Patriots

I find it galling that the far right political party has claimed the word “patriot” for its exclusive use. The obvious intent is to paint their ideological opponents, liberals of any type, as “not patriotic”, or traitorous. It’s a very divisive practice.

And in times of conflict or danger, what does being a patriot mean? I think it means supporting the United States’ official stance on a worldwide crisis. Support your country, support the President, be a patriot. That seems pretty obvious to me.

Given that, this little story taken from Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From An American today is really something.

And yet, while some leading Republicans are expressing support for Ukraine and simply ignoring President Joe Biden, the same Republicans who have been most closely associated with Trump and the January 6 insurrection are trying to use Russia’s attack on Ukraine to undermine the president. Following the lead of former president Trump, who says that Putin invaded because Biden is weak, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who took over for Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) when the House Republicans stripped her of her position as the third most powerful House Republican, tweeted that “Joe Biden is unfit to serve as Commander-in-Chief. He has consistently given into [sic] Putin’s demands and shown nothing but weakness.”

This is simply an extraordinary statement for a lawmaker to issue at a time when a president is rallying the global community to stop an invasion of another democracy, but she is not alone. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Biden weak and corrupt; Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said that former president Trump’s “unpredictability” (!) kept Putin cautious; Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) complained that the administration “project[s] weakness.” Representatives Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ); Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Ron Johnson (R-WI); and others all are working to undermine Biden in this moment of global crisis.

Diplomat Aaron David Miller, who spent 24 years in the State Department, had his own assessment of the president. He said: “So far, Biden has done a masterful job of leading and maintaining both E.U. and NATO unity.”

From Letters From an American, Heather Cox Richardson, 2-26-22

Support your country. Support your country’s important treaties, like NATO. Support your President in a moment of crisis, even if you don’t agree with him or her on other things. That’s patriotism, unlike the foul-mouthed disinformation spewed by the likes of Stefanik, Greene, Gaetz, Jordan and the like. They’re disgusting.

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