I used to think that the American flag was pretty cool--not at all boring like most of the drearily interchangeable tricolors that represent the majority of the world's peoples. But then I began to notice that the Stars and Stripes had been co-opted by the gun nuts and bomb-Iran people. A flag decal on your car meant, basically, that you wanted to "get your country back" by any means possible--even violence--from those "un"Americans who don't have a flag decal.
There was also a time when I liked a good cuppa Darjeeling or Earl Grey, perhaps accompanied by a decadent sweet which itself was topped with Devonshire cream. But I can no longer drink tea, either--now that "tea" has come to represent the despicable know-nothingism of Sarah Palin et. al. Back in my innocent days as a purveyor of British culture, I used to serve tea, scones and cucumber sandwiches to my A.P. literature classes. This little "tea party" always made us feel cozier about Virginia Woolf. But nowadays, what self-respecting sane person would throw a tea party?
Co-opting is not limited to the right wing, of course. Last time I shopped for a new car, I considered buying a Prius--not because it was somehow "pure" and "holy" to do so--but because it seemed practical: i.e., cheaper. In the end, though, I was turned off by the sanctimoniousness of the university "green" crowd--most of whom seemed to believe that only Prius owners had any hope of eternal life in Great Mother Gaea's carbon-free heaven. I always have a strong "gag" reaction to such pompous flapdoodle (like the current movement to ban smoking OUTSIDE of bars!). So I bought another Camry. Which has been recalled for accelerator problems. Am I being punished?
Mormons could be exempted: we won't ask them, and they won't have to tell.