Duane Mooring | What Does Patriotism Mean Today?

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In response to Michael Graham’s column on July 10, “Do Democrats Have a Patriotism Controversy?” Graham does indeed ask a good question that leads one to ask a more important question: What is patriotic in today’s political climate? I would suggest that bending over backward to accommodate all Americans and to avoid any association with white nationalists is probably very darned patriotic. Michael talked about polls showing that Democrats have trouble feeling proud of their country today – and, conversely, showing Republicans’ ability to remain proud despite the divisions being sown by our president. Fighting demagoguery and fighting against divisions while a significant portion of our population revels in just that – well, that should indeed yield ugly poll results. No mystery about how Democrats feel. The mystery during the Trump phenomenon has been that so many Republicans support the constant attacks on our values and our Constitution. 

President Barack Obama took a Republican solution to overhaul health care in America and made it work for all Americans. Obama took it on the chin. Daily assaults, a pledge to make him a one-term president, a pledge to overturn the new law, pledges to dismantle the law, government shutdowns – all taken calmly and patiently while delivering speeches about inclusion and about how our differences were so very small compared to our common values. The attacks against Obama have continued and become more intense and acerbic, and yet Obama speaks calmly and rarely even when most of his legacy is continually unraveled by Donald Trump with the help of a blindly loyal shouting mob of supporters and a blindly loyal cable news network. 

Demagoguery works and it is miserably depressing to those who recognize it. Watching our country praise and side with a man who verifiably lies daily. Not little white lies, not rhetorical lies, not campaign promise lies – but big fat, consequential, damaging and self-serving lies. 

Graham concludes that Democrats live in a depressed, unpatriotic “culture” of delusion. Well, I know that no true patriot would revel in division and a culture of propaganda and lies.

Duane Mooring 

Castaic

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