“PATRIOTISM” VS. “NATIONALISM”
by Michael Gaddy, ©2016, blogging at The Rebel Madman
(Sep. 17, 2016) — “There is a fuzzy but real distinction that can, and I believe should be made, between patriotism, which is attachment to a way of life, and nationalism, which is the insistence that your way of life deserves to rule over other ways of life.” ~ Todd Gitlin
More and more people seem to be having problems understanding the meaning of freedom and exactly how one can go about ensuring they have the opportunity to exercise their Creator-granted unalienable rights.
I must confess here to being somewhat taken aback by many white folks and their lack of understanding about what freedom actually is. Most of the white folks I know consider themselves to be “conservative,” at least here in my corner of the woods, and many of them believe “freedom” is accomplished by telling other folks what they can and cannot do, especially if what those folks want to do is seen to somehow interfere with the “nationalism” espoused by these conservatives.
The points I will attempt to make with this article have to do with recent events in which Colin Kaepernick and others have “voiced” their displeasure with what they see as discrimination against people of color, especially when it comes to treatment by members of law enforcement.
Since 2001, most law enforcement training in this country revolves around, or is compatible with, a model created by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. In this training, any person encountered by police is to be treated as a potential terrorist. A recent attendee of a local law enforcement academy, himself a 20-plus- year veteran of law enforcement in Southern California, told me new cops were being trained to be assassins, not cops. This type of training has resulted in a completely different mindset among those who enter the field of law enforcement and a dramatic increase in the number of people shot by police, black and white.
Yes, proportionately speaking, more members of the black community are victims of this mindset than are whites but when it comes to overall numbers, more whites are the victims of police brutality than are blacks.
LaVoy Finicum, a white man, was shot in the back by members of law enforcement, and no one has been charged in this blatant act of murder. Some would ask where was the Black Lives Matter when LaVoy was shot, and I would ask the same question of the white community—where were you?
Rancher Jack Yantis, a white man, was shot and killed in Idaho by two deputies who had contacted Yantis to “put down” one of his bulls which had been hit by an automobile in a local roadway. Somehow, something went terribly wrong and Jack Yantis was shot multiple times by the very men who called and asked for his help and killed on the spot with his friend Rowdy Paradis witnessing the entire event. It has been recently announced that the deputies who shot Yantis will not face any charges or discipline and are back on the job. This is a terrible miscarriage of justice and is well-documented by Will Grigg, along with many more examples of police criminality here. Will Grigg continues to expose the underbelly of the beast and I highly recommend his blog for those interested in the truth.
So, Rebel, where are you going with this line of reasoning and what does it have to do with Colin Kaepernick and his protest, one might ask?
I, of course, have seen all the blather about the “disrespect” for the flag and veterans and how Kaepernick should lose his job or face other forms of strict discipline in public and on social media. The people who advocate for such penalties have absolutely no clue about the spirit of freedom. People, Colin Kaepernick and others who have taken a knee, raised a fist or some other form of “protest” are exercising their First Amendment rights. Again, those rights come from our Creator and are unalienable in nature. Yet, the uber-patriotic nationalists among us insist upon fealty, and proper decorum (according to their rules) reference such actions. This represents a classic example of the difference between patriotism and nationalism as defined in my opening quote. A true Patriot would be proud to live in a country where dissent can be openly expressed and presented. A nationalist wants everyone punished who does not agree with their agenda.
What a wonderful country we might have if those who are so upset about honoring a flag (cloth) and our NATIONAL anthem (a song) were as adamant and enthusiastic about supporting our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I’m ready to take odds that the vast majority of those who are all “hurt” about Kaepernick and others’ “disrespect” for our flag and national anthem have repeatedly voted for politicians, most of them of the Republican persuasion, who are working hard to destroy this once-great republic.
There have been two extremely evil empires in 20th-century history. They were commanded and led by prominent figures who insisted on total fealty to themselves and their nations’ symbols. The most evil of the two was Joseph Stalin and second to him in evil was Adolph Hitler. In the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, anyone who did not bow to the honored symbols of his country would meet a violent end or simply disappear. How many of those wonderful “patriots” in this country have wished the same for Kaepernick and others who have exercised their First Amendment rights to not worship this country’s symbols? There are many; I have read their comments and heard them speak.
Our founders never intended for this country to be a “nation.” Conversely, they insisted the word “national” describing our government be removed from our Constitution after it had been inserted into the wording by Gouverneur Morris in 1787. The vote was unanimous, for our founders fully understood the inherent dangers of nationalism.
We have ignored repeated warning about our overzealous love of government and its symbols. None of those is more relevant today than the words written by George Orwell in his magnum opus, 1984.
“Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage—torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians—which does not change its moral color when it is committed by ‘our’ side. The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
If there is a better description of those who are clamoring for the heads of Colin Kaepernick and his growing number of supporters than those of Orwell, they have not yet been written.
This has become a strange country indeed. Anyone who stands adamantly for the government of our founders is considered to be a potential domestic terrorist. What if a person who truly loves what this country originally stood for was to write today the words written by our founders in the 18th century? Frank Cobb addressed this very possibility:
“If the author of the Declaration of Independence were to utter such a sentiment today, the Post Office Department could exclude him from the mail, grand juries could indict him for sedition and criminal syndicalism, legislative committees could seize his private papers and United States Senators would be clamoring for his deportation that he should be sent back to live with the rest of the terrorists.”
A huge deception has been played out on those who in their hearts believe they are supporting our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those who are screaming from the rooftops for the removal of the rights listed in our First Amendment recently have completely forgotten that true freedom means being able to say no to the masses and the government, especially when the line between patriotism and nationalism is eliminated as it is today.
“There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience.” – Hartley Shawcross – (1902-2003), prosecutor at Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal
Ironic, is it not, that a warning given to the people standing trial for crimes against humanity and prosecuting an aggressive war 60 or so years ago (National Socialists) is now most relevant to those who claim to be patriots in this country?
What will it take to get these overzealous nationalists to be as faithful to our Constitution and Bill of Rights as they are to a piece of cloth and a song? No one can be truly free when they deny the same to others!
IN RIGHTFUL REBEL LIBERTY