Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

True patriotism

Dear Editor,
Sam Holliday’s “meaning of patriotism” matches that of every other nationalist movement that “served for more than 300 years” giving us Nazi Germany, Communist China, and Ahmadinejad’s Iran. Patriotism in each case was used to promote the narrow national interests of a nation over the well being of humanity and our vital global life support system that we often quaintly refer to as ‘the environment’.
War, greed, religion, poverty, genocide and disease continue to threaten the survival of people and nations alike. If we fail to end the insanity of this ‘country-centric’ view of the world we will get more of the same.
There is nothing wrong with loving one’s country. But, just as one may love a child or parent, that doesn’t mean they are perfect or innocent beyond reproach. Our country has serious problems…and many of them are related to pressures beyond our borders.
I’m far more in love with the ideals that created this great country and it’s form of government than the actions that this nation has delivered by politicians elected by corporate campaign contributions and the selfishness and ignorance of far to many American voters.
The true meaning of patriotism should be reserved for our founding fathers as they wrote the “Declaration of Independence”. It was they who recognized the inalienable rights of all the world’s people to be free of government tyranny anywhere.
They put their lives on the line to establish that ideal on paper and eventually on land when they later wrote a Constitution with a Bill of Rights to firmly establish this experiment on this continent.
They made some lethal mistakes…like legislating that a black person was less than a full human being and failing to recognized females as legitimate voters. But they gave us a form of government were such mistakes could be corrected – with or without armed conflict.
Mr. Holliday’s devolved view of patriotism will eventually lead to the loss of our freedoms, our security and our prosperity. In this interdependent world we will only maintain these American standards of life if we respect the freedom, security and inalienable rights of others we share this planet with.
Patriotism is more than a unremitting allegiance to a piece of land. It is, or at least should be, about an allegiance to the highest of ideals. And for me and a growing number of real Americans there is nothing more sacred than the ideals our founding fathers lived by when they created this great experiment.
For a more detailed view of what a true patriot is see www.truepat.org

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