Most of the Democrats (the "left"), can recall when
George W. Bush was first anointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court. To us,
he was but a dilettante frat bay who got his degree via the birthright of his
father's matriculation at the same college. Thereafter he failed repeatedly at
businesses in which he had been set up by his daddy's friends.
himself as a candidate by pretending to be a Texas "rancher" who could not sit a
horse and owned no cattle. He did own acreage in Texas but used it largely as a
place to wield his chain saw.
However, if we were to complain about the election or
his qualifications, we were told, "Shut up and get over it! He's your president
too, and complaining about him is unpatriotic."
Then the World Trade Center fell
by yet another attack by an Arab splinter group. Now, this was not the first
time the same building had been attacked, the difference being the degree of
loss and the fact that the perpetrators of the first attack had been apprehended
and are still sitting in a penitentiary.
However, President Bush saw fit to
invade Afghanistan because that was where they were believed to be hiding.
Shortly, it was determined that we should also invade Iraq for a number of
reasons that time has proven untrue. But could we complain about that? No! We
were told, "You are un-American unless you support the troops! We're at war
We were supporting not only the troops but also as many
contractor mercenaries at a much higher cost than that of our own army. But were
there great protests and threats by the people? Were there riots in front of
Congress and the White House? Hardly! The White House was barricaded, the
president was so heavily guarded that only photographers were allowed within
shooting distance of him. Wearing an Al Gore campaign button was a punishable
offense and an unfriendly bumper sticker on your car could land you in a
stockade far from the parade route at any public appearance.
Contrast that with the spectacle that surrounds our
current president. As the presidential limo comes down the streets, protest
signs bloom from the hands of some onlookers, many of who are displaying
sidearms or have combat rifles hanging from their shoulders. Since it is much
more difficult to end our wars than to start them, the troops are still in
combat, the contractors are still scoring huge paychecks, and our soldiers are
still being mortally wounded and coming home to grossly inadequate veterans'
Are we still "supporting our troops"? Hardly! The only
thing the protesters have to offer is to "cut spending," "cut taxes," and to
question President Obama's birth certificate! Where is all that patriotism? What
happened to supporting the Commander-in-Chief in time of war, regardless? What
happened to saving the political debates until the war is over?
Patriotism is a matter of respecting the president, even
if you didn't vote for him. Patriotism is dutifully paying-as-you-go until the
war is all paid for. Patriotism is loving your country even when you disagree
with the direction which has been taken. And patriotism is paying the needed
taxes to keep your government functional, no matter what.
Whatever happened to that patriotism?
This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The (more...