If you’ve been paying attention you will have noticed that American patriotism is definitely on the decline. And why shouldn’t it be? Loyalty is, after all, a two way street. Even in the darkest days of Vietnam it was never this bad. Harvey Mackay in writing about the business world explained loyalty thus, “Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that … you will support them.” The same principal applies to a people’s loyalty to their country. And what is our country currently showing us?
Ask former Marines Jon Hammar and Andrew Tahmooressi how much their country stood up for them when they were unjustly imprisoned for months in Mexican prisons for bogus gun law violations? Ask Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Robert Levinson (if he’s still alive since he disappeared in 2007.) How much pressure did our government put on Iran during the nuclear negotiations to secure their release? How much help did Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty get from our country when they were attacked and ultimately killed in Benghazi, Libya? And when, exactly, will their murderers be brought to justice? How many veterans died waiting treatment in the VA? What criminal charges have been filed against those responsible?
Americans justifiably loved our country for two important reasons. The government protected us from enemies, foreign and domestic, and left us free to live our lives as we saw fit. Do you feel protected now? And we certainly aren’t free of government interference in our lives anymore. So why, many ask, should we be loyal or patriotic if our government doesn’t live up to that standard anymore? More people than ever in the shrinking middle class feel oppressed, not nurtured, by a government that restricts our rights, increases our taxes, and fails to protect us.
America wouldn’t be the first society to decline because it lost the support of its citizens. Take Rome, for example. Rome, when it was still a relatively small republic, lost nearly 100,000 men in just two years fighting Hannibal during the Punic Wars with Carthage. Yet they didn’t surrender, they raised more armies, and eventually won their war. They had the support of their citizens — mostly free farmers who felt they had something worth fighting for in spite of their losses. Contrast this to the sack of Rome by roughly 30,000 Visigoths in 410 A.D. Rome then was a huge empire. Yet most Romans living on the public dole didn’t feel they owed any loyalty to the rulers and their wealthy supporters.
Who will defend our country in the future if too many Americans feel the same way as those ancient Romans? The progressive elite won’t risk their precious selves, besides they believe we are a racist, evil country that needs to fundamentally change. The poor, resentfully trapped by entitlement programs to lives without hope of better circumstances aren’t joining in large numbers. The Heritage Foundation reports that less than 11% of recruits are from families making less than $30,000 a year. The majority of military recruits, according to the Foundation, come from the South and Mountain states, areas that the progressive elite dismiss as “fly over” country. How long will they support a country that doesn’t approve of their values or honor commitments to them, while at the same time endangers those who serve with restrictive rules of engagement? The President can honor army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, but ignores the families of men who died trying to rescue him. What kind of respect does Hillary Clinton show the families of those killed in Benghazi when she basically calls them liars when they claim she blamed a video for the attack?
A key ingredient in patriotism is love of country. When your country, or your leaders, are no longer worthy of love or respect, is it any wonder that patriotism is dying? President Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left me.” Many Americans are starting to feel the same way about our country. We must remember that when we elect our next President. It’s time for a change of direction, because the way path we are headed down now leads to an America that is not worthy of the sacrifices of patriots past and present.
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