Our government and its officials are not always right. We have some laws that are unfair, archaic, incorrect, whatever and we have some officials who are incompetent, unfair, whatever. We don’t have to like every law, official etc. in the government to be a patriot, but I say we do have to love and respect our government if you want to be considered a patriot.
We have to love our government the same as we would anyone in a relationship. We love our spouses, but recognize they like ourselves are not perfect (except my wife) and we have to work with our imperfections (of which I have many) to preserve the overall goodness that comes from the relationship. When rough spots come up we work on them together and get through them and pray for an improved situation. We recognize that respecting one another and if need be fighting fair, are key to maintaining a healthy relationship. We don’t kick them when they are down, say by pointing out that they are gaining weight while they are mourning the death of a family member. In fact we most often go out of our way to not bring up imperfections to help support them when times are tough.
Our patriotism; our relationship with our elected government is just a relationship, but on a large scale, and with millions of spouses. Scary huh? If you value your nation, you work to preserve it just like your relationship with your spouse. It’s OK to have a difference of opinion or even believe that things need to change. But it has to be dealt with fairly and with respect for the others in the nation or the nation will suffer. Fight fair, follow the rules which give everyone a fair equal say.
Dissent by definition is nothing more than a difference of opinion or a disagreement. Dissent by itself is pretty benign. Lately I’ve noticed that the line between dissent and civil disobedience has been blurred. Many, who would call themselves patriots, have taken the notion that their opinion is more important than the others in our nations and through civil disobedience have chosen to fight unfairly, without regards for those others and without regards for what it will do to our nation.
Civil disobedience is an act of refusal against the laws of our nation. In our nation those laws are the word and will of the citizens and so an act against the laws is an act against the people of our nation. I don’t think there are too many healthy relationships that can stand up to cheap shots, backstabbing, sand bagging, or other wise fighting unfairly. These so called patriots believe that their opinion is so important that it must be heard even at the expense of our nation. It is not, and our nation is suffering.
It’s about time more people started calling those practicing civil disobedience on their bad behavior. We don’t need selfish brats ruining our nation. We need them to strengthen our nation by understanding that they are fairly only one voice in this relationship. If they have a dissenting idea, they should work within the system to change things. If you say, chant, sing your one opinion, even a thousand times to your representative, it is still only one opinion; you have been heard. Don’t throw a tantrum! Rather, go convince a thousand others that your way is the best way. Then your representative will hear a thousand opinions, not just one.
One will hear that our forefathers practiced dissent and civil disobedience and that if it was good for them, it must be good for us. Well it was good for them. Their actions were aimed at destroying the type of nation that existed. The type where everyone didn’t have a fair say in their nation. They gave us our great nation where we all have a fair and equitable say in our future. And one of our greatest founders sent a message to us in his farewell address.
“Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty.
The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all.
The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.”
September 17, 1796
This great forefather understood that obedience, not disobedience, is the key to the future of our nation. He did describe an active obedience, not a blind obedience, but obedience none the less. So for those who wish to practice civil disobedience like our forefathers and tear apart a nation like our forefathers; remember that it is our great nation, the nation they created, that you are tearing apart. And also remember that there are many like myself who will call you an enemy of our nation.