So if you’re looking for some steamy story in this blog, you will be disappointed.
The inspiration for this blog was the following observaton:
An oversized pick up (mint condition without a speck of dust having never done a day of gritty manual labor) came roaring by (wasting gas using up what remains of our fossil fuels) and sporting 2 massive flags. One of Old Glory and one of the Confederacy (the guys who severed ties to the Union and essentially gave their their finger to the USA). Anyways, this guys truck was plastered with stickers proclaiming to be a true patriot, god-fearing, supporter of all that is righteous. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I see this display of patriotism, I get the feeling that this guy thinks he’s a true American and I’m somehow a wimpy, less patriotic American.
He’s entitled to his opinions and his right to display them. Thankfully, we would agree that we live in a country where such freedom of expression is allowed.
What irritated me was the feeling I get from him and many others is that he is somehow more patriotic, more religious, more morally grounded, more hard working than the rest of us peasants.
Got me to thinking, what about me? Am I not a patriot? Here’s the contribution that I and my ancestors have made to this country.
- I’ve worked 2 & 3 jobs for the last 30+ years. That’s no weekends free, no vacations for 30 years. Why? I’ve been supporting America. Paying mortgages, car payments, putting kids thru college. Now that’s patriotic.
- I’ve worked 30+ years in non-profits and governments in fields that include the following: affordable housing, community development, redevelopment, economic development and mental health. I’ve done the best I can with the resources available to me (just like patriots have been doing since the origins of our republic). In the course of my working in a wide variety of fields this has afforded me opportunities to meet an amazing array of persons of various socio-economic, racial, ethnic, cultural backgrounds. Having a first hand view of the strength and diversity of America, it makes me both proud and optimistic about America. Now that’s patriotic!
- I’ve worked over 15 years on weekends as a mall cop. This has exposed me to a combination of the good, the odd, the bad and the ugly (which is the title of one of the chapters of my novel entitled Mall Child. A fictionalized recap of the life of a mall cop).Instead of turning me negative on America, I have come to understand it and appreciate it with all its blemishes. Being a mall cop has forced me to confront my own prejudices and contemplate the challenges and opportunities of reimagining the criminal justice system (from cops to prosecutors to judges and jails and restorative justice). Being patriotic is more than waving a big flag, slapping a bumper sticker on your car, shouting a sound bite, living in the past and thinking linear in your own sound chamber. Being patriotic is questioning authority, thinking more deeply, building upon what’s good and tossing what’s bad.
- As for my ancestors, they were patriotic in an understated manor. They served in WW2. They didn’t march around in camo outfits on Main Street or in the Mall. They didn’t talk much about what they did. They got busy. They came back to raise families, attend school and got busy working/contributing. Being Irish-American, most of them were cops. They carried revolvers on their service belts like a carpenter carries a hammer on his work belt. Like carpenters, their gun was a tool of the trade to be used as necessary. Growing up in this environment, I never experienced the culture of gun fetishes’ that permeates the wanna-be cops, wanna-be soldiers who never seemed to grow out of childhood fantasies of playing army and cops/robbers games.
So what’s the call to action for us “Silent Majority” Patriots
- Be proud of the contribution that you and your ancestors have made, just as I have outlined above concerning me and my ancestors. Don’t be ashamed of being an understated patriot quietly going about your life, your work and supporting your causes.
- Don’t shrink from reminding (tactfully) the boastful patriot’s that you are also a patriot in your unique way. Maybe you will broaden their perspective. If they remain hell bent on claiming to be uber-patriots, know that it’s time to cut your losses and focus on uniting the Silent Majority Patriots (the SMP’s)
- Be creative and determined to network with fellow SMP’s so that on election day the loud mouth patriots and the sideliners (persons who can not decide, can not take stands) will be shocked by overwhelming turn out by the Silent Majority Patriots (SMP’s).
- Utilize the tactics and techniques of an underground resistance force supporting each other when threatened. Act like volunteer firemen who responding to the fire bell. Act like the original American patriots (aka, the Minutemen of New England) who jumped to action upon hearing that “The British Are Coming”. Constantly be in communication with each other while constantly recruiting like minded members.
- The following quote (one of my favorites) sums up the message of this blog and it’s call to action:
- Patriotism is fully supporting your country and your government, when it deserves it.
- Dissent is Patriotic