Flying the flag or waving the flag doesn’t make one a patriot. The same goes for wearing a miniature flag as a lapel pin. A patriot respects the flag, but flag waving doesn’t define a patriot. A patriot respects the constitution and the rule of law, but so do some criminals. So, what is a patriot? The dictionary states that a patriot is “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” We understand what it means to “defend” our country – it means to serve in the armed forces. But what does it mean to “support” our country? I can only give you my interpretation.
Supporting our country means to support our form of government – a #democracy. It means voting to elect our leaders and supporting those elected whether they are from our own party of not. You don’t have to agree with them, but if they are elected by a fair vote of the people, support them. It also means paying your taxes and observing the laws. If you disagree with a law, vote to change it, but obey it until it’s changed. Patriots support those who preserve the law -- the police, the National Guard, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Supporting our country means to give an honest day’s work for a fair and honest day’s pay that you and your employer agree on. It means earning a fair profit (10% or less), not an excessive one, price gouging. It means dealing fairly and honestly with your customers and employees.
Supporting our country means supporting the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A patriot protects freedom of religion regardless of their own faith; freedom of speech even though they don’t agree with the speaker, freedom of the press even though they don’t agree with what is written; freedom of assemble even if they aren’t part of the assembly; freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures regardless of who is being searched; and due process of law for everyone. No one is free if everyone isn’t free, and no one is above the law.
Last but not least, patriots -- even though they may not be able to serve in the armed forces – support those that do serve.
Such as it is, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?