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June 11, 2018


When citizens say they “love” their country they do not mean love in the sense of adoration; they rather mean that they have great respect and affection for what their country stands for, how it is organized to treat its people and others, its norms of political and economic conduct toward each and all of its people etc., all of which when compounded translates into a steadfast and resolute desire to defend one’s country from those who would destroy such norms and conduct “from all enemies, foreign or domestic.” This, loosely and perhaps incompletely stated, can be called “patriotism.”

Thus one is a “patriot” if he/she defends his/her country and what it stands for and defends it “from all enemies, foreign or domestic,” and a bad citizen or even traitor if he/she does not. History is replete with stories of wartime traitors such as Major Andre (who was hung) and Benedict Arnold (who was not, rather escaping to England and living out his life there). Arnold had friends in high places and was a friend and confidant of George Washington, but a traitor to the American cause during the Revolution. Apparently he did not agree with the post-Enlightenment language of the Declaration of Independence crafted by Jefferson, but pretended to in order to carry out his traitorous intentions.

The name Benedict Arnold will forever live in infamy as a latter day Judas Iscariot, and rightly so. Though I do not know his evil purpose, it must have had something to do with the acquisition of power via subversion of the Revolution and his subsequent appointment by King George to oversee the defeated colonies in dictatorial fashion. If so, then Arnold, like our present day wannabe part time president, was acquisition of all power – a situation we have seen through the ages with monarchs and individuals ranging from Attila through monarchies through such latter day exponents as Hitler, Stalin et al.

The foregoing is a thumbnail sketch of citizen-state tension and how it is resolved in a democracy, but what if we have a bad citizen, or worse, a traitor already in power? What if we have a self-appointed Benedict Arnold, illegitimately elected, with support from our enemies, who is in the process of grabbing all power with the aid and support of a political party whose members were elected in a post-Enlightenment atmosphere but whose failure to support the founding principles of our democracy under the cover of “politics as usual” amounts to aiding and supporting the domestic overthrow of our democracy?

How do we patriots respond to the current domestic attempts by Trump (who through ignorance, design or in concert with Putin) to subvert the Constitution and overthrow our democracy while covering such an evil plan with potshots at our allies, threats of tariffs and wars on the international level, etc.? The temptation is to agitate for a counter revolution against such political terrorism from domestic sources but I think that premature since, while our democracy is teetering, I think it will last long enough to see what happens this November. We will see then whether the polity favors one of two Georges, either George Washington or King George.

To those who think this essay overstates the issue and is designed to alarm, that’s what the Romanovs thought about Lenin and his Bolsheviks, who grabbed power and ended the Romanov dynasty by murdering every member of the Romanov dynasty, man, woman and child, leaving no one to be alarmed. I will not be voting for a dictator or anyone who helps him or her become one under the auspices of any political party; I will be voting for those who will defend our democracy which, as I often write, is one of the last few things left worth dying for.      GERALD        E





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