From Patriots to Protesters

  • Published in Columns

By BOB MEADE

Our country was founded by Patriots.  A relatively small group of men who were brave enough to declare independence from the most powerful nation in the world.  In addition to their willingness to risk their life and limb to gain freedom, they brilliantly carved out a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that, though under attack, still lives on and guides us.
After Patriots winning the Revolution, the country was again in peril years later as the British attacked in the War of 1812.  After burning down our nation’s capitol, the British fleet sailed down the Potomac to lay siege on Fort McHenry.  Francis Scott Key was sent to the commander of that fleet to bargain for the release of the American prisoners they were holding. An agreement was reached that the prisoners would be released only if the American flag flying over Ft. McHenry was still flying at dawn’s early light. Although the massive British bombardment hit the flag pole a number of times, dawn’s early light showed the flag was still flying ... because the bodies of the fallen and wounded, Patriots all, were stacked around the wounded mast to keep it erect.
In 1854, a handful of Patriots met in Ripon, Wisconsin, to form a new political party.  The purpose of the party was to abolish slavery throughout the country. It was named the Republican Party and its first president was Abraham Lincoln. He was elected in 1860 and led the country through our most costly war; the Civil War cost the country 630,000 lives, but rid the country of slavery.
In 1917, the war in Europe was at a stalemate as Russia, France and England battled the German Empire, which was backed by the Ottoman Empire. Word was that Russia was about to switch sides and that would have resulted in a tyrannical world led by the German Empire. England’s Lord Balfour asked Baron Rothschild to try to get influential Russian Jews to convince Moscow not to make the switch and give the United States time to get their armies to Europe and join in the battle. Baron Rothschild was successful and the arrival of American troops turned the tide and the German empire was defeated. Over 110,000 American Patriots gave their lives in that effort.
Patriots were again called to service when we entered World War ll in 1941. Approximately 420,000 gave their lives in the fight for freedom and against tyranny.  Our military Patriots were supported by a nation of Patriots at home who did a phenomenal job in producing the weaponry, materials and foods needed to support the military effort across the globe.  Our Patriots fought and died, not to conquer, but to give people freedom.
Over 58,000 of our Patriots died trying to defeat Communism in Vietnam. Thousands of others were wounded, and even more suffered the debilitating effects of “Agent Orange.” Sadly, when these Patriots returned home, they were met with protest after protest by those who chose to blame them for the war. They were spat upon. They were advised not to wear their uniforms as they traveled or were away from their post. Many protesters who avoided their call to duty took pleasure in attacking the true Patriots. There began a diminishment of respect by those unwilling to stand with their fellow countrymen in the fight for peace.
As things evolved, some fought to have God removed from schools and the public square. Political correctness was introduced as a substitute. But mutual respect continued to diminish. Identity politics was added, leading many to a my-way or the highway attitude.  And, now, insults and invectives are hurled without regard for the hurt they may cause.
While we continue to diminish our ability to work together for the common good, we see the Middle East in flames, terrorist groups continuing towards their objectives to eradicate Israel and the West, North Korea flexing its muscle showing off their nuclear and missile capabilities and threatening our territories and our allies, Iran energized with funds and looking forward to becoming a nuclear and missile power, the Kurds in Iraq initiating a claim to become a free state raising the ire of Turkey which has a long standing animosity towards them, Russia flexing its muscle, and more.  As these issues hang over the heads of our leaders, we’re engaged in domestic petulance from the “resistance,” which still refuses to accept the outcome of the presidential election.  And that petulance permeates all the branches of our government as the petulants’ drive us on a fast track, not to solutions to problems, but to anarchy. If that happens, there will be no winners.