We hear talk during Federal election campaigns about which candidates are the most patriotic, as demonstrated by words and lapel pins. This word is also used to urge young people to join the military and risk death or harm, or for all citizens to sacrifice in other ways.
Patriotism is defined as “love of country and devotion to its welfare.” Thus, it is normal to think of being patriotic as a good thing, but let’s look at how it can be abused, and the difference between country and government. Unfortunately, many people have been duped into thinking they are the same.
Our colonial citizens and founding leaders created state and Federal governments as a means to protect their personal and property rights from violation by others (persons, countries, or firms). Due to the abuse they endured under English rule, like millions before them in other countries, they were worried about government going astray and causing harm, so they wrote a Constitution giving limited powers.
This was done to keep the D.C. folks on a short leash (OK, they added a few “rights,” just to be sure). The founders of America were independent thinkers who cherished their liberty, and viewed government as a servant to protect citizens — not as a Parent, Owner, Funder, or Boss.
They wisely viewed the government as distinct from the nation or country. They were loyal to their family, friends, fellow countrymen, and property; they naturally felt patriotic to these support systems, but not to the leaders who had temporary jobs running the government.
Fighting to protect your family and property was considered defense for your own good, not a sacrifice for others. Government workers were considered “public servants” who had a duty to help protect the people.
More and more since 1776, the government folks have pleaded for our patriotism to support their wars, spending, and other projects — most of which are self-serving violations of the Constitution — and not to protect the rights of the people. The government has been corrupted from a Servant to a Parent, Owner, Funder, and Boss. The recipients of the government handouts and favors chide others to be patriotic and loyal, or worse: dupes who believe government lies, and urge their children and friends to accept whatever the government says, including joining the military to risk giving their life as the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, all U.S. wars since 1812 have been based on lies, and were for political and economic reasons (oil, land, empire, etc.), not defense.
So let’s think twice when we are asked to be Patriotic, and make sure that we are supporting our family, friends and property first — not self-serving government created by politicians to enhance their power and wealth.
|Author, David Redick|
David Redick is a “Ron Paul” Republican running for Wisconsin State Assembly 77. Mr. Redick supports establishing a state bank in Wisconsin. Please visit his campaign website and support his efforts to restore liberty and sound banking.