Who Are the Real Patriots?

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“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller

“I look at it, I view it as, in a sense, a wartime president. I mean, that’s what we’re fighting.” – President Donald Trump, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March

“It was clear that the Veteran support was key to the victory of the Trump MAGA Movement.” – Veterans for Trump website

Fifty years ago, National Guard troops opened fire on Vietnam war protestors at Kent State University in Ohio. Four unarmed protestors were killed. Those protestors were voicing their opposition to America’s military being used to fight and kill people in a country halfway around the world—a country that had never attacked our nation. Whether America’s participation in the Vietnam War was justified is a topic for another article (read Jeff’s May, 4th, 1970). Evaluating our participation in that war is not my purpose here.

Instead, my purpose is to show yet another hypocritical inconsistency among Trumpists. Trump enjoyed widespread support from military veterans throughout his campaign, and onward since his election. Trump’s support from non-veterans who wave the same flag and chant the same patriotic choruses is likewise deep and wide. Many Americans now equate Trumpism with patriotism. And patriots do not protest against America’s involvement in wars.

Or do they? President Trump, the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, said he is “a wartime president,” clearly referring to the fight against COVID-19. The Trump administration’s federal guidelines for this COVID-19 war state, in part,

ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.

All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.

Yet now we see photos and videos of the new protestors marching on state capitals, carrying weapons, standing inches from guards, spewing spittle along with their angry outbursts. Yes, many, if not most, of these folks who now march, chant, and even imply armed insurrection over this war against a deadly virus adamantly opposed those who protested America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Those Vietnam War protestors were unpatriotic, these new protestors proclaim.

So what would be the appropriate term for these new protestors who oppose the war against COVID-19?

8 comments

  1. So what would be the appropriate term for these new protestors who oppose the war against COVID-19?

    Let’s call them “royalists”. I’m thinking back to the time of the American revolution, when the royalists where those who opposed the revolution.

    I consider myself a patriot. For me, the most fundamentally American thing is the first amendment. And Trump has been consistently attacking that.

    The revolutionaries rejected the idea of a king. The modern royalists want to bring that back.

    While I’m on a rant — for me the most fundamental thing about Christianity was “Love your neighbor as yourself”. And, on that standard, the Christian supporters of Trump are decidely unChristian. They are a stain on America and they are a stain on Christianity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I just posted the following on another website.

    Civil protest is part of America. I have participated in several “Moral Monday” protests in NC led by Reverend William Barber and a couple of Women’s Marches along with my wife and daughter. We should celebrate the right to protest and do so in a manner where our voices will be heard.

    When I see people with assault weapons going into a public building and brandishing Nazi slogans and Confederate flags, that is a bridge too far. While we must tolerate the right of people to say venemous things that we disagree with, the brandishing of guns as a show of force in a public building could very easily get out of hand.

    Fifty years ago a US president called out the national guard on college protestors and four were shot. That was an asinine move by a paranoid president. It worries me when the protestors are armed. To me, if people want to be heard, do so without a violent or menacing intent. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patriotism. Funny word … what does it really mean? Does patriotism, or loyalty to the country of one’s home, have to mean blind loyalty? To me, Colin Kaepernick is a patriot, for he was making a statement about what needs to be fixed in this country. But, the masses seem to think one must turn a blind eye to all that is wrong (and there is MUCH wrong in this country today) and simply sing the praises of a country that is headed toward a bigoted dictatorship. And there is no room, it seems, for those of us who are different in one way or another … it’s “my way or the highway”, “you’re either with us or you’re agin’ us”. I’ve lost any loyalty or patriotism I may have once had for this country over the past 12 years, and if it were withing my ability to do so, I would be living in Canada, the UK, or even Yemen today.

    But to your point … violence is NEVER the answer, even if you have a valid point to make. In the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, or in this case, the AR-15.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “To me, Colin Kaepernick is a patriot, for he was making a statement about what needs to be fixed in this country.” Agreed. I tried to point that out to my Trumpist friends when that controversy was boiling. Some responded in anger, most simply ignored me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are some things, some people, some attitudes that I will never understand. I keep thinking that if I could understand them, perhaps we could meet halfway, but … not happening.

        Like

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