Patriotism means to stand by the country, not the President

I was watching C-SPAN over the weekend, it was one of the call-in shows that asks callers to call one number if you are a Democrat, another if you are a Republican or a third if you are independent. I don’t remember what the discussion was, immigration, wiretapping, global warming or something like that, and there were two guests. You could tell exactly which guest represented the right and which one was representing the left, based on their suit and tie choices. You know what I mean, the gray suit with striped power tie or the “tweedy” coat with elbow patches and a blue shirt, messy, yet intellectual looking hair, verses a perfectly combed and styled doo.

Anyway, there were several callers who were so upset with the messy haired lefty that it sounded like they were almost on the verge of crying. I remember one caller (and she was so mad, it sounded like she could barely control herself) specifically questioning anybody’s patriotism who did not stand by the President on the war, wire-tapping, energy and immigration. She finished it by saying, really basically yelling, you unpatriotic commi pinko liberals are ruining the country and you are why so many people think things are going bad in the world… OK, I added the commi pinko part, but if you had heard her tone, you’d agree with my summary.

Plenty of people have said this, but I am really sick of the group of people who think, and I really stress the word think, they are more patriotic, more Christian, morally superior, funnier, more viral, able to hold their breath longer, forced to shop at Wal-Mart, have a better aim, whatever, because they are Republican. When it comes to Patriotism, I didn’t have to go out and buy a flag the day after 9/11, I already had one on my house. I had a grandfather who instilled patriotism in me and a father who pointed out flags that were not displayed properly. I get chills when the National Anthem is sung well and I get furious at any implication that because I am a Democrat I am less patriotic.

I wasn’t planning on writing anything about this, but at a friend’s urging, I stumbled on to Wikiquote and found an entry under Patriotism.

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.” —Theodore Roosevelt

President Roosevelt said “it is unpatriotic not to oppose [the President] to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.” In a few words – inefficiency or otherwise: Afghanistan, Bin Laden, Health Care, Iraq, Veterans benefits, Donald Rumsfeld, the economy, Katrina, Darfur, tax cuts for the rich, wiretaps, Valerie Plame, and so on, and so on, and so on…


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