Patriotism, like democracy, means different things to different people. I will define my brand of patriotism so I won’t be misunderstood. I don’t really have a big problem with Colin Kaepernick or Megan Rapinoe. Disrespecting a flag and a song might be distasteful but there are much bigger fish to fry.
Loyalty or devotion to who or what is critical in defining patriotism. Focusing on symbols detracts from true patriotic duty.
Is the interest of the people best served by giving them something, that is, something taken from someone else? Or is it best served by a simple function of government to secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the stated goal of The Declaration of Independence. Giving them something that belongs to someone else violates the goal of The Declaration.
Think of the war on Afghanistan, the war on Iraq, and the war on Vietnam. Was the legitimate function of government being exercised then? Whose rights were being secured? In the cases of Medicare and Social Security, or the war on poverty, or the war on drugs, whose rights are being secured?
How can we be true patriots when we base our opinions on experts and not simply think logically through an issue. Experts like generals on TV were consulted on whether to wage war. That’s like asking a drug pusher if he advises use of heroin.
In the cases of the social programs, experts have an easy time promoting the idea of taking from the haves to give to the have-nots. It seems simple until you think logically about the causes of dependency and the long-term consequences, such as fatherless families, crime, and poverty (as a result of discouragement of initiative through the blaming of others for our plight). But as long as we simply take the advice of experts we don’t need to put on our thinking caps.
When the U.S. Military was closing in on Tora Bora and Osama bin Laden it became clear that his capture or death would spell an end to another chapter of profitable war. Saddam Hussein then was touted as a threat with his “weapons of mass destruction,” even though he was a sworn enemy of bin Laden. Tora Bora was abandoned without success, to be revisited when Iraq failed to present a profitable war.
Support for all these expensive boondoggles is the opposite of patriotism. Skepticism is the essence of it. The Constitution very clearly forbids congressionally undeclared wars and social programs. Yet it still allows for elections. Why? Because the authors assumed that a tradition of informed and logical thought would prevail when they were gone. They thought that people who saw their hard-earned money squandered on unconstitutional projects waged to steal, not secure their rights, would vote for politicians who would defend them.
When you think of patriots, think of people like Julian Assange, Daniel Hale, and Robert Malone . These people all tried to expose vast amounts of theft from the American people and were vilified successfully instead of recognized for their sacrifices. Hermann Goring, one of the architects of the rise of Adolf Hitler, made it plain how people can be manipulated, “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
Our reliance on experts and lack of interest beyond that has cost each man, woman, and child in America $6,060 only from the war on Afghanistan. Patriots like Barbara Lee of California who was the only congressperson to vote against giving the president the power to declare war, need to be recognized and held up as role models for us all.