During discussions about war, I often hear from Conservatives that Liberals do not support the troops and therefore are not patriots. I wonder where Conservatives get these notions. Do they really believe this or are they mere talking points designed to inflame the opposition?
In speaking with a Conservative friend of mine (and yes I do have Conservative friends and yes reasonable, respectful, rational discussions between people with differing ideologies is possible) she said not all Conservatives believe Liberals do not support the troops and are therefore unpatriotic. I then realized my mistake, I did exactly what a lot of Conservatives do – lump a “some people” think into the “whole of the group” thinks thusly. And so, while I cannot speak for all Liberals I feel safe in opining that while Liberals may have differing viewpoints on war and conflict in the global arena than Conservatives, I’m sure everyone supports our Troops.
Most of the world no longer lives in tribal villages where wars over land and raiding each others’ livestock made sense at that time and villagers rarely saw strangers and mingled with other villages only on a few festival days per year. We now live in a global economy, with a global information and transportation system, and where the actions of one nation have consequences in all the other nations. The problem, I think, rests in the fact that not all of humanity is playing on the same field, ie, not all of us have economically, sociologically, and technologically advanced at the same pace – stir in religious ideology and the global “village” is soon boiling over in conflict. It is how we react to and deal with the conflict that often heats up or cools down the political pot.
Patriotism is defined as “–noun devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.” It’s clear the two ideologies conflict about the definition of defense because where conflict is concerned, most Conservatives seem quick to pick up a weapon while most Liberals seem quick to want to find a non-violent solution.
I’m a bit astonished some Conservatives think they have the corner on the patriotic market, that throwing a flag over your face and yelling USA USA USA is the only way to express patriotism. I’m as patriotic as the next guy but I express it differently. By way of example, my neighbor may have express their patriotism by tying an American flag on their automobile aerial and mounting a gun rack in the back window while another neighbor may express their patriotism defending this country and it’s people in speech, writing, or debate.
Are either of those ways better than the other? Depends on your perspective perhaps but patriotism is patriotism and on this Memorial Day let us remember how we got here. Let us pay our respects, on not only Memorial Day but everyday to our fighting men and women. If moved to so, adopt a soldier through Soldier’sAngels or HeroBox and let us remember the millions of lives lost for freedom and our way of life, remember them, remember their stories, their families.
As we honor the fallen and those currently serving our country, in whatever manner we choose to honor, know that we are all equally patriots, all equally Americans, all equally human and all equally a resident on this Earth and as such we all depend on one another.