A Divided Country: Patriot or Traitor

One of my former professors at the undergraduate and MA level wrote the observations below some time ago on social media.  It ties into what the modern day usage of the terms conservative and liberal have become in political discussions in my opinion.

Actual definitions:

Patriot: a person who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country.

Traitor: a person who betrays his or her country by waging war against or it by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.

Meaning as used in current American political discourse:

Patriot: a person who belongs to my party and/or with whom I agree.

Traitor: a person who does not belong to my party and/or with whom I do not agree.

One can find examples from any number of sources, but I find it hard to classify the rollout of healthcare.gov as a success.  I doubt that those in charge of implementation really considered the effect of so many states opting for the federal exchange as opposed to running their own.  Still, the numbers are not a justification for all the technical glitches.  Previous attempts at large scale overhauls throughout the history of the United States encountered their own problems, but that knowledge should have helped limit some of the issues today.

I have a number of posts up on ACA.  Some provide the primary source documents of previous healthcare initiatives on a national level.  Both major political parties previously sponsored legislation which contains more similarities than most today care to accept. Others focus on a few of the many debates in the current arena.  No need to rehash that past here.

My ole prof’s post, however, pushed me into a “what if” type of mode.  Just perusing my shelves of political biographies made me think about how many of those individuals fought for a particular cause with everything they had, and while their personal ideology remained the same they ultimately accepted the opposite when they lost because the country came first.  The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s contains a number of examples.  Some Members of Congress who signed the Southern Manifesto in opposition to the Brown decision later signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act the following year.  For a few, that decision cost them their seats in Congress.

[If anyone wants to allege that fallacy that all Democrats are racists, the entire South is racist, and so forth, just ask yourself one question.  Which party had the majority when Congress passed those bills and placed them upon the President’s desk for signature into law?  As lagniappe can you discuss the significance of a man named Joe Martin in the 20th century?  The Solid South is a complex story, and the KKK typically cited in some media actually died out.  The 1915 revival was not limited to the South, to a particular political party, or to its hatred to a single group of people.  I’m a Southern historian, but I recommend reading the 20th century politics of a state such as Indiana to see if these oversimplified stereotypes used by some today are accurate.]

What If?

Consider the agenda for the August recess of Congress.  Have you looked at the House Republican Conference Planning Kit for their members?  “Fighting Washington For All Americans” from the same individuals who participated in creating a government shutdown which hurt the country’s financial recovery and a number of non government employees such as contractors and those who rely upon the foot traffic of government employees and attractions to fuel their businesses seems conflicted today.  What if less focus had been on undermining ACA and discouraging enrollment and actually working on developing alternatives for some of the glitches?  What if we saw real pushes to increase jobs and repair our infrastructure?

Looking back, however, little has changed since 2009.   Freedom Works provided Members of Congress with talking points against ACA along with illustrations to promote opposition.  Other patriots provided best practices for disrupting town hall meetings held by Members of Congress from the Democratic Party.  The goal is not about solutions.  It’s about disruption, division, and diversion.

From Freedom Works Memo 26 June 2009 anti Obamacare

From Freedom Works Memo 26 June 2009

What is the difference between a patriot and a traitor?

As you probably know we live in an oppressive country where all opposition is being silenced so you only have the so-called liberal media.  I’m going out on a limb here by posting this secret information, but secret underground media exists despite all the tyrannical actions of the current President.  Here are some links provided by others since no opposition to this President is allowed and perhaps you are not aware that these exist given the actions of our President.

http://www.redflagnews.com/top-100-conservative/#sthash.IamO46WD.dpbs

http://www.rightwingnews.com/special/the-100-most-popular-conservative-websites-for-2013/

Fortunately, the United States is really different from other countries in what many of our citizens define as oppressive, repressive, tyrannical, and so on.  

If I ever forget that and embellish my hardships, I can just think back to my youth and hearing about what some of my grandfather’s friends saw in WWII, stories of the Iron Curtain and events of 1956 in Hungary, or look at this oral history interview which rests among hundreds of transcripts in one of my filing cabinets.

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