It helps to remember this essay is being published six days after this nation celebrated its 243rd birthday.
There’s an ominous concept around these days called “revisionist history” which is defined online as “the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations and decision-making processes surrounding an historical event.”
Oftentimes, it seems like taking a look back at a significant occurrence and attempting to dissect it from a different perspective has been motivated by the present-day socio-political agenda of some individual or organization. A plethora of examples can be found within both liberal and conservative groups; i.e., one would probably surmise many middle-of-the-road persons wouldn’t be interested in tinkering with days gone by. For that matter, some moderates, by the very definition of their demographic, might not be expected to even have noticeable or self-styled-as-important agendas.
Some folks might think the concept of patriotism is also undergoing a type of revisionism these days as well.
Going back to the same online source that defined “revisionist history,” I found “patriotism” defined as “devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.” No problem there … so far.
Even here in eastern Elmore County and southern Tallapoosa County, however, there’s an ongoing and disconcerting perception this country is undergoing a seismic shift and/or polarization in its basic principles and values. Obviously, Tallassee trends toward conservatism, which seems to appropriate patriotism more vigorously than persons who might have liberal leanings.
It isn’t out of line to presume most of the attendees at this community’s recent patriotic celebration would probably consider themselves to be conservative and most would vote for conservative candidates.
However, such stereotyping doesn’t mean liberals are unpatriotic, no more than being a conservative automatically makes someone an intransigent bigot. That event at the Mt. Vernon Theatre was open to everyone and there weren’t any political allusions whatever in the program.
Many of the ideas being espoused by the current Democratic presidential contenders are radically different from previous campaigns. It’s almost as if the candidates are trying to leapfrog over each other, coming up with a proposal perceived as even more outlandish than the others.
Such candidates may love their country and have a right to advocate for change but they have some pretty controversial ideas about the directions this nation should take.
However, I’ve come to the conclusion that politicians of all stripes and at all levels are exhibiting a type of “unpatriotism” whenever they participate in interviews but dance around their answers to certain questions.
One politician had exuded a get-tough countenance during a congressional hearing, telling a witness to answer “yes or no.” As a candidate, the same politician was asked a simple “yes or no” question about a particular controversial issue and responded with an insipid and non-committal “we should have that discussion.”
Another politician was so evasive with a response to an interviewer the journalist actually gave up on the air, informing the politician since an answer wasn’t forthcoming they were moving on to another subject.
There have also been dumb pronouncements such as a governor’s “America was never that great” remark, which he tried to walk back.
That’s a type of unpatriotism as well.
Members of two state legislatures skipped out on certain sessions where a bill they opposed couldn’t proceed to a vote. The legislators actually went into hiding or left the state. There were the Wisconsin Democrats in 2011 and the Oregon Republicans last month.
Willful sabotage of the legislative process is not only unpatriotic, it’s anarchistic. Such politicians should be held accountable.
As noted in this space before, when it comes to elected government service, this country needs leaders, not sanctimonious buffoons who beclown themselves in front of the nearest camera or microphone. We elect too many of the latter type of individuals and many of their disingenuous pronouncements and actions diminish any so-called patriotism they claim to possess.