I hope many readers read the two opinion page columns — “Is patriotism ‘fake news’?” on Oct. 14, and “NFL owners engaged in window dressing over protests” on Oct. 19.
Both writers hit the nail on the head. Not only does our president not sound or act like a patriot, he misinterprets what patriotism really is.
Standing and saluting a flag or singing a national anthem do not a patriot make. Flags and anthems are symbols: They unify and represent specific groups of people nationally, just as crosses and the Star of David, for example, represent and unify specific groups of people religiously. Just “going through the motions” in either nationalism or religion doesn’t do the job.
But back to patriotism. In my old dictionary (American Heritage) a patriot is defined as “a person who loves, supports and defends his (her) country.”
And that’s it.
But that’s a lot: being willing to fight and/or work for the freedom and justice for all that’s in that Pledge of Allegiance; fight and/or work to protect our natural resources, public lands and infrastructure; obeying our laws but watching that they make sense; caring about the needs of all of its people; and voting as wisely as we can for a government that will help make these things happen.
This to me is patriotism, and none of it will be accomplished by — nor requires — saluting a flag or standing for or singing an anthem.
And does Trump really think that forcing people to do these things via new laws, or firing them from their jobs, will automatically make them more patriotic?
Probably just the opposite, stupid.