pa•tri•ot n. One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country.
French patriote, from Old French, compatriot, from Late Latin patrita, from Greek patrits, from patrios, of one’s fathers, from patr, patr-, father.
Questioning patriotism is merely a political witch hunt designed to boost future votes. A patriot is not someone who blindly follows the majority or falls in behind the president. Simply put, a patriot is someone who strives to make his country better. In America, a unique beast, patriotism demands questioning of leaders and government. This country exists because of the willingness to stand up to those in power and question their actions. In the United States, aside from military or civic service, there is no greater love and defense of country than becoming part of the debate that illustrates our great freedom. Those who call dissenters “unpatriotic” would do well to remember our ultimate goal in war with Iraq: the prospect of bringing democracy to a country which punishes dissent with death or torture. A country where there is no patriotism, only forced conformity.
Both Bush and Daschle are patriots. You may not agree with one or both of them, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that both believe they are working toward making America better. That is the common element among almost all of us, no matter what our political beliefs. Let’s keep that in mind.
p.s. Isn’t is amusing that patriot comes from Old French?