had the possibility of a clear ending. Thus, it is no surprise that the two longest conflicts in our history have been those that precluded a clear ending.
This principle has caused problems in the last few years in the area of politics. When a large enough group begins to equate their particular opinions as being opinions that support key tenets of the Constitution, then there is a tendency to hold tight to the point where compromise is impossible. If enough opinions are declared to be tenets, gridlock ensues due to the inability to reach a working compromise with the other side.
But, generally, what no American does is to run without a fight when a key principle is involved. We tend to be a feisty people, and yes, a highly opinionated and conflictive people. Thus, it came as a surprise when the directors at Sony ran without a fight when blackmailed by an unknown hacker group, probably from North Korea. Worse, when both the President and Congress members called them on it, they replied that they had not retreated, that it was the theater owners who had forced their hand. I found myself thinking that it was bad enough that they retreated, now they are trying to shift the blame onto others.
I am rather embarrassed by Sony. As a Cuban by culture and an American by heritage, I have quite a bit of “highly opinionated” in me. But, Sony rolled over and played dead then tried to blame it on others. It was a rather disgusting display of cowardice by a company that has put out its share of movies that were highly critical about various issues and person. I am sure that some other company will pay a higher price and will have to stand even taller sometime in the near future. Now that the hackers have tasted victory, they will go after their next victim.
p align=”justify”>Hopefully, the next company will not run the colors but will stand fast.