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I have a wise friend who recently posted something on her blog that stopped me in my tracks. She wrote a piece called “Loyalist or Patriot?” and it’s one of the more insightful and truthful analyses I’ve read in a long time concerning the split in philosophy that is dividing our country. I’ll pause here for a moment to let you read her words of wisdom.
Now that you’re back, can you understand why I think patriot vs. loyalist is a far more intelligent distinction than the silly categories of Democrat vs. Republican, or even progressive vs. conservative? My friend wrote, “The definition of a loyalist is: ‘One who maintains loyalty to an established government, political party, or sovereign, especially during war or revolutionary change.’ Conversely, here is the definition of a patriot: ‘One who loves and loyally or zealously supports one’s own country.’ Do you see the difference?”
I don’t know about you, but I can see that difference clearly.
Even more telling, the terms patriot and loyalist harken back to the days of the Revolutionary War. During that time, of course, patriots were in favor of forming our own government where our rights would derive from Nature and Nature’s God, not the whims of an increasingly tyrannical king. The loyalist wanted to remain under the rule of England, laboring under laws and taxes that, while hateful, were at least familiar.
Have we really progressed so little in the past 234 years that we are still loyal to the “king,” or are we merely coming full circle where we find ourselves in nearly the identical situation?
I believe it’s the latter. Because here’s the thing: We have progressed in the last 234 years. Tremendously. Astoundingly. It is only when we again fettered ourselves with chains of servitude that our progress slowed and then (apparently) ceased altogether, and we find ourselves facing a bitter decision, just as those patriots faced so long ago. Fight or fold?
Looked at in this light, I do not believe it is an accident that the symbolically named tea party sprang to life in the last couple of years and called itself what it did. Nor is it an accident that patriots are uniformly and routinely called racists, domestic terrorists and other evil and undermining epithets by the loyalists.
Concerning the Revolutionary War, the history books tell us the states “collectively determined that the British monarchy, by acts of tyranny, could no longer legitimately claim their allegiance.” Substitute “American government” in the above quote and you’ve got our present circumstances. Oooooh, gives me goose bumps. We’re back to where we started.
One thing to keep in mind about the Revolutionary War that often gets forgotten in the mists of time: The patriots were not fighting against an oppressive and tyrannical foreign government. They were fighting their own government. I have no doubt that many Revolutionary patriots were torn up inside because, although they opposed what their government was doing to them, they loved England and they loved the English people. If they embarked on a revolution, they would be fighting their own countrymen.
And yet the patriots fought. They fought because they had to. They fought because they could see what lay in store for them if they did not “dissolve the political bands which … connected them with another.”
“As I watch our state and federal governments in action,” wrote my friend, “I see a wholesale group of loyalists. They are loyal to their programs, they are loyal to their pet projects, and they are loyal to their pocket books. Ultimately, they are loyal to themselves. Nowhere do I see a loyalty to their country or their countrymen.”
She’s right. When our collective voices of outrage are ignored during the forced and clandestine passage of Obamacare, when our federal debt is ratcheted so high that the interest couldn’t be paid even if all of us were taxed 100 percent, when the inhabitants of the White House yawn and shrug and pretend they don’t see 1.2 million protesters outside their doors, well, I’m sorry, but these loyalists are as bad or worse in their inventory of outrages than even those listed in the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago.
Increasingly over the past several decades, our governmental elites have demonstrated their loyalty only to themselves and their agendas, not to the best interests of our country as outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Worse, loyalists are usually getting something out of their slavish dedication to increased government, either a direct or an indirect personal gain. They are loyal to their pet projects, their pocketbooks and themselves. They don’t give a damn about our country. If they did, then (by definition) they would be loyal to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
But they’re not. Patriots are. And for that crime we are universally branded with the most hateful and creative of sobriquets and placed on domestic terrorism watch lists.
Last year I wrote a piece called “The arrogance is breathtaking” in which I pointed out the staggering degree of haughtiness and egotism endemic in loyalists (which includes the current administration). What I find astounding is this piece is just as apt today as a year ago. Perhaps more.
The time has come to decide what you are, a patriot or a loyalist. Do you love your country, or do you love your government? As Samual Adams would say, “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.”
I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know if a second American revolution is in our future. But I do know the circumstances are eerily similar to what the patriots of 234 years ago endured.
If and when a revolution comes, I will proudly call myself a patriot. If you don’t, then “may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”