Friday, September 17

On John Edwards's Definition of Patriotism

The GOP spent ''all of their time and all of their energy trying to tear down a patriot,'' Edwards told a town-hall audience this week in Norristown, Pa. The patriot he was speaking of was his running-mate, John Kerry.

The keyword here is patriot. So what is a patriot? A patriot, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.”

Let’s hold John Kerry up to the mirror of recent history and see how he fares. We will, right off the bat, concede that Kerry wants us to think he loves his country.

Kerry acted like a patriot when he went to war, home movie camera and all. He looked like a patriot when he nominated himself for medals. (Never mind whether or not he actually deserved them – medals were often given out to cheer up demoralized troops).

Where his patriotism begins to falter is when he came home after serving four months.

No, Kerry didn’t act like a someone who loved his country in his testimony to Congress. Kerry said, ““But the issue, gentlemen, the issue is communism, and the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the Communists or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people.

But the point is they are not a free people now under us. They are not a free people, and we cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now....” And, of course, to follow that argument logically, since Kerry says they are not a free people under us, so we should leave them to the communists. That's a defeatist attitude; hardly the words of a patriot.

Throwing his medals into the fire was not the act of a patriot, even if he did hide his and throw someone else's away. That's not the behavior of a patriot.

How right was he, by the way, when he said we couldn't beat the communists? Here were are, 30 years later, having won the Cold War and defeated communism in spite of Mr. Kerry. The lesson we learned (again in spite of Mr. Kerry) was yes, we can fight communism all over the world; we did and we won.

John Kerry said, in that testimony to Congress: “they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”

He was speaking of his fellow American soldiers, soldiers who were even then captives of the Viet Cong and who were tortured because of those words. Soldiers who had done none of those things. Those words border on treason -- this was not the speech of a patriot. Indeed, if he did the things he said he did, he should have been tried for war crimes. Those are not the acts of a Patriot.

On the other hand, the men who fought and died honorably in the Viet Nam war WERE patriots. They were the men who demonstrated their love of their country.

Patriots say things like, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Or “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.” Or “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” Those patriots were Patrick Henry, Dwight Eisenhower and Daniel Webster. Patriots are those who say "God bless America" then go to war and give it all they have.

Patriots do not knowingly endanger their comrades-in-arms and coerce others to lie, as one of his supposed comrades says he did.

No, John Kerry is not a Patriot, Mr. Edwards. And if you think he is, you and your definition of patriotism should not be allowed within 100 miles of Washington D.C.


Karlo said...

Why do you care about patriotism? Is patriotism somehow good? Do you also thing that Iraqis or North Koreans should be patriotic? If not, why? Or are you just repeating these tirades because you saw similar ones on Fox News?

Sunnye T said...

I think we'll have a better discussion on this if you'll tell me how you define patriotism.

And, yes, according to the way I understand the word, North Koreans and Iraq citizens can and should be patriots.