What It Means To Be An American Patriot

A Patriot Loves And Supports The Nation

A lot of questions are swirling around over what it means to be a patriot in our recent news. Being a patriot can seem to mean many things these days.The Merriam-Webster’s definition of patriot says it is, “…one who loves and supports his or her country.” That definition provides a lot of wiggle-room for all of us but it doesn’t give much clarity about what one does to be an American patriot.

Being a patriot is not necessarily hero stuff. In fact, it may not be all that remarkable to be a patriot. I’m quite serious. Being a patriot can be – should be – noteworthy but many may deserve to be called one.

Patriotism can be, should be, a healing force to help our nation bind its recent wounds and heal. To do so, we need every patriot to participate. The National Foundation of Patriotism, for example, notes how patriotism is relevant in the everyday lives of our nation’s citizens. The foundation associates such descriptors as love, defense, respect, and care (of our nation) for patriotism.

121918 Patriot

A Patriot Is Revealed In Many Ways

If you love your country you may, for example, pledge your allegiance to the United States of America while in the presence of our flag. Many do every chance they get.

You may be a patriot if you have ever worn a military uniform and have served your country. If you have, the patriot message is a key component of that uniform, much as is the rank insignias and medals it may bear. You love and support your country.

You may be a patriot if you take part in or even appreciate the many July 4th parades that take place across this country. Every generation turns out expressing its particular appreciation for the ideals this nation espouses.

You can even be a patriot if you disagree in the governance of this nation, and many do. Showing you care for one stance or another means you care enough to express your position. You’re a patriot if you do.

Misinformation Denies Patriotic Allegiance

Sadly, good governance suffers because of a plethora of misinformation that surrounds us. William Falk, Editor-in-chief of The Week, writes in the Editor’s Letter that the year of 2018 is the year of misinformation. He notes that:

misinformation—and its cousin, deliberate disinformation—is a rising flood tide of lies, delusions, and blind, adamant belief that imperils our ability to govern ourselves. The pollution pours in from Facebook and other social media, Russian troll farms, and a White House that denies that objective truth exists.

Misinformation erodes patriotism as it creates dissension and rebukes the ideals upon which our nation was founded. It hardly meets the love and support definition of patriot test. Misinformation cripples the nation.

Misinformation Is Found In Vote/Voter Suppression

Misinformation is not simply wrong facts or even an absence of facts. It can also be an absence of our collective voting voice. Truth is diluted when voters are kept away (voter suppression) from the ballot box. Those that prevent such access, in my opinion, forfeit their claim to be a patriot.

Likewise, we forfeit our claim to patriotism in presidential elections by endorsing the winner-takes-all aspect that nullifies about 46% of the ballots cast (vote suppression). We experience a false voting result because of misinformation and a failing of patriotism.

The problem is exacerbated (or will be) by the promise of the National Popular Vote bill. The idea does not remedy the winner-takes-all approach and can actually increase the 46% suppressed votes to more than half of the votes cast. This should get all of our attention. To cast such results as being a part of democracy reveals, instead, an allegiance to ignorance. All votes (and voters) matter in this country!

Patriotism Often Means Change

Yet, it demands a lot to be a patriot when considered from this angle. The reason is simply that we, as humans, avoid change as much as possible. To face facts is often an inconvenience we are slow to accept. As an example, consider how climate change was first introduced as an inconvenient truth. If an idea is hard to accept or causes us to shift our perspectives, the easy response is to reject it. We reject challenging ideas though their adoption may move us to love and supportour nation (and people) more.

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is a proportional voting approach that ensures all presidential ballots count and all states matter (See The Equal Voice Voting formula). Each state can adopt EVV independently of other states (no need for a compact of states). All state legislators can, with confidence, know that all constituent sentiments are heard (and counted) rather than only those of a selected plurality. The vote results (misinformation) we suffer from cast-aside votes can be a thing of our past. The change will allow our nation to move confidently into our future, encouraging voter participation along the way.

We will soon close out this 2018 year and begin a new one replete with resolutions and hopes reset. Let’s recognize that every voter is a patriot. Every vote cast for a president is an act of love and support for our nation. Let’s not shirk from this simple act of patriotism and let’s not deny any citizen their rightful voting voice.

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