Patriot: “One who loves his country and zealously supports its authority and interests.”
When you study the definition of ‘patriotism’ as defined by my old Webster’s Dictionary, you may be hard-pressed to understand why the belief in such a concept should be an issue of contention in the U.S. And yet it is a subject on which Americans often find themselves divided along party lines, like so many other issues. Those on the Right wear their patriotism proudly on their sleeves, while those on the Left often scoff, sneer or shrug at the notion of patriotism -- unless they’re running for office. In that case they will claim to be patriotic but only after they redefine the term, saying that it really means “having the courage to be critical of one’s country,” or some such other nonsense.
The word “country” in the definition above refers to far more than the geographical territory upon which a nation exists, as evidenced by the phrase, “…supports its authority and interests.” The land doesn’t have “authority and interests;” but a nation does. In other words, to be a patriot means to be loyal to a country in terms of its land, its people and the political system that represents its authority and advances its interests.
To understand the significance of patriotism, consider what happens within a family when a certain amount of loyalty does not exist. A spouse cheats on a spouse, a parent fails to defend his child, a child ignores an elderly parent. The family disintegrates. Another apt comparison is a football team. What would happen if players who are unhappy with the coach decided to get even by revealing their playbooks to the opposing team or by undermining the team’s strategy and purposely failing to do their jobs? That would lead to the end of the team eventually. In a country, patriotism is necessary to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists.
Let me repeat: patriotism is necessary to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists.
Now let me repeat what I said above: those on the Left often scoff, sneer or shrug at the notion of patriotism -- unless they’re running for office.
If patriotism is necessary to the preservation of a nation as it currently exists, AND if the Left downplays or even derides the notion of patriotism, what can we conclude from this? There are two possible answers: (A) Those on the Left do not comprehend the importance of patriotism to a nation; or (B) Those on the Left do not wish to preserve and protect this nation as it currently exists.
Answer (A) fits perfectly with my theory of the Left as being psychologically immature. Someone with the mentality of a child would not necessarily grasp the importance of patriotism, just as they may not understand what loyalty means to a family. While this is not a crime, it certainly begs the question: Is there any place for the Left in our government if they do not comprehend the necessity of patriotism? I would say the answer is a big, fat “NO.”
Answer (B) also fits my theory of the Left as being immature for a couple of reasons,* but the bottom line is this: The Left does NOT support the authority and interests of the U.S. government as defined by the Constitution.
Two final thoughts:
Being a patriot does not necessarily mean that you tow the line, by agreeing with and/or abiding by the actions of the individuals who are in charge at any particular moment. Patriotism means loyalty to country and to a political system, not necessarily to any one individual. Working within the established political system to remove or neutralize the power of an individual can be patriotic if the ultimate goal is to “zealously support [the country’s] authority and interests.” On the other hand, actions that are contrary to the design of the political system OR that ultimately undermine the original design or intent upon which the country was founded are not patriotic.
Finally, what of those who do not agree with a country’s political system and so do not wish to support its “authority and interests”? Is that a legitimate position? Sure it is. But it’s not patriotic. It may be understandable. It may be brave. But it is not patriotic. The rebels in Libya are fighting to replace the current political system with a preferred design of their own. Their interest is to be in control of the land and the infrastructure, not to promote the authority and interests of the country as it currently exists. They may be noble in their intentions – who knows? – but they are not patriots for Libya.
In sum, patriotism is a necessary element to the long-term survival of a nation, but you don’t have to take my word for it, just observe the actions of those on the Left. We can already see that they perpetually engage in activities to undermine the Constitution and crack the foundation of this nation. If they trivialize and ridicule the notion of patriotism, it can only be because they wish to deprive this nation of something that is necessary to its survival as it presently exists.
* In the case of the U.S. Constitution, one would have to be immature not to recognize that the Left has never offered a superior alternative to the system of government we currently have. Secondly, the desire to destroy the world’s most successful political system (theoretically speaking, anyway) for the sake of acquiring power and control for oneself, with no regard to the consequences, demonstrates a child’s absence of wisdom, a child’s lack of conscience, and a child’s need to indulge his own ego.