Patriotism – My Thoughts

It’s the time of year that many people turn their thoughts to patriotism, me included. I love my country. Always have. I’m damn proud to be an American, and I would never want to give that up. But this year, I have some perspectives I haven’t had before.

First, I have recently begun to pay much more attention to the political climate, and to what is going on in Washington. For most of my life, I have preferred to ignore the politicians in Washington. They’re a bunch of windbags who normally have very little impact on my life. But lately, especially since the most recent presidential election, although hardly starting there, they have begun to act in what appears to be a deliberately destructive manner. It’s as if they want to tear this country down, and turn it into something else. Something un-American. I’m not pleased about this.

This country was founded on great principles, by great men, who were guided by God’s hand. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are divinely inspired documents. Everything the founders put into them was put there for a reason, and it needs to stay there. Changes can happen of course, as they always will. But those changes should follow the process laid forth in the Constitution itself. The Constitution should not simply be ignored, as if it was an old outdated relic. This seems to be exactly what many of the ‘leaders’ in Washington these days believe.

I believe that the people of this fine nation need to wake up and let Washington know exactly what we think of their decisions and their push towards goals that we, their employers, do NOT want. They need to be taught that they can’t ignore our wishes. Please note that I do not condone violence, although I have wondered if it might be inevitable soon. Thomas Jefferson is famously quoted as saying that the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots. But I think the quote in its entirety is even more important:

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” — November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith

I believe we are approaching a crucial time in American history, where the people either realize what a dangerous path we’re on, and correct the course peacefully through the democratic process, or they wake up too late and we have to go through a ‘dark age’ where we suffer under the oppression we are inviting on ourselves with this fascination with socialist programs and entitlement.

I said I had thoughts on a couple different things. The second has to do with the fact that my brother is about to ship out for a year long deployment in Iraq. As should be obvious from what I have said above, I am a strong supporter of the ideals this country was founded on. One of those ideals is respect and honor to those who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedom. My brother has previously served a year in Iraq as well, and I respect him greatly for his choice to continue his service and help defend the freedom of people he does not know. I worry about him, but I know that God will watch over him and keep him safe.

I believe that members of the military are some of the greatest patriots in this nation. They deserve our utmost respect and support. I don’t care if you don’t agree with what they’re doing. You should still honor the fact that they are willing to risk their lives to do what they feel is right.

I also hope that what I said here made some sense. I am not good at expressing my feelings on these subjects clearly, partly because they are so strong. Please feel free to comment below, but keep your comments polite and no personal attacks. This is a time of respect and appreciation.

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