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The MAGA Republicans are NOT patriots
Thursday, 10 November 2022 21:57
By BILL PRESS
Syndicated Columnist


Words have meaning. To Americans, the word “patriot” has a very sacred meaning. And yet, no word is more abused today.

In just one day this week, I received over a dozen emails from far-right Republican candidates. (Note: somehow, as a political journalist, I’m on everybody’s mailing list, left and right). 

So, believe it or not, those who showed up in my inbox included Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY); Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Johnson (R-WI.); GOP congressional candidates Wesley Hunt (TX), and Jennifer-Ruth Green (IN); and GOP Senate candidates Leora Levy (CT), and Blake Masters (AZ).

Every one of them was begging for money. And every one of them began with the salutation: “Dear Patriot.” As if everybody who agreed with their extremist MAGA brand of politics was a “patriot,” and anybody who disagreed with them was not.

Nothing drives me crazier! What do all these candidates have in common? 

Three things. Every one of them espouses the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Every one of them believes that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was no big deal. And every one of them believes that those who stormed the Capitol, injuring 140 police officers, were “patriots.” 

Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar even called them “peaceful patriots.”

Puh-leeze! The dictionary defines “patriot” as: “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” 

By that definition alone, attempting to overthrow the United States government — as supporters of Donald Trump tried to do on January 6 and are still attempting in dozens of states —is not patriotism. It’s the exact opposite. They’re not trying to defend our country, they’re trying to overthrow it.

Of course, MAGA Republicans call themselves “patriots” in a diabolical attempt to identify themselves with our “true patriots,” our Founding Fathers. After all, they say, we too are protesting an oppressive regime. We are today’s George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Like them, we’re even willing to take up arms to fight for our freedom.

That rumble you hear is George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and all the rest of our Founding Fathers and Mothers rolling over in their graves. There is no comparison between our heroic revolutionary patriots and today’s pretenders.

The Founders fought to establish and expand our freedom. After more than 200 years of progress, today’s phony patriots are out to shrink our freedoms, especially for women, gays, and people of color. 

The Founders fought to break from a clueless, incompetent ruler. 

Today’s phonies worship at the feet of Donald Trump, a man even more clueless and incompetent than George III.

Most importantly, the Founders created a nation where we the people are in charge. Where we the people choose our own leaders in fair and free elections and where everyone accepts and abides by the will of the people: a system of elections which is the best and strongest in the world and admired by the whole world.

There’s no more fundamental building block of our democracy than our right to vote and to have our vote count. 

And it’s that very building block which Donald Trump and his slavish supporters, today’s so-called “patriots,” are out to destroy. 

They’re doing so by refusing to accept the clear outcome of the 2020 election, denying the legitimacy of the elected president, and, in many states, proposing laws that will allow state legislatures to ignore the will of the people and send their own, self-appointed slates of electors to vote in any future presidential election. 

Taken together, it’s nothing less than an all-out assault on our democracy. And the worst part is, it’s all undertaken in the guise of “patriotism.”

Worst of all, these MAGA Republicans insist that what happened on Jan. 6 is no different than the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 – an assertion forcefully denied by law enforcement officers who experienced both. 

As former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who almost lost his life on Jan. 6, asserts in his powerful new book “Hold the Line,” no one from the BLM engaged in sedition. “Trying to overthrow the U.S. Capitol and trying to overthrow a CVS are two very different things.”

MAGA Republicans, listen up: If you buy Donald Trump’s Big Lie and if you endorse or downplay the violence of Jan. 6, I don’t know what you are. 

You may be a hopeless party hack, a numbskull, or a traitor. 

But you’re no “patriot.”
© 2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
(Bill Press, a liberal, is host of The BillPressPod, and author of 10 books, including: “From the Left: My Life in the Crossfire.” His email address is: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Readers may also follow him on Twitter @billpresspod.)
 



 


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