Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Patriotism can’t be defined by any one ideology’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The dictionary tells us that a "patriot" is "a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors."

So now the question we should ask is under what conditions should a patriot vigorously support his country. Should he jump when the President tells him to jump or should HE tell the President the conditions where HE has authorized the President to act?

In my mind, a patriot stands for the Constitution and requires all government workers to abide by the terms of that Constitution. He supports all lawful taxes and he supports a call to arms when those taxes are levied to pay for the authorized duties allowed Congress and when that call to arms is the result of a war declared by Congress. Under those conditions, a patriot is duty bound to support his country.

No patriot needs to pay his money or his blood to defend a President's "red line" in the sand. The President would be unpatriotic if he demanded sacrifice that is not explicitly authorized by the Constitution.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Do you hear that uber-cons?

That's right - you do NOT hold the monopoly on patriotism.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Did he say this on the buildup to the Iraq war?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Patriotism is an intangible quality that is not easily measured. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had many sharp differences of opinion that strained their relationship over the years. But the devotion of both to country and duty were above reproach.

Let that be a standard that the left and the right can look to today as a sterling example for our times. We can disagree about issues but still respect each other as Americans who in our own peculiar ways want what we think is best for our country.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

"No patriot needs to pay his money or his blood to defend a President's "red line" in the sand." - Mike Richards, 2013

No, but a true patriot needs to pay with his blood to depose Saddam Hussein and seach for WMDs. I saw plenty of bloodshed when I was serving in Baghdad - something the regular liberal haters didn't seem to have time for.

It used to be "support war or you're an enemy of the state." Don't believe me? Read these fine little gems:

"Democrat leaders never miss an opportunity to put politics before our nation's security" - RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, 2006

"These are people that don't want to protect the American people... [T]hey will do anything, spend all the time and resources they can, to avoid confronting evil." - Tom DeLay, 2002

"Terrorists are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry" - Orrin Hatch, 2004

"Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals." - Karl Rove, 2005

I could go on and on, but I'm limited to 200 words.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

Professor Davis makes an excellent point, as does Craig Clark. While an individual's views on what is or isn't patriotic are subjective, and colored by that individual's paradigm, "patriotism" in its most literal sense -- a love of one's country that motivates one to act in a manner that one believes is in the best interest of their country (not the "dictionary" definition, but a pretty accurate description of "patriotism", I think) -- is completely objective and transcends ideologies. The operative words here are "LOVE of country" and "MOTIVATION to act". Of course, the particular actions taken would be determined by the individual's political, philosophical, economic, and religious views; but the motivating love of country that compelled the individual to act is ideologically neutral, and is at the heart of patriotism.

It is easy, sometimes, to lose sight of the fact that that person with the absolute opposite point of view most likely loves our country every bit as much as I do. A little less cynicism would probably go a long way towards recognizing the patriotism in others with contrasting points of view.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

For the record --
This patriotic Liberal served in this country's Military for 8 years, making $480 a month.

Money was NOT a factor.
Love of my Country was.

[Just like serving my LDS mission,
Money was NOT a factor - quite the contrary,
Love of my God and serving other people was.]

Something the;
do it for the money -
He who dies with the most gold wins -
capitalist Republicans still just can't quite figure out.

Lew Scannon
Provo, UT

Once again we get Mike Richards' definition of words. At least this time he gave us the dictionary definition first, so that we can see how far beyond the standard definition his own private world of meaning stretches.

Richard Davis nailed it again, of course.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Not true. Only republicans love this country. At least that's what we're supposed to believe.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"You're either with us or against us."

- George W Bush

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The dictionary tells us that a "patriot" is "a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors."

In my mind, a patriot stands for the Constitution and requires all government workers to abide by the terms of that Constitution. He supports all lawful taxes and he supports a call to arms when those taxes are levied to pay for the authorized duties allowed Congress and when that call to arms is the result of a war declared by Congress. Under those conditions, a patriot is duty bound to support his country.

No patriot needs to pay his money or his blood to defend a President's "red line" in the sand. The President would be unpatriotic if he demanded sacrifice that is not explicitly authorized by the Constitution.
6:54 a.m. Sept. 11, 2013

========

So the Mike --
Tell us, why you STILL support the un-official, un-declared, and un-funded BUSH wars?

You probably should have just stuck with the definition of "Patriot" from the dictionary.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I am Mormon but I can admit that equating the Vietnam protesters to King Men was wrong then just as it is now. I wish I could say that we've learned from this. Yet, how often do we still hear in church political views mixed with scripture?

History keeps repeating itself. Utahns using church talks to bash Vietnam protesters and compare them to King Men in the Book of Mormon. Today, we are fed through many on this board that one cannot be a good Mormon and vote Democrat. Or that taxation is somehow sacrilege. Or that things such as health care and publican education are forms of Socialism that will lead us down the path of Communism. It's also so sad to see words taken out of context by a very conservative leaning prophet, highly tainted by his own views and experiences, to be considered as revelation for church members.

If we do not learn from history then we are doomed to repeat it.

The history that keeps repeating? Utahns living in their own lil world. Their own lil politically ignorant world which is reinforced with incorrect usage of scriptures and religious authority.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Excellent column. Patriotism can and should, at times, include dissent from government policies.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

As a soldier, I remember a cadence we'd sing on long marches;

"Ours is not to wonder why,
Ours is just to do or die."

=======

Mike, I'm curious --
Are you saying that soldiers are not Patriots if they follow orders,
or
that they can only "Patriotic" when they are following YOUR orders?

Better re-read the last paragraph of this article my friend.

Your Brother in the Gospel, and America.
~Peace out.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Those who blame Bush or Obama for the lack of patriotism have missed the point of the editorial. That editorial is about the citizen, not about the "leader". If it were about the "leader", we would have to measure Obama against his actions. He is the President and has been the President for five years. He is fully responsible for all military activity. If he wanted us out of any war, he could have used his authority as commander in chief to take us out of that war. He has not done that.

A patriot does not need the approval of the President nor does he need the approval of other citizens. All he needs is to understand his duty as a citizen. That duty is found in the Contistution. He has authorized the federal government to perform certain duties. As a citizen, he is duty bound to fund those duties and to pledge his services for the citizen army if called to serve.

It's very simple. A patriot does his duty without complaint and without excuse. He doesn't blame others. He serves if called. He pays for authorized duties. He doesn't complain about his citzenship responsibilities.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Perhaps a better question is "who is NOT a patriot" of the United States?

1. Someone who hates and rejects the constitution
2. Someone who chooses Communism (or Progressive-ism) over Capitalism and works to spread it
3. Someone who would not fight to defend the United States under any circumstance

These are the three Core attributes that define a patriot. You can be a conservative, liberal or independent...doesn't really matter. All three can love and support the constitution, understand the evils of Communism and recognize Communism as the arch enemy of everything we stand for, and be willing to fight for America when the cause is a just one. I happen to feel that many of those who refused to fight in VietNam were still patriots because this war was a mistake.

Now I can think of many in congress - in the media - in Hollywood who do NOT qualify as a patriot of the United States. I would actually see them as a clear and present danger to the United States and everything we have built with this republic.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

When did 11 September become "Patriot" day? I remember well what happened 12 years ago today. Before then It was my Folks wedding anniversary from 1945. Being a romantic it was the day I proposed to my now Former wife in 1981. I didn't feel really Patriotic that day, rather it was, okay, when are they going to hit Los Angeles? If I understand correctly Al Queda was planning a followup strike on the First Interstate Bank Building in Downtown via an Airliner and other places on the West Coast. Thank You, NSA for uncovering that plot and the silent Rough men who broke up the play.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"Patriot" much of what you say is true but.... you are completely wrong on point one... because your stance depends on people adhering to your interpretation of the constitution. It is entirely possible for one to have an alternative understanding of the constitution.... and still be a patriot.

The problem I have with those who went to Canada, rather than jail and fighting the system is that they by their actions forced someone else to pay their price. They took the cowards way out. They fled, ran away from responsibility. If they truly thought the war unjust, they should have stayed and fought for that cause, not hide to the North.

Those who died in the fight for civil rights, they are patriots. Those who spent time in jail to fight for their rights, those are patriots. A patriot is one who stands for what they believe in, regardless of what that is, rather than turning that responsibility to someone else... to fight their fight for them.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@patriot

Where in the Constitution does it provide for Capitalism? Capitalism like any other economic philosophy when taken to an extreme has its flaws as do Communism, Socialism, Mercantilism et all.

For any good economic philosophy to work, as with a system of government, depends entirely on the hearts and morals of those participating.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@mike Richards

It funny you would accuse others of missing the point by focusing on a president when your comment is the first one and reference "the red line." Every comment about a president following your post was in response to your reference to Obama, but nice try at side stepping an actual response to their comments.

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