Patriotism: A motion-demanding value in the hearts of citizens
Patriotism is not just an idea or a philosophy. Patriotism in America is political; it is an activity. It is a motion-demanding value in the hearts of citizens about what we believe and how we live which requires our participation. Our security and abundance of prosperity free from the poverty of the mind, as a coherent people, depends on our participation. Therefore patriotism is not without substance or requiring no thought or no action. It is a part of the natural check and balance system currently deeply concerned with the issue of separation of powers and an over-reaching national authority. For the inactive are passive and wont to lose their liberties through abnegation of their responsibility to participate in politics. Through politics we are manipulated by the ideas, policies, and bidding of others. There is no hiding from politics for the profound effects it carries upon the lives we share as citizens. Death in wars, prosperity in economics, and poverty of the mind are all mediated by the patriotism of citizenry. Where patriotism is separated from politics grief is found in abundance for the inaction or nonparticipation of the individual leads the same in the many. When we choose to fail being political we allow ourselves to be ignorant and complacent which in turn opens us to illicit manipulation.
“Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” - Hermann Wilhelm Goring
This does not mean that to be patriotic one must be churning out laws or producing endless amounts or rhetoric. But it does entail a vigilance and readiness to action should inequity be found or an agenda discovered which alters our bedrock in an unsustainable or endangering way.
"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution." - Thomas Jefferson
The creation of new laws or official policies are a option; a tool designed of a peoples patriotism. The litmus test being do they strengthen the bedrock or do they remove or hinder our protections and replace them with rot?
"We can safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority." - James Madison
Montana for instance is considering two draft bills.
One will provide further clarification under the law ensuring the County Sheriff's ability and responsibility to step in and protect its constituents against lawless usurpations by the 'national authority' . This bill is the 2011 Senate Bill 114 which is entitled: "AN ACT REGULATING ARRESTS, SEARCHES, AND SEIZURES BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES; PROVIDING THAT FEDERAL EMPLOYEES MUST OBTAIN THE COUNTY SHERIFF'S PERMISSION TO ARREST, SEARCH, AND SEIZE; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS; PROVIDING FOR PROSECUTION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES VIOLATING THIS ACT; REJECTING FEDERAL LAWS PURPORTING TO GIVE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES THE AUTHORITY OF A COUNTY SHERIFF IN THIS STATE; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
The other bill is 2011 Senate Bill 150 cited as: Montana Constitutional Rights Protection Act. The title states: "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR CIVIL ACTIONS FOR THE VINDICATION OF VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS AND DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR THE NONPAYMENT OF COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES; CREATING THE OFFENSE OF OFFICIAL OPPRESSION; AND AMENDING SECTION 2-9-305, MCA."
Patriotism seeks to define and regulate with civility the boundaries by which our governing bodies operate upon and among us. This requires action on the part of patriots. It is not an armchair sport. Vigilance never has been. Any citizen who has within himself tolerance limits to tyranny is by this definition a patriot in some personally deliniated degree. The difference between a patriot who exists as a slave vs one who operates as a free man defending those freedoms and ensuring a civil and peaceful world is the difference between the one who sits unattentive without regard to the actions of others vs the one who actively participates in politics. Hense patriotism is political. The United States of America was deliberately designed to be this way and to be maintained this way.
"Let us, therefore, beware of being lulled in to a dangerous security; and of being enervated and impoverished by luxury: of being weakened by internal contentions and divisions; of being shamefully extravagant in contracting private debts, while we are backward in discharging honourably those of the public: of neglect in military exercises and discipline, and in providing stores of arms and munition of war, to be ready on occasion: for all these are circumstances that give confidence to enemies, and diffidence to friends; and the expenses required to prevent a war, are much lighter than those that will, if not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it." - Ben Franklin
Many demean patriotism today. We attribute to speakers or other participants responsibility for the actions of others. Patriotism however is not group think. It is individual. And America is a nation of individuals. Each with individual variations of belief about what is good or necessary and individual responsibility for the welfare, or choices of the self. It is our commonality of ideas about patriotism bound within individualism, responsibility, liberty and truth which brought us together to become a nation. It will be our commonality of deterioration or deviation from the guarding of these principles which will tear us apart.
"One whose troops repeatedly congregate in small groups here and there, whispering together, has lost the masses. One who frequently grants rewards is in deep distress. One who frequently imposes punishments is in great difficulty. One who is at first excessively brutal and then fears the masses is the pinnacle of stupidity." - Sun Tzu
It is the responsibility of a patriot to protest or be political. Affronts to civility such as the TSA grope-downs are examples of excessive brutality in a civil society. And they depict a structure who fears the masses. Discussion about the separation of powers is required by the citizenry of a nation who's very existence is defined within a system of checks and balances. This is participating in the vigilance required to be and remain a free people unencumbered with tyranny. We cannot say you must not speak of politics in any venue be it public places, our place of employment, our family, or among our friends and aquaintences, for this encourages the growth of corruption and tyranny among us through ignorance. When we do not share our commonality through these dialogs we invite into our lives an anethema to our principles and a threat to the welfare of our fellow citizens. Few things may injure a nation greater than an ignorant public....for it is within her people that originates her strength and vitality.
Is ignorance synonymous with strength and vitality? You decide.
Patriotism is political; it is an interaction.
The primary responsibility of the Political
Thinking critically. Thinking critically allows us and requires us to ask questions. To investigate and define our rationale. A critical thinker is not someone who is nonparticipatory. To practice defining what we know, specifying what we believe, differentiating between what is detrimental to self or community and what is not, and to examine the nature of our personal and shared truths is a part of thinking critically. These are patriotic behaviors and a necessity for a responsible and dependable citizenry.
"If orders are consistently implemented to instruct the people, then the people will submit. If orders are not consistently implemented to instruct the people, then the people will not submit. One whose orders are consistently carried out has established a mutual relationship with the people." - Sun Tzu
How do a people rule themselves? By agreement. If agreement is instructive or through critical thinking then the people will be in concert. IF they are not consistent in their action to exhibit dialog or consistent in seeking a confluence of agreement upon natural principles then the people will not submit. A coherent, healthy, and vibrant nation or society is one that has a people possessing mutual interrelations. And a mutual relationship between its representatives and its people. Anything else is a state of disfunction.
Critical thinking entails critical dialogs. We do not always agree. But in a liberty founded and maintained society critical dialogs are inherent portions of the process to agreeable mutual relationships. For examining and defining our disagreements allow a patriotic citizenry to find, share, and maintain the common ground that ensures a nations coherence; survival.
If a power was wont to destroy a nation...how best might it accomplish it? Through costly war? Or social & principle modification?