I am ‘accused’ of being patriotic. A few of my accusers have the popular notion that I am patriotic simply because I was born here. Viewing patriotism as cheering for the home team at a sports event, they believe that my patriotism stems from slogans, flags, parades, and other symbols of blind national pride. That is emphatically not the case.
As is often the case with pseudo-intellectuals, they discern no distinction between the blind patriotism of the average person for his ‘mother-or-fatherland’ and patriotism based on careful deliberation of our republic’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, especially its First Amendment.
Patriotic parades and official ceremonies on Memorial Day mean different things to different people. After those events, there are media reviews, virtually all of which pay tribute to American veterans as heroes.
On last Memorial Day, a commentator on a TV political panel could not resist an opportunity to bash American veterans. Tastelessly, he chose that day to denigrate the word ‘hero’ as applied to American soldiers. The signature of pseudo-intellectuals is a seemingly introspective style of communication. He used the word /hero/, paused, and then feigned probing our language for some other ‘neutral word’ (as he put it) to replace the word /hero/. Of course, he didn’t come up with one. That’s because there is no ‘neutral’ word for ‘hero.’ But he succeeded in implying that at best patriotism and jingoism are synonymous. On the surface, he gave the impression that his analysis of the word /hero/ was spontaneous, something he just ‘happened’ to think of on the spot. His ‘casual’ suggestion that we seek some neutral word to replace ‘hero’ revealed his thinly veiled purpose to have his audience think about some other less noble word, thereby suggesting a diminution of the moral stature of American soldiers. Ironically, I prefer open flag-burning and vulgar anti-American street demonstrations to the ‘introspective’ babbling of pseudo-intellectuals.
That commentator’s freedom of speech is fought for by soldiers he considers somewhat less than heroic. Men and women risk limbs and life on the battlefield so that he can go on searching for a better word than ‘hero’ for them.
While he and other Americans search for words that bend reality to their political preferences, America’s enemies, here and abroad, need look no further than our media for propaganda designed to undermine the American ideals that helped us break away from fossil political concepts, and gave birth to and sustained this nation in a hostile world.
It is not because this is my native country that I am a radical American. Like foreigners who have discovered America, I am patriotic as a matter of choice, not chance. If we, as a people, continue to irrationally bicker over petty domestic politics and allow mindless and debilitating debates to dominate foreign policy, America will go down and take Western Civilization with it.