The Lost Art of Patriotism
The long political slog which comprises the race to the White House recently commenced as presidential candidates began announcing their intentions. As I watched the various political announcements, I noticed that each candidate seemed to be blind to the reality of the dire problems facing America. I question whether any of the candidates have the patriotic heart to lead this exceptional nation for generations to come. Sadly, I believe that most of them are driven by the narcissistic political quest for individual power. Americans have been silent for far too long. Lulled to sleep by charlatans whose respective moral compasses do not align with America’s best interests, do we as a people have the patriotic will to bring America back to greatness? Or will we simply drift off into the darkness?
America has become a divisive force here at home by choice. In order to advance a cause, hate and violence are more readily chosen than research, facts, and civil debate. Politicians have pitted men against women, the employed against the unemployed, the young against the elderly, Black against White, and Hispanic against both. Socially, the selective enforcement of the rule of law and the demand for entitlements is crossing moral boundaries, thereby ripping communities, friends, and families apart.
Overseas, our actions demonstrate daily to our allies that we cannot be trusted and that our word is not our bond. Fiscally, we are headed over the cliff. Damn the debt, full speed ahead with spending. Thanks to substandard leadership, America is leading itself and the world on the proverbial “highway to hell.” In 2008, then-candidate Obama called President Bush’s debt figure of 9 trillion dollars, “unpatriotic.” So, under that stated standard, does that make President Obama “unpatriotic x 2,” or doubly unpatriotic, since the nation’s debt is now at 18 trillion dollars….or will the unpatriotic label not be applied to him because doing so would be racist?
Even before America became America, members of my family fought for freedom and liberty. I have followed my heart and embraced the call to service. After 37 years of service to this great nation, and like many American families with early ties to the birth of our nation, the cost for our freedom and liberty has been paid for in blood. Veterans are a forgotten class in America today. Most recently, a veteran called the suicide hotline and was put on hold numerous times; one instance was for at least ten minutes. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, these patriots fought for the nation they believed in not because it was easy, but because it was hard.
For far too long, a government run by out-of-control elitist politicians has taxed, transferred wealth, lied, mandated laws, spied on citizens, started wars, and stood by idly while thousands were slaughtered by Islamic extremists, all the while apologizing to the world for alleged American misdeeds. Are we to believe that this is the new behavior expected of American patriots?
According to Wikipedia, patriotism is defined as “generally speaking, cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism.”
It is upon the shed blood of patriots that our nation’s foundation rests. The voices of those loyal to the American cause could not be silenced by the tyranny of a king. It was with great courage that our American predecessors followed up those bold speeches with patriotic action. Where has the American patriot gone?
In modern times, the very sense that nationalism is important has only come after a major crisis such as the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Recent street interviews of average citizens reveal an overarching belief that they owe no debt to the nation. I’m floored by such a response and I ask myself, how can this view be held? After all, America gives every person, legal or illegal, freedom and liberty that is found in no other country. Why is it that American citizens harbor such a lack of attachment to their own country?
I believe that the answer is found in the fact that the ruling elite have tamped down any sense of patriotic nationalism. It is no wonder, then, that our political clowns can’t get us out of the economic ditch and lead the nation to greatness and prosperity. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 10% was asked a very basic question regarding the 2016 Presidential election: Who do you like in the GOP race for President? “None, they’re all losers,” Senator Reid replied. Who says that Americans are losers except for Harry Reid?
Today, the whole world is on fire everywhere you look, from Islamic extremists, to Iran getting nuclear weapons, to the civil war in Syria, to Russia creeping into the Ukraine– just to name a few crises. With the exception of combat veterans like Senator Jim Webb and Senator Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) 85%, the voice of patriotism is seldom heard.
We should thank our lucky stars every day for the military men and women who watch over us. While we sleep, these men and women stand their posts keeping all of us and our families safe. This, we should never take for granted. I believe that the American people need to hear more often that this nation is good and a shining beacon for the free world. To hell with politics and what politicians think. They are the 1 %, herding the masses. They have not stood that post. We who have served are the 99%, and we don’t need to be told that we are not relevant when we have walked the walk.
America is truly the model that the rest of the world wishes they could be and we should be damned proud of who we are and where we are going. Those who hate us will try to tear us down at every opportunity. They do so because they are anti-woman, anti-democracy, anti-freedom, and pro-control. We should stand strong, we should be proud to be Americans, and we should never apologize for who we are as a people.
Colonel (Ret) John D. Vernon, USA, is the author of “Angels Watching Over Me” and is the CEO, American Warrior Press. Learn more at http://americanwarriorpress.com and follow him on twitter @JOHNDVERNON1.