Daily Archives: July 2, 2008

Why Patriotism Matters

In a few days, America will observe Independence Day number 232. For most Americans it will be a day of celebration. For others it will be a day of shame. Chris Satullo, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, began his column Tuesday with these words.

“Put the fireworks in storage.

Cancel the parade.

Tuck the soaring speeches in a drawer for another time.

This year, America doesn’t deserve to celebrate its birthday.

This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement.
For we have sinned.”

He then goes on to list a whole litany of Democratic/socialist talking points condemning America for its defense of the homeland in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and accusing Americans of cowardly, cruel behavior in the name of security.

“We have betrayed the July 4 creed.” He writes. “We trample the vows we make, hand to heart.

Don’t imagine that only the torturer’s hand bears the guilt. The guilt reaches deep inside our Capitol, and beyond that – to us.

Our silence is complicit. In our name, innocents were jailed, humans tortured, our Constitution mangled. And we said so little.

We can’t claim not to have known. The best among us raised the alarm. Heroes in uniform, judges in robes, they opposed the perverse logic of an administration drenched in fear, drunk on power”.

For too many of us, I fear, these words have the ring of patriotism. It is fashionable today to display one’s imaginary patriotism by criticizing America and the things it stands for. The pathetic thing about Mr. Satullo’s tirade is that he attempts to present it against the backdrop of the 1776 meeting at Philadelphia, declaring, “we have shamed the memory of Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin“.

Satullo’s rant displays the mindset of many on the left in America today. They take no pride in the accomplishments of the last two centuries. They feel no gratitude for the thousands of men and women who have given their lives in the hot desert sands of Iraq and Afghanistan so that Mr. Satullo can write his drivel unmolested.

A couple of days ago, members of the Taliban slit the throats of two men accused of being American spies in Pakistan. They then beheaded the two, riddled their bodies with bullets, and paraded their corpses before a cheering crowd of some five thousand Pakistanis. Just one more example of the type of barbarians Mr. Satullo worries about being humiliated, frightened or otherwise being made to feel uncomfortable during their Guantanamo vacation from their usual routines of slaughter and mayhem.

July 4th is not only the celebration of America’s birthday and the signing of the declaration of Independence, it is also a celebration of all the American patriots who have sacrificed and bled to give us the most prosperous, secure nation on earth in spite of our many enemies. When we contemplate the nature of our enemies in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, North Korea and other parts of the world, it is natural to feel somewhat frightened at the threat to our way of life.

There is another enemy, however, that is even more of a threat, and that is the enemy represented by Mr. Satullo and his ilk. These people hate America just as much as Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but in a different way and for different reasons. They view history through the distorted lens of hindsight and imagination. Instead of judging history in the context of the times in which it was lived, they judge it in the context of idealized standards of morality and fairness from an ideal society that never has and never will exist in reality.

They overlook the fact that in every stage of history, the people who are honest, compassionate, hard working, considerate and caring always far outnumber the callous, corrupt, and often downright evil people who contaminate every society. It is the former who makes America work; always has been and always will be. The Satullos of the world, when viewing society, see only the worst, never the best. They live under a burden of collective guilt that causes them to feel shame while they enjoy the blessing of liberty purchased at such a high price by patriots of the past.

Their feelings of guilt and shame have morphed into a deep feeling of hatred, revealed with such clarity in Mr. Satullo’s article. They hate America as it is. They hate our government, particularly George W. Bush. They hate our economic system and they hate our traditional culture. Oh, they love America itself. In fact, they love it so much their greatest desire is to take it over and fashion it into the type of nation they believe it should be. That is the message contained in the Obamaites’ call for change.

The message of hatred for America as it is, is always the same, whether it springs from the pages of the Philadelphia Enquirer, the pulpit of Jeremiah Wright or the campaign trail of Barack Obama. “America is evil; it does not deserve the blessings it has received. It is up to us to transform it into a nation worthy of God‘s blessings and the admiration of the nations of the world. Just turn the government over to the democratic/socialists and all will be well again.”

Unfortunately, the numbers of the “blame America first” crowd have grown over the years until they threaten the very existence of America as a free nation. That is why patriotism matters more today than perhaps during any other time in our history. Socialism has taken over the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party is poised to take over the machinery of government in the coming election. It will be up to the patriotic Americans, who I believe still outnumber the anti-American zealots among our voting public, to prevent them from doing so.

While the primary function of government is theoretically to protect our liberties, the real defense of liberty always rests with the people. We cannot expect our politicians to protect our liberties because of the natural conflict of interest that exist between the politician’s interest and the interest of the people. They seek the personal power that comes with an expanded more intrusive government, while we seek liberty and freedom. Government power and individual liberty are incompatible and mutually exclusive.

It is up to us to protect our form of government. It is up to us to defend our Constitution and the liberty it provides. It is up to us to defend and promote our free market, capitalistic, economic system that has given us the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by man. It us up to us to defend our traditional culture that has made us the envy of the world. If we don’t, no one else will.

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