Do "Patriots" Always Display "Traditional American Values"?
At first this seems like a foolish question. Why of course they do. A true patriot defends our traditions, preaches them, and practices them for all to see. The true patriot exemplifies what has been good and noble in our history and our people. It means truth, fair dealings with all, honesty, justice, the defense of the articles found in our Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, etc. etc.. "We hold these truths to be self evident that all persons are equal". No true believer in these words would doubt their validity, although from time to time our Supreme Court might interpret how they are to be understood, and what is or is not protected.
And then come our elections. Self proclaimed "Patriotic Candidates" rise up from nowhere and explain how they will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Our history will demonstrate that there have been many ways this has been done in the past. While Washington was in Valley Forge freezing with his fellow soldiers, many of our leading Patriotic leaders were not there with him. There was no Colonel Thomas Jefferson, no General Franklin, a lot of other names were missing from the battle field, and so it is today. While Eisenhower, Kennedy, and George H. Bush saw more than their share of direct military action, other Presidents did not. Franklin Roosevelt was not like his distant cousin Teddy, and yet few would question either's dedication to their country.
In these days however, there are some self proclaimed "patriots" who choose to call into question the loyalty of fellow citizens that have more than publically displayed their dedication to the service to this country. Political candidates can be especially "unpatriotic" when, for personal interests, they demean the public reputations of their opposing candidates. What then becomes of those professed "traditional American values" honesty, integrity, truthfulness"? They are easily trashed in the struggle to win at any costs. Freedom of speech and differing opinions become questioned when they do not coincide with those held by the "patriot". Do those of their opponent thereupon become thoughts and words against the country and our traditions? Can candidates of differing political views not cherish those very same values without accusations of being "traitors" to the cause, "socialist extremists", or non-conformist to whatever religious preference happens to be that espoused by the "patriot"?