If you watch the news you cannot help but see the vast changes taking place in the fabric of America.  Some believe it is a good thing and well overdue. Others do not see it as good, but as a way for dissenters, socialists and communists to take over the country and then rebuild it in their selfish interests. You do not have to look very hard or far to realize that America is being fundamentally changed. The fundamental thing being changed is our freedom. Thomas Jefferson said, “Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people.” 

We also see total disrespect for our President, the military and the police. I cannot remember when there has been a positive news story about President Trump.  I hear every day hateful things said about our police. Recently former Vice-President Biden called the police the “enemy.”   He also said that people are afraid when they see a police car in their neighborhood.

Like you, I have been watching on TV the rioting in many of America’s cities.  We’ve seen businesses being looted and set on fire. We’ve seen citizens beaten and killed while trying to defend themselves and their businesses. We’ve seen police officers assaulted, beaten and some killed for trying to protect life and property amongst all of the lawlessness. We’ve seen Black Lives Matter, Antifa, anarchists and opportunists loot, destroy businesses and kill people.  Many are asking “what is going on, how did we get here?”  Remember Thomas Jefferson’s quote from the first paragraph? That’s how we got here. It is past time for us to become interested, informed, involved. 

It may seem simplistic but I believe most of America’s problems come from a lack of patriotism. Patriotism is a love for and a devotion to one’s country.  Some may ask if patriotism is important? I say it’s very important.  I spent many years as a Boy Scout leader teaching our youth to be proud and responsible citizens.  Our youth are the future of our nation. It’s important that our youth understand that it is up to them to protect and preserve the nation and to act in its best interest. 

I believe that one can be patriotic while acknowledging that our country is not perfect. I believe one more thing. You cannot force people to be patriotic. One must learn to love their country.  People must be taught all the history of their country, the good as well as the bad.  Yes, there have been men throughout history who have acted selfishly and did not have our country’s best interest in mind, but that does not mean that the country, as a whole, is bad or evil. 

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”  As I watch the news every day, I fail to see people who are proud of their country.  I see the rioters, BLM, Antifa, and liberal politicians that do not have a love for or a devotion to their country.  Adlai Stevenson said: “When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.”

Do you love America?  Are you a patriot? Are you prepared to do whatever you can to defend the best country on the face of the earth?  Do you want America to be a better place for all?  America was built by men and women of courage and imagination who were willing to sacrifice for others.  We call this love of country. Are you willing to do the same?

Thomas Paine wrote the pamphlet “Common Sense” in 1776. This is an excerpt: “I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon … I seek opportunity … not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, …dulled by having the State look after me. I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and to build. To fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole; I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; The thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; To think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say:  This, with God’s help, I have done.”

It’s time for all patriots to stand and fight back.  Not with guns or violence, but with our love for this country. It’s time for us to stand up for what we believe in.  It’s time for us to express our support for our president, our police officers and our military. It’s time for us to denounce the lawlessness around us. Refuse to be bullied for expressing your love of country.  It’s time we express our views in newspaper editorials.  It’s time to flood Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with our respect and support for the rule of law.  It’s time to write to your Congressman and Senators, and most importantly, vote for the candidates who support law and order, who love America and are not afraid to voice that love. We can’t all be George Washington, but we can all be a patriot.