True Patriotism Does NOT Mean Liberalism or Conservatism… Or Being Of Sound Mind – PART TWO

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Exactly!

Military Veterans Are No More Patriotic Than Any Other American –

There is another thing that irks me… bigly… about far Right conservatism.  Why do they flaunt their military service (those who did serve) as somehow translating that to actionable patriotism?  Does your military service make your level of patriotism any more or less than any other non-serving American?  I’m a veteran myself.  But other than keeping faith to the pledge I made at time of induction well into my civilian life, I don’t wear it as a badge of patriotism.  If anything, I am proud of the fact that I did serve my country in a capacity that allowed me to defend our Constitution as being our way of life.  My patriotism is because I am an American… not because I spent some time in the service of defending it.  But each veteran has to decide for him/her self the interpretation of their military service.  I just don’t find favor when vets use it to define their level of patriotism.  Patriotism isn’t a pissing match and it’s not defined that way.  A perfect example of so-called patriotism run amok by self-serving conservatives has been in the news the last couple days.

Alvin Bamberger: A True American Patriot… Um, Idiot –

In March last year, candidate Trump had yet another of his idiotic rallies that promote hate and divisiveness.  There was some heckling disruption in the crowd and Trump told the crowd to remove those causing the ruckus.  The two photos below illustrate how 75 year old (WTF? see caption below) Korean War veteran, Alvin Bamberger, allegedly starts shoving an African-American woman (herself surrounded in a sea of white males), who has ostensibly caused an anti-Trump verbal ruckus, and being the subject of Trump’s removal request.  Now this is exactly what I mean regarding veterans using their past military service to promote their politics, and/or level of patriotism.

All the networks everywhere are reporting this Korean War vet’s age as being 75. I was born in 1951, smack in the middle of the Korean War; I am now 66. This means this guy was 9 years old at the time of the war (our respective age difference). Am I missing something here??  Even if we add another ten years to his age using the rule of reasonableness, making his service age an acceptable 19 years of age… he seems pretty spry and agile for being an 85 year old.  Maybe we can conjure up a  conspiracy theory just like the right-wingers?

So here you have an obvious veteran, wearing the uniform of the Korean War Veterans Association, shoving not only a fellow American, but also a woman.  There is SO MUCH wrong with this image.  First off, do we thank this gentleman for his service?  Of course we do… as we do any other service veteran.  Does that mean we accept his actions with this woman?  Not in the least…on so many levels.

  1. The most obvious is that he fought in battle defending our country against Communist aggression on the Korean Peninsula; one assumes that means he was defending our form of government and the ideals we hold dear.. like our Constitution and freedom of speech. Apparently the only freedom of speech he prefers is his own… or that of his Dear Leader, Trump.
  2. For whatever reason, he has no self-control and he allowed himself to get caught up in Trump’s divisive rhetoric… and apparently refuses to take responsibility for his actions; suing Trump for convincing him to treat that woman badly (“the devil made me do it” defense) likely to distract from the suit against him by the victim(s) of his assault.
  3. He not only bullied a female, he bullied her physically simply because of politics; he failed in his inherent role as a U.S. soldier to defend those who cannot defend themselves; to protect those who cannot protect themselves… especially fellow Americans.  His actions spoke poorly of American veterans everywhere.  In the least, given the situation in that floor area was likely to get ugly, he should have offered to escort her from the floor for her own safety.
  4. He is wearing a uniform. Uniforms have meaning.  They serve to set you apart from the crowd, thus making you a very visible representative of that organization.  To my knowledge, veterans organizations chartered by Congress must be politically neutral while always representing the welfare of its members regarding public treatment, memorials, and striving for veterans benefits, etc.  This old fart wore his uniform that day NOT as a representative of the Korean War Veterans Association but to promote his personal idea of patriotism as it relates to his military service.  Uniforms are to be worn at specific functions of the organization, like parades, meetings, and other sanctioned events.  Otherwise he could just have worn the obligatory baseball cap with his service record and branch of service displayed like everyone else.  But few organizations attempt any enforcement of these things for fear of pissing off their memberships.  I’d want his old arrogant, white entitlement ass kicked out of the organization for showing the organization in such a negative light… and even more so if I was also a member but not a Trump supporter.  But that will never happen.

Bottom line, this guy acted like an old moron and just embarrassed himself and veterans everywhere… and in typical right wing conservative fashion, like Trump, he does’t want to take responsibility for his own actions… blaming others for his own shortcomings.

 

In Conclusion…

When far right conservatives harangue on their blogs that they are the sole defenders of the Constitution and have some divine monopoly of what is patriotism, they are only pushing hot air.  I should point out that conservatives in general, right, left, in between… seem to favor two things…

  1. Making you afraid of it, and,
  2. Telling you who to blame for it.

…and that, dear friends, defines Trump and his supporters to a T.  Sitting in your armchair yelling at the TV while caressing and dry firing your AR-15 does NOT make you a patriot any more than any other American.  Quit using it as a crutch for your absurd political opinion.

 

A couple quotes to help illustrate what patriotism is… and is not.

Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, then a Progressive Party advocate said the following about patriotism…

“Patriotism means to stand by the country.  It does not mean to stand by the president ir any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.  It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.  It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by his country.  In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

Then there’s Malcolm X.. and, yes, I know, a revolutionary in his own right, but he places patriotism very well here…

“You’re not to be so blinded with patriotism that you can’t face reality.  Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it.”

 

So.. you ultra-Conservatives out there… please don’t bore us with the idea that your level of patriotism is any greater than any other American and that it somehow justifies your radical and unsubstantiated and unbalanced opinions.   Not to worry… you can still be a patriot and also have idiotic political opinion.  Freedom of Speech.

Carry on, America.

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13 thoughts on “True Patriotism Does NOT Mean Liberalism or Conservatism… Or Being Of Sound Mind – PART TWO

  1. Chuq had a post about patriotism on IST. He had some good quotes, but this is my personal favourite.
    “Patriotism Is The Last Refuge Of The Scoundrel”.
    Samuel Johnson.
    If the guy in the photos fought in Korea, i want to know what his secret is. He looks in better shape than me, and I was born in ’52.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Oh yes. chuq and I just happened on the same subject at the same time.
    Hey.. I’ll put together an email to you regarding the cataract experience. Might help you feel better about it. (or not… 🙂

  3. What can we expect when these types have “heroes” like Palin and that pedophile Nugent? Some of the biggest “patriots” on the Right avoided duty or they served in Texas and got an infected paper cut….”Sunshine Patriots”…thank you T. Paine…..chuq

  4. Judge and jury. No evidence of anything. Just some pictures don’t show anything that relates to the charges and some extraneous verbiage. Which proves what? Yet he is presumed guilty. Are you going to execute who ever that guy is too?

    The comments about this vet age, whoever he may be, are just silly. The Korean War ended in 1953. He could be 83. He looks healthy, but he also looks about 80. That’s now punishable too?

    Is the military relevant to patriotism? Without the military or an organization that serves the same functions, we don’t have a country. Without the military, our government cannot enforce its will.

    What made the United States unique when it was formed was the fact that the government served the will of the People, defending the rights of the people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The military of that day served at first under the orders of the Continental Congress and latter, after the ratification of the the US Constitution, the Congress at the direction of our first president, George Washington.

    You want to know why the United States exists? It exists largely because of about 5,000 men, men who made their cause the defense of 13 colonies from the tyranny of a distant king. Instead trying to seize control of our nation, the norm in other parts of the world, they defended the People.
    https://citizentom.com/2008/11/11/a-time-for-resolve-and-perseverance/

    Do veterans have a special claim on patriotism? That isn’t even worth arguing about. There is no law that gives veterans a special claim on patriotism, and nobody is asking for one. We pay our soldiers. We don’t pay them much, but they serve anyway.

    • Citizen Tom!
      First off.. I appreciate your post as it was coherent and wasn’t loaded some colorful far right diatribe or a rant. Either way, I would have approved it. I don’t run my blog as a big filter for only anti-Trump people. There are way too many conservative blogs who don’t want any posts to disrupt their own chest-thumping divisiveness.

      Second… I’ve commented to some of the elements in your post. If you wish to discuss then that’s the way to go. We may end up not changing our minds but at least we are both doing the free speech discourse thing.

      YOU SAID: “Judge and jury. No evidence of anything. Just some pictures don’t show anything that relates to the charges and some extraneous verbiage. Which proves what? Yet he is presumed guilty. Are you going to execute who ever that guy is too?”

      ME: Those pics are from a video that shows an old white guy, wearing a veterans organization uniform (hence he must be a veteran)… aggressively shoving a black woman (doesn’t matter one bit her citizenship). That video is pretty damning of and by itself. But he has already publically admitted that his response against that woman was because Trump’s speaking made him do that. Apparently there is enough evidence to bring a law suit against him and he’s setting up his own defense in blaming Trump. Yes.. you’ll have to excuse me… there MUST be some other VERY obvious reason this all isn’t what it seems. Jeez.

      YOU SAID: “The comments about this vet age, whoever he may be, are just silly. The Korean War ended in 1953. He could be 83. He looks healthy, but he also looks about 80. That’s now punishable too?”

      ME: Not sure I was picking on HIM because the press obviously reported his age wrong. Being 80 would mean he was fighting in Korea at the age of 16. Not impossible back in them days… but not all that common either. I speculated that maybe, like the far right conservatives would do, that someone could dream up some conspiracy theory about the press reporting his incorrect age.

      YOU SAID: “Is the military relevant to patriotism? Without the military or an organization that serves the same functions, we don’t have a country. Without the military, our government cannot enforce its will.”

      ME: That’s not really correct.. but you bailed yourself out ok in the next paragraph.

      YOU SAID: “What made the United States unique when it was formed was the fact that the government served the will of the People, defending the rights of the people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The military of that day served at first under the orders of the Continental Congress and latter, after the ratification of the the US Constitution, the Congress at the direction of our first president, George Washington.
      You want to know why the United States exists? It exists largely because of about 5,000 men, men who made their cause the defense of 13 colonies from the tyranny of a distant king. Instead trying to seize control of our nation, the norm in other parts of the world, they defended the People.
      https://citizentom.com/2008/11/11/a-time-for-resolve-and-perseverance/

      ME: I appreciate your effort in trying to educate me with U.S. history using some elementary school interpretation.. and, in spite of that, I do understand what you are trying to convey my way, sir. But your link to your 2008 posting on your blog is exactly what I am referring to in my post here. Your relatively good patriotic post back then ended up just being yet another conservative divisiveness as the post was loaded with nothing but references toward anything but conservatives are the enemy of the country. Jeez, pal… I dislike your obvious politics but I don’t hate you for it.

      YOU SAID: “Do veterans have a special claim on patriotism? That isn’t even worth arguing about. There is no law that gives veterans a special claim on patriotism, and nobody is asking for one. We pay our soldiers. We don’t pay them much, but they serve anyway.”

      ME: Look around, friend. In fact, look around any Trump rally… before or after the election. If they aren’t wearing military clothing from past service, they are in vet organization uniforms, or in the least, wearing their baseball caps showing their service history.

      Again.. thanks for posting. 🙂

      • Thanks for the kindness of a reply.

        Frankly, instead of an anti-Trump blog I think you would perform a greater service by advocating whatever it is you are for. When we busy ourselves being against someone, we can forget everything except the fact we are against someone. You are worried about hatred? What do you think it is?

        Am I a big Trump fan? No. I just think he is doing a much better job than Obama did or H. Clinton would have done. I would have preferred Senator Ted Cruz, but mine is only one vote.

        To figure our your gripe with Alvin Bamberger, I had to google the fellow’s name. Frankly, I would not have pushed that woman, but it is kind of stupid to go to a rally and deliberately provoke people by disrupting their rally. When we are asked to leave somebody else’s event, we have no business hanging around continuing to make a nuisance.

        In recent years people have twisted the rules that use to protect our right to free speech. Now some use those rules to silence the speech of their opponents. It is a known fact that the Democrats deliberately and intentionally tried to disrupt Trump’s rallies.

        https://d1sb17b1leotpq.cloudfront.net/rigging-election-video-i-clinton-campaign-and-dnc-incite-violence-trump-rallies.html

        It seems quite likely the Democrats tried to steal the election.
        http://projectveritasaction.com/video/veritas-voter-fraud-compilation-voterfraudisreal

        Anyway, I have no idea what you think is wrong with veterans supporting Trump. I see no reason why I have to justify it. What you might want to consider is why military personnel prefer having Trump as their leader. Would like Obama or H. Clinton as your commander in life or death combat?

        Do I have a problem with Democrat Liberals? Yes, but the issue is not patriotism. The problem is one of ethics. We have a Constitution. When people take an oath to support and defend that Constitution and they have no intention of living up that to that oath, that is wrong.

        Let me give you a simple example. The Constitution is a charter. The Constitution was written so as to authorize or charter the Federal Government to do certain, specific functions. The Tenth Amendment makes this explicit. Yet if we look at the Federal Budget and then compare that to the Constitution, we will find ourselves quite puzzled as to how the Constitution authorizes Congress to spend most of the money it spends. A general explanation can be found in a book like “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.

        What happened to our country? Because every human invention is flawed, the events that lead to today can be traced back to the founding, I suppose. However, I suppose most would go back to the Great Depression. FDR apparently saw that crisis as an opportunity to concentrate power. However, FDR encountered a Supreme Court that balked at some of his programs. So FDR threaten to pack the court, and the court backed down. Eventually FDR appointed enough judges that the court let him do what he wanted to do anyway. That is one reason we term limit presidents. FDR frightened some people.

        Anyway, the Constitution does not mean whatever the Supreme Court says it means. You and I and our fellow citizens have the responsibility to read that document and hold our leaders accountable. It is the recognition of that obligation that makes me a Conservative. My Conservatism stems from that oath I once took to support and defend the Constitution, to defend the rights of my family, friends and neighbors. That is patriotism.

  5. But, see… your patriotism is based on fear… fear of anything that smacks of liberalism, as if that in itself is some political Ebola. In fact, the Constitution… as in regards to determining if certain laws passed by Congress and the Executive, are in fact Constitutional, is what the Supreme Court is all about. If a passed law is not approved then Congress has the obligation to change what needs changing to pass it… if it’s all that important to begin with. This is the whole idea of checks & balances… and democracy. How in the world can 360 million people all interpret the Constitution the same way?? I don’t want you, I, or any of our fellow citizens to decide for me how the Constitution should be interpreted. That’s what my vote was meant to do.

    Here’s the thing, Tom, it makes no sense running around trying to determine if a person’s politics measures up to someone’s definition of patriotism. I dislike Trump as MY president intensely, less about his politics and more about his own total incompetence. I would take any Clinton and Obama any day of the week than Trump. I am sure as a guy on the street he’s just as good as the next guy on the street. But for as much as I want him out of the damn White House…. I do not and will not ever presume his patriotism is any more or less than my own.
    He’s simply the totally wrong man for the job on character and demeanor and experience alone. He displays this daily. I am embarrassed to have him in the White House.
    Now, I don’t expect you to agree one bit because I sense you might be one of those, “we need a change and throw those elitists bums out of D.C. and drain that damn swamp forever and Trump will do it because he’s unconventional” kinda guy. Ok.. but we are going to pay for that… and it will still be the same old swamp.
    But I can try and encourage you to use your common sense and maybe do your own due diligence rather than relying on fringe right wing radical websites to do your thinking for you.
    Here’s a link regarding your link…
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Project_Veritas

    You said it yourself. You honestly don’t like Trump either but for some reason you value what he can do more than Clinton. Seems to me you compromised your own feelings out of fear of a liberal. I could go so far to suggest that there were other folks you could have voted for instead of a Clinton or a Trump.

    Anyway… frustratingly good discourse. 🙂

  6. Fear is not what has sent my comments into moderation?

    What I call patriotism is based upon love, not fear. However, because we desire to protect those we love, we fear and may rightfully even hate that which might hurt them.

    Consider we are discussing patriotism in the context of a discussion about government. What is government?

    But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — James Madison from The Federalist No. 51

    Look at how you deflected my reference to projectveritas.com. Because you distrusted it — feared it — you dug up a reference from sourcewatch.org. I could counter that by digging of reviews that question sourcewatch.org credibility, but I have better things to do than to dive down that rabbit hole.

    Anyway, patriotism is what it is, but we can still call it something else. If enough people do so, then the definition of the word changes. So it is with words like tolerance, gay, multicultural, and so forth. It seems that some people think that if they can change the meaning of a word they can change reality. All they accomplish, however, is to create confusion.

    In my dictionary, if we are patriotic, then we love our family, friends, and neighbors. That is, we love our country. Instead of using the government to run other peoples lives, if we are patriotic then we work to make certain that the government allows our family, friends and neighbors the opportunity to run their own lives without infringing on anyone’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Who is the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution? Over a couple of hundred ago the People of thirteen states chose representatives to examine the Constitution and vote on it. Through their representatives those thirteen states approved the Constitution. Thus, the People interpreted the Constitution, decided it would work, and approved it. Therefore, the people are the ultimate authority. The People gave the Constitution life and meaning. So long as the People sustain the Constitution, the Constitution remains the Law. Nine men and women in black robes by themselves cannot make that much difference.

    Consider the irony. You insist, although nothing of the sort is stated in the Constitution, that we must accept the authority of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution. Yet here you are refusing to accept the legitimacy of the election of Donald Trump. In fact, you have somehow, some way arrived at the conclusion that I am a hypocrite for voting for Trump. You understand implicitly that to rule Trump must have the support of the People. Therefore, you encourage dissent against Trump leadership and criticize those who accept his leadership.
    🙄

    Am I a hypocrite? Generally, I don’t bother defending myself — my logic — yes, but myself, no. We are all too imperfect to make it worth the bother. Our reputation is what others think of us. If others are not willing to defend whatever good they find in us, then our reputation is not worth defending.

    As a practical matter, we the People decide what kind of government we want. If we won’t do what is required to sustain a republic, then we will not have one for long. Therefore, even though I question your wisdom I applaud the fact you are an active citizen. Apathy is the greater sin.

    • Well, friend.. one thing we certainly do both have in common.. we can compose long posts. 🙂
      We should clear up a couple things first here.
      When I set up the blog I simply left the default settings as they were and that included the moderation business. It looks like it’s set to allow moderation on the first two replies of a new follower or stranger then accepts from then on.. as apparently your post here did. Moderation is NOT set as a “agrees with me” reply filter for me.
      Second item…. you will not find one post on my blog that will express any of the nonsense that conservatives like to assign to liberals (or other naysayers) that somehow Trump’s election should be invalidated. Not one. Now, I know newcomers to any blog will likely not dive into older posts, especially when one might not agree with what’s being said anyway. But indulge yourself for a bit and check out this menu post…
      http://www.findingpoliticalsanity.com/index.php/why-i-dislike-this-guy-as-my-president-2/

      From a previous remark you made, I know you’d prefer me to have a blog that takes a political “side”, if it were. My blog simply addresses the (in)capacity of the man himself and his qualifications to govern… and by that there are no party lines since it’s not his policies but rather the bumbling and naive ways he tries to carry out those campaign promises. I’ve said in a number of venues that Trump might be my president but he is not MY president. I respect the office far more than the man who occupies it… and I have said I would take a bullet for whomever occupies that office… as president… because when someone attacks the president they are attacking a branch of our government and hence attacking America.

      I am actually feeling increased sympathy for all those who put Trump in office (sympathy as a fellow American) because of all those bellicose 100 day promises that anyone with an inch of common sense knew damn well he’d not be able to deliver. A few putz decrees… and a Supreme Court judge are not great accomplishments alone when compared to his original agenda. Yet his supporters had all this hope and promise that he would be such a renegade “drain the swamp” guy and turn D.C. topsy-turvey simply because people had this idea that D.C. needed to be turned topsy-turvy.. when in the end likely very little with change.

      Ok.. regarding my apparent “deflection” of your projectveritas.com reference…
      I honestly never heard of this organization and simply did my due diligence and tried looking up something about it. Now, I realize that far right conservatives view all of mainstream media as suspect liberal bias. That’s easy to do. So rather than trying to find a totally balanced and neutral source they can trust, what do they do? They lock on to all the right wing conservative sources and loudly proclaim that only those places can deliver “truth”. Makes no sense to me. Nothing is more biased to truth than right wing sites.

      In my three-parter on critical thinking, of which this part we are talking in is part three, I discuss the mainstream media and how to filter what they say because frankly they are a primary source of some level of objective news reporting. You just have to use your own common sense to filter through what the very biased (intentionally, by design) talking heads babble on about.

      • Turned moderation off? That’s good!

        Not trying to invalidate Trump’s election? Just Trump? I think that is a distinction with only a slight difference. What some would call it a technicality.

        I find the notion that Trump is incompetent sort of silly. My problems with Trump included the following:
        1. He is not a Conservative.
        2. He did not have a record. There was no telling what he would do.
        3. He has something of a foul mouth. I don’t expect politicians to be saintly, but I would like someone I am comfortable having in the presence of my wife and children. Really have not had that sort of president as often as I would like. Reagan. Carter. The Bushs. But Clinton, Obama, and Trump. Yuck!
        4. His tweets and off the cuff remarks can be disconcerting to say the least.

        That said, Trump is doing a relatively good job. You are not be happy, but I am. He is actually trying to keep his promises. Since lots of those promises involve undoing Obama’s executive orders, and Trump has issued lots of them, I have little reason to complain. Given what has he to work with in Congress, I am surprised Trump is actually doing a respectable job even on that front.

        What about the news media? The mainstream media.

        I am a Conservative, but I don’t claim to represent anyone but myself. So here is my opinion. From the founding of our nation, the news media has been partisan. Where did the notion that the news media might be objective come from? Well, I will let you look that up on your own (I have never bothered.). What I have observed is the effect of cable TV and the Internet. When TV stopped have to broadcast over the airwaves, the news shows stopped worrying about FCC licensing.

        Think about it. Broadcasting over the air requires a Federal license. Fox and CNN were the first partisan news outfits in the modern era. Accident? No. Since the Internet reduces the cost of entry into the news business, we now have a large number of small, but quite visible presences on the Internet, and these don’t bother to hide their bias. Obama and the Democrats hated that.

        Were ABC, CBS, and NBC biased all along? Of course, they were. Are newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post biased? Yes, and they have been that way for long time. It has just become more obvious. We also have this thing called Crony Capitalism. The most powerful crony capitalists have learned it pays off to buy a news organ. Hence, the guy who runs Amazon bought The Washington Post.

        So what should we do about the biased news media? The obvious answer is don’t trust just one source.

        When we make use of the news media, what do we usually do? Well, we have a tendency to uses sources that affirm what we wish to believe. The problem with that is that listening to people who only tell us what we want to believe doesn’t force us to examine the logic of our position. If we are operating with false assumptions or false information, and we are only listening to people who tell us only what we wish to hear, we may never learn how wrong we are.

        When it comes to using news sources which reflect our own biases, are Conservatives more guilty than anyone else? No. When 90 percent of the news media votes for Democrats, how could we be?

        Google any issue and most of the hits will come from the mainstream media. Visit most Conservative political blogs, and you will find we read and reference the mainstream media. Sometimes I exclusively reference what little Conservative media there is just to make a point. However, I don’t make a practice of it. I want my readers to know there are multiple points-of-view. I want my readers to understand and respect the dangers posed by the Democrat Liberal media.

        • If I may add.. the fact you and I are still replying back and forth says a bit of something regarding our respective… presentation of our ideas in a manner that while we will likely not agree on much politically we are still dialoging. With the national political divisiveness being as it is even this much is amazing. 🙂

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