PATRIOTISM

Patriotism

A PATRIOTS CONSCIENCE

I have been accused of being a liberal, progressive thinker over the years. (I prefer unique) Maybe I am, but I will say I love my country, my state and my city. I have proudly and honorably served 4 years of my life in the U.S. Air Force. I have spent a great deal of my seven decades dedicated to the improvement of our body politic on the local, state and national level.
Mr. Bryan Zollinger, last Friday (Oct 26) at 6:42 pm in a Facebook comment said, “..If our nation is to survive, it must have a national narrative that seeks not to blame but to inspire, not to divide but to unite, not to demean but uplift.” I totally take exception to the implication that criticizing the government can’t be done by a patriot and someone who loves their country and that such criticism is demeaning of the person or the country.
Our Constitution is one of the most inspiring and culture changing pieces of work ever struck by man. It has held this Nation together for two centuries. Progressives and liberals do not hate Idaho or the United States of America and to say or promote such an idea is fomenting division, it is not unity. In all my political activities for the majority of my life I have never heard any of these people say they hate America. To say hate is “embedded in progressive thinking.” is to misunderstand the whole concept of the founding of this country.
To criticize our government and to seek to improve it is not hate. It is the patriotic expression our founders hoped to foster to prevent stagnation and complacency.
There is a reason it is the first Amendment, because freedom of speech is our most precious right. “Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech, or of the press or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble to and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” They sought criticism as a good thing.
Our founders knew the Constitution was not perfect and that over the course of history it might be amended; and in the employment of it by fallible men it would have some flaws. They made provision for such change and they would cringe to hear people say any one who challenged it in any way was not a patriot.
The concept of America right or wrong is not what the founders sought, nor expected, nor wanted. It says everything is perfect and we cannot improve. It denies the flaws of the original Constitutional document that for instance allowed slavery, and kept minorities and women from being equal and enfranchised. It ignores the fallible implementation of the government by men.
What is deeply embedded in me is not hate, it is the idea that we all are created equal and that our government and fellow countrymen should act that way. What inspires and uplifts me are people who serve our nation at the cost of family and household. What inspires me is the courage of people to press peacefully for improvement; to expect the government and its enactors to act fairly and with compassion and thoughtful motives. What inspires me, are people who take part in the process of making the government work responsibly and accountably.