Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: Issuing threats for political purposes only poisons patriotism’

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Published: Friday, June 14 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

It does more than poison patriotism, it poisons the entire country. But, this is standard practice with the Dear Leader. If you don't agree with his socialist agenda, you are an enemy of his state.

Hayden, ID

"Because it distorts America into something unrecognizable in order to advance a partisan ideology. Because this is still the "last best hope of earth," not a police state. Because Americans have fought and died for this country, and to turn on her in this way is noxious. It is dishonest. And it is dishonorable."
Well said Michael! But don't expect liberals to even have the slightest comprehension what you are saying, they are so blinded by their ideology and partisanship then can't even see the culture of corruption they are creating.

Huntsville, UT

That's right, its all Obama's fault; lets simply forget that it was the prior president, a Republican, who started the spying and signed the Patriot Act. Anybody could have guessed that it would just get more intrusive as time went on, regardless who was president.

Sandy, UT

Oh boy, here we go again. All who oppose what the government is doing are "unpatriotic." How long before we hear that we're un-American, then"if you're not for us you're against us"? Bush is back for a 4th term. Gerson is offering more Kool-Aid, but I'm not having it. I'm a recovering neocon and I'm not going back there.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Ill keep this article in mind next time I'm accused of being a traitor to this country when I don't support a repub president's unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country, or bank bailouts, or unconstitutional programs (like the patriot act).

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Trust and respect are earned. Why hasn't impeachment's began.

Hayden, ID

@ Maverick. Your hero Obama spent nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars bailing out banks and unions, has killed thousands of innocent people in sovereign countries with drone attacks and loves unconstitutional programs like the patriot act, IRS abuses, NSA abuses, Benghazi, fast and furious scandals, AP debacles and more. Any you have the nerve to complain about Bush? Do you hear laughter?

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Goldfish I tell ya, goldfish.

It was BUSH that bailed out the banks, fired lawyers that weren't
"good republicans",tried to put people in jail for opposing him politically with said, "good republican" prosecutors, spent trillions on nation building and allowed 9/11 and the economy to crash on his watch. And YOU defended him everyday!

salt lake city, utah

Mountanman..do you realize that Michael when talking about poisoning was criticizing the supposedly conservative critics? Obama has killed "thousands" of innocents in sovereign countries with "drones"? Mind backing up that claim? And the rest of your claims, IRS scandals, NSA etc. etc. are exactly what Gerson is criticizing. Talk about making his point for him.

Hayden, ID

Who did Bush put in jail for opposing him politically? Just one name please?

Hayden, ID

Prag. Don't you remember Obama apologizing to Pakistan and Afghan governments for collateral damage drone strike deaths in both countries?

Houston, TX

Proclaiming threats to national security is a very old game. I recall that Pres. Lyndon Johnson made it a dominant campaign theme, warning that Sen. Barry Goldwater, if elected to the presidency, was destined to take us into nuclear war. In fact, nearly every presidential camaign in US history has featured dire warnings and overblown threats.

I'm an unabashed patriot, while still recognizing that the constitution has been taking a beating. This nation can stand a lot of abuse and still maintain its nobler ideals. The only way America will falter is if we lose those ideals.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"Questioning the legitimacy of our government is the poisoning of patriotism. It is offensive for the same reasons it was offensive when elements of the left, in the 1960s and 1970s, talked of the American "regime."

Right on the mark. As Gerson points out, both left and right have been guilty of it when their party is the one on the outside looking in after election day. Bush and Obama are successive Presidents who as such led or lead successive Administrations, not regimes. How sad that choosing language that shows proper respect is not cool or hip, as we often say. Sniping from the gutter apparently feels more macho for some. And the more you do it, the more justified the other side feels in getting down on all fours with you.

Not everyone does it. The Deseret News does make an admirable effort to make civility and restraint the standards for their discussion boards. I appreciate that.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

For 12 YEARS I've spoken out against the Bush Patriot Act.

For 12 YEARS - I - a veteran who has served, have been ridiculed for NOT supporting Bush's Ghestapo Surveillance and Trampling of that 'blankity-blank piece of paper' the Constitution and not being a True Patriot, NOT being a TRUE American, [ie., Tea Party Conservative, DittoHead].

For 12 YEARS I told conservatives that a national gun registry wasn't even necessary because of all the spying the Bush "Patriot Act" was allowing on ALL citizens [not just the paranoid AM hate radio listeners].

Don't say I didn't tell you so.
Don't act so surprised.
Don't even THINK of blaming the 'Obama regime' for using Bush's tactics.

Who's sorry now?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Best editorial yet by Gerson. I find it troubling that so many of the self-proclaimed "patriots" in this country are only patriotic if their leaders see the world through the same extremist glasses as they do. The quotes from Limbaugh and his ilk are enough to make any sane person wonder what planet these right-wing voices are from.

salt lake city, utah

mountanman..of course, but thousands? Hardly.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Gerson asks how is possible to even love such an Amerika. He needs to remember it was BO who first disdained the idea of American Exceptionalism. We cannot love what BO is trying to make us, because it is the failed European model.

“The continuity of anti-terrorism efforts across two administrations…” Verixon reports requests for data have increased 15% each of the past 5 years (BO administration – not bush)

“The introduction of extreme political polarization into this debate could be debilitating.”

But it was OK when BO did it for Obamacare or for gun control or when the dems did it to attack Ryan’s budget or Romney’s anything.

Traditional conservatism recognizes the balancing of principles — in this case, security and privacy —

I would consider Patrick Henry very traditional – the prior statement would curl his toes.

“Questioning the legitimacy of our government is the poisoning of patriotism.”

Uh, were you around during the bush administration? If so, where was this complaint then?

This is a complete whitewash. The Japanese really could have used Gerson 12/8/1941.

DN - this does NOT violate your standard!

American Fork, UT

Everything these days is being overblown and shrouded in hyperbole. It's terrible.

Salt Lake City, UT

@george of the jungle
"Why hasn't impeachment's began."

Because Benghazi involved intelligence errors, not crimes. The IRS scandal involved lower level officials. The NSA thing is, as far as we can tell so far... completely legal (because we passed the laws that made it legal). If you're going to impeach the president you kinda need an impeachable offense.

"Your hero Obama spent nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars bailing out banks"

First off, the bailout started under Bush (passed in late 2008 before the election) when he and Democrats worked together to pass it. Secondly, the loans given to banks were paid back so we actually made some money off of it (through interest payments by the banks on those loans).

"killed thousands of innocent people in sovereign countries with drone attacks"

You only support civilian deaths in land wars then? Because we had way more civilian deaths in Iraq than from drones.

West Jordan, UT

What is it about the current political speech that has Gerson so worried? What “resistance” is he referring to? Is there an armed rebellion or marauding mob of right-wingers? If there were, you can bet the leftist “main stream” media would have been all over it. The closest we’ve come to an organized mob was Occupy Wall Street, which said media dutifully painted as peaceful, all-American political speech despite the revolutionary communist flags and multiple rapes in the camps.

Only in the land of butterflies and lollipops can the assertion be made that there are no nefarious intentions or actions of those in power. Apparently, Gerson is disappointed that not all of us are lemmings that have come to accept that those in power have pure intentions. I agree with James Madison: “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree”. That includes Republicans, Democrats, and anyone else.

The good news is that there are checks and balances in our form of government, the largest and most powerful of which is (or ought to be) the voice of the American people...despite what Gerson may think.

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