Freedom is never free.....

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."-Samuel Adams

Political Frivolity (maybe)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

The Meaning of "Patriot"

My 18 year old son, who is a senior in high school, knows everything about everything. As he read my latest post “The Death of a Republic”, he looked at me and said, “Dad, your usage of the word ‘Patriot’ can be construed as offensive.” “Why is that”, I asked with a tad bit of sarcasm. His reply: “A patriot can be defined as one who practices blind loyalty to his country or cause without seeking the truth.” “What truth are you referring to?”
“Dad, here is an example: why do young men and women march off to die in a conflict that they know nothing about and quite possibly could be meaningless with respect to our own national security? In a traditional sense, these people are called ‘Patriots’”. Point scored.
I replied “You know there is an alternate definition, according to Noah Webster. ‘A person who regards himself or herself as a defender of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government’. Counterpoint. Tie ballgame.
“Dad, you used the phrase ‘...drenched with the blood of patriots...’ Clearly you were referring to those individuals that practiced blind servitude to their beloved country.” No points awarded. Invalid argument.
“Son, I was not. In fact, I was using a literary phrase based on the SECOND definition as I so eloquently spelled out for you. The ‘patriots’ in the context of my post referred to the original patriots. These men were driven by the passion to restore individual and collective rights that were being infringed on by the king of England. The monarchy, at that time in history, could be compared to our current federal government. So, if a=b and b=c, a=c. Right?” Righteous points awarded.
“So you are saying that the founders were the true patriots and once the United States of America became a reality, the term ‘patriot’ became obsolete.” Good response, tie score.
“I wouldn’t say obsolete. At that time in history, a large majority of the populace was giddy with the newfound independence from Great Britain, and as a result, the term “patriot” took on a different meaning based on the context of the day. So, yeah, I guess you have a point.” Still a tie.
“So, Dad, logic prevails, and my argument IS valid. The definition of ‘patriot’ has been reduced to an emotional response to a flag or a song or some sort of pledge. Your definition no longer applies. I’m right, you’re wrong. Na-na-na-na-na.”
“Son, we are talking about the evolution or devolution of a word, depending on your perspective. We are talking about the value of a tag, or more importantly, the lack of value in current context. I’m telling you this: the definition of ‘patriot’ as I have described, applies more today than ever. I consider myself a patriot because of my distrust and disdain with our federal government. The comparison between then and today is clear. We are in a battle to regain our country. We are in the midst of a philosophical war, where not all U.S. citizens are patriots, but all patriots are U.S. citizens. We are ‘patriots’, not because of blind loyalty to our country, but the polar opposite: total and complete disgust with what has transpired over the last 40 years or so that has bastardized a concept that was great and good.” Checkmate.
“So, Dad, you know ‘patriot’ also refers to a missile system.............”
"Good night, son".

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