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Sunday, July 06, 2008


"Let's all be careful out there!"



My little sweetheart down in Australia turns 4 years old today.

What is "Patriotism"? This ambiguous concept is being played a lot lately by talking heads on both sides of the political spectrum. Is it "mom, apple pie and the American Flag" (substitute whatever is appropriate for other countries)? Is it blindly following the leadership of your country? Displaying your nations flag on a lapel pin or prominently at your business or residence? Does service in your nations military make you a patriot? How about those who serve the country in a different but as significant a manner. Teachers, police, fire, welfare workers? Is their effort at providing to their community any less valued? Must a patriot be religious? Must they be Christian?

When your nations leadership has erred, is it unpatriotic to agree with others that we were wrong. Must a patriot hold true only to YOUR ideals and all dissenters should leave the country?

Is a single mother's daily drudge of providing some form of existence for herself and her children less valued than a wounded vet's sacrifice on the battle field? The later is honored and the former often vilified.

President Theodore Roosevelt stated:
Patriotism means to stand by your country.
It does not mean to stand by the President.
Benjamin Franklyn said:
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.
I don't believe anyone would question either of these individuals patriotic feelings. Yet if anyone uttered those words today, their opponents would cry "treason" from the highest mountain.

Isn't a breadwinner who slaves everyday in a dead end job to provide for their family as much a patriot as a company that wraps its corporate logo in red-white and blue. The same company that out-sources its labor burden to foreign nations in order to provide greater profit for its stockholders?

Does being a patriot qualify you for a leadership position? Or is the ability to lead and the ability to follow something different? And the wisdom to know when to do which?

Isn't a mother who weeps as her son (and now daughter) goes off to war just as patriotic as the child? Is an individual who attempts to join the military but doesn't qualify as patriotic as the individual who marches into harms way? The intent of both persons was the same.

In the 18th century, and prior, the general always was at the front of the charge, leading his men. Does that make today's military leaders, who remain behind the front lines in sheltered bunkers or in the war rooms at the Pentagon, less heroic, less patriotic than their predecessors?

Is a gay soldier less patriotic than a straight one? Both are as easily killed by a bullet as the other.

Are you a patriot? By my own definition, I am. By the definition of others, I am not. Which is the most valid presumption? What is the truth?

Is a diplomat less patriotic than an arms bearer? Both seek the same goal of the ending of conflict with the least amount of bloodshed and the most advantageous end game.

If you are a patriot, by any definition, please refrain from besmirching the patriotism of those who love their country just as much but in a different way. You are both right, just not necessarily "right".

"A little revolution now and then is a good thing."
Thomas Jefferson
Thank you for your visit. Its been rather quiet around here this 3-day weekend. Please feel free to come by whenever you can afford the time. I'll be here. Have a great day.

"Let's all be careful out there!"