I was hoping to tease out a connection between this lapel pin idiocy and what I was saying about patriotism the other day. Honestly, though, I can't come up with anything. This business so clearly has nothing to do with any genuinely felt emotions about the country that I have no idea what to say. Matthew Duss breaks out some of the relevant Kundera-on-kitsch material:
Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass. The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! The second tear makes kitsch kitsch.
In some ways, though, this even gives it all too much credence and sells short the level of sheer cynicism and stupidity running through the idea of having a controversy on this subject.