What Would Nellis Say?
July 4th 2022
PATRIOTISM - 7/2022
As we prepare to celebrate the establishment of our nation, I’m reminded of how our very perception of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are currently redefined by the opposing camps in our hostile political spectrum. They are not the words found in Webster’s or the intentions of our founding fathers. They have become anthems for a second civil-war.
A friend tried to convince me that Republicans are more ‘patriotic’ than Democrats because they are more diligent about hoisting the flag on national holidays. Unfortunately, this sputum spewed by the partisans who populate Murdock’s Hate Network, which can’t be bothered with facts or truth, has become standard rhetoric for the Republican base.
Our nation barely survived a coup led by a criminal Republican president who directed a legion of armed white-nationalist militants to invade our Capitol in a well-planned and coordinated insurgency with the intention of lynching our vice-president and the Speaker of the House in a violent assault based on the ill-defined premise of ‘patriotism’ to salvage a lost election.
Our democracy was founded on the concept of ‘majority rules’ (even if the founders intended that privilege to be the exclusive right of white land-owners. We have since passed laws to assure every citizen of the right to vote and contribute to our society). According to the insurrectionists, that ‘majority’ should again be confined to a very select few.
Our former president and far too many Republicans believe that anyone who is not a white evangelical male should be excluded from participating in choosing our leaders. They also seem to believe that, if they lose an election – even by a landslide, they have every right to change the rules, throw out millions of votes, and install their own slate of pretenders.
If they can’t accomplish their goals through gerrymandering, installing their toadies in offices that control the machinery of voting, or using biased courts to dismiss victories for the opposition, they have demonstrated that they will do so through violence and intimidation.
Trusting Trump’s ‘BIG LIE’ about non-existent election fraud, which has been thoroughly debunked by every investigation conducted, Republican legislators in many states have passed laws to suppress voting eligibility and convenience to ensure that, win-lose-or draw, white fascist candidates will be installed in office.
We now have a Supreme Court occupied by a super-majority of evangelical racists who are dedicated to overturning every right or benefit passed since the Civil War. At least five of those jurists lied under oath at their confirmation hearings and should be impeached and indicted.
Unfortunately, after tossing out Roe vs. Wade and women’s right to make their own decisions, they have indicated that they will continue their campaign to eliminate access to birth control, the right to be to be and marry who you choose, the separation of church and state and the freedom to worship the god who speaks truth in your own heart, to be protected from intimidation by some nitwit who thinks they need to carry an AK-47 for protection in the grocery store, or the right to breathe clean air or drink water that is not contaminated by industrial waste.
The six Republican justices and the hundreds of unqualified bigots, who were vetted and approved by the far-right extremist Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society, and installed on the Federal bench by the last administration, do not represent the best intention of our ‘democracy’. They serve a federation of wealthy tyrants who have been conspiring and financing the dismantling of our government and the demolition of our democracy since the founding of the John Birch Society in 1958 and, unless real American ‘patriots’ stand up to protect the future of our nation, they will surely succeed.
So, I say to my friend, (and, yes we are still allowed to care about people with whom we disagree) ‘patriotism’ is not about making a show of flying a flag or cheering a parade, it is not defined by the bigots and liars who scream and shout utter nonsense on the fascist television networks, it is not about demonizing some momentarily convenient ‘them’, it is not about ‘white’ privilege or that somehow the ‘white’ population is victimized by immigrants or vocal minorities, or that life was better in 1850 before the Civil War ended slavery (and, no, that tragedy was not about States’ rights, it was about white people owning, brutalizing, and raping people of color).
Real patriotism is about accepting the responsibility to protect the rights and privileges that are the very foundation of ‘democracy’ for everyone…not just the wealthiest few. It’s about the caring and kindness we were taught as children, inclusion and collaboration, joining together to protect and support each other, the beliefs that bind us together as a nation, and standing up against the bullies who are hell-bent on installing an autocracy through any means necessary to force their sad racist fake-‘Christian’ creed on everyone else.
Real patriotism is about championing the best in us, defending those who lack a voice in our society, and ending the pollution that clouds our environment and our attitudes, so that we might deliver a future worthy of our best hopes for our children and grandchildren. Anything less is unacceptable and unpatriotic.