Monday, June 12, 2006

What is wrong with being Patriotic?

Patriotic, defined by Dictionary.com is " Feeling, expressing, or inspired by love for one's country".

Patriotic means much more than that however, it denotes a sense of loyalty to that country. It also denotes a bit of selfishness, my country comes first, then we can consider other nations. Selfishness is not normally a positive trait, however in the discussion of Patriotic, you are applying your conscience, your loyalty, your devotion, to the larger community, the nation.

I ask the question, what is wrong with being patriotic? A Patriot supports the nation first, hardly a bad thing is it? When President Clinton was in office, I was in the Army. I did not like that man, didn't trust him. However, I was a Soldier, and a Sergeant. My duty, my sworn duty, and my loyalty was to the Commander in Chief. I obeyed the orders of those appointed above me, even when I personally disagreed with them, honestly, I gave more effort to accomplishing those orders I didn't like, because that was my duty as well.

The worst ass chewing I gave to a subordinate was when President Clinton had issued the now famous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't pursue" in regards to Homosexuals in the Military. One of my subordinates said he wasn't going to do that, he was going to ask if a guy was "Queer" if he wanted to.

I took that soldier aside, and chewed him up one side and down the other, pointing out that his enlistment oath didn't allow him to follow orders he "liked" or approved of. If this soldier ever again spoke of disobeying the Commander in Chief, I would take him out, and after beating him senseless, bring him up on charges. We serve to defend democracy, not to place it in practice you see. I should point out, I had listened to Rush Limbaugh at lunch, and personally did not agree with the President's instructions, but that wasn't the point. Bill Clinton was the President, duly elected, sworn, and serving in that position. I didn't have to like the President, but by God I was sworn to obey him. For the Record, I served in the Military until 1997, when I was Honorably Discharged. During my service I found many of the Orders I received questionable as to their wisdom, however I obeyed, because that is what I said I would do.

That is the point, even though most of the Soldiers were not big supporters of Bill Clinton, we would serve the President as loyally as humanly possible. In my example above, my Platoon Sergeant pulled me aside later, to insure I had communicated to that Soldier his duty to obey orders. I assured the Platoon Sergeant that information was engraved in that soldiers brain.

Patriotism means supporting the office, the man isn't as important as the office. I didn't vote for President Clinton, but he was still "My President" even when I got out of the Army. He was my President until George W. Bush swore the oath, and took over the duties of President. He was my President because he was the American President, and I was an American. That was enough for me, I never stopped being an American.

That is the difference between Patriotic and Unpatriotic. The Patriot supports an administration he personally disagrees with, because the system demands a willingness to accept the decision of the majority. I don't have to agree with the decision for it to be the decision, numerous Supreme Court cases prove that beyond any doubt.

So someone tell me, what is wrong with being Patriotic? If the new standard is "I didn't vote for him, he isn't MY President" then half the nation will be leaderless until the next Election. Granted, less than half, after all the Liberals don't make up nearly the majority they like to think, but that is another aside. I am just trying to understand how they can claim to be just as Patriotic, when they denounce the elected President as illegitimate? Is that the future of our nation? In 2008, will Republicans denounce a Democratic President as Illegitimate? (OK, granted I took a large leap and pretended that a Democrat could win)

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