On this Fourth of July, in the year 2018, celebrating the 242nd Anniversary of the American Declaration Of Independence from an oppressive government that disregarded the wants and needs of its American citizens, it is well worth it to contemplate Patriotism.
Patriotism, as defined by Merriam-Webster: “love for or devotion to one’s country”
Note that it does not say love or devotion to the current government, or to any elected official. In fact, it can be, and often has been, argued that Patriotism demands holding the government to task for what they do and what they fail to do.
To those that claim that those who criticize Donald Trump and his administration are lacking in patriotism because he’s the president, I have one basic thing to say:
If they really thought that, then by their own definitions, these people have shown a complete lack of patriotism when Barak Obama was President.
Because Patriotism is loyalty to the country, not to any specific person, if the person in high office is acting in a way that is detrimental to the country, it is therefore a patriotic duty to hold them responsible. It is therefore a patriotic duty to dissent. It is a patriotic duty to resist. Loyalty to the person is in fact incompatible with patriotism, because you are putting the person above the country regardless of what that person is doing to the country.
The Declaration of Independence, the signing of which is celebrated 242 years ago today, calls out for dissent and opposition to Trump’s administration where it says as the second paragraph
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
What has Trump done that warrants a Patriotic dissent and resistance? Here’s a partial list:
- He insults our allies and defers to our enemies
- He installs department heads that are unqualified on the face of it and who’s missions are to dismantle their departments
- He is personally profiting from being President beyond a paycheck by not distancing himself from his businesses
- He is personally profiting from being President beyond a paycheck by manipulating the stock market
- He ignores the evidence-based consensus of his own Intelligence services regarding enemy cyberwarfare against the United States and takes the unproven word of a sworn enemy instead
- He claims victory in talks with a hostile foreign leader when he gave what they wanted and got nothing in return, ignoring evidence of his failure
- Demands certain concessions to agree to a basic principle, then moves the goal posts
- Enacts a policy of “zero tolerance”, lies about who’s policy it is, claims it’s up to another branch of the government to fix it, then only under pressure from his wife and daughter enacts an Order that only partially rescinds it and attempts to make things worse
- Falsely claims “national security” to impose import tariffs on our allies triggering global trade wars with allies and other trade partners
- Directly and implicitly Incites violence against the Media
- Directly and implicitly incites violence against people of color, other religions and refugees
I could go on and on, but as I said, this is only a partial list.