Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Loyalists v. Rebels

Currently, the political spectrum is divided as to what patriotism is. As Ron Kovic wrote in Born On The Fourth Of July, why is protesting deemed unpatriotic when the protestee is merely speaking out against what he/she feels is wrong, what needs to be improved? The "patriotic" individuals, those who don't speak out against authority or those they feel are misusing their powers, feel that love of country means acceptance of all actions. If a country is by the people, for the people and of the people, then it is therefore fallible. It is run by individuals who often weigh the concerns of their pocketbooks over the good of the general public so we know that actions can be taken that don't altogether result in the best possible outcome overall. Complaining is unpatriotic though it was such complaining, such rebellion, that made this country possible in the first place. Can we empathise with the Loyalists during the Revolution at all now? All these "whiny, crybaby" rebels running around, against the King, against their government. How dare they? So what if there's taxation without representation, he's the King. Stamp Act? They need it for revenue to better defend us. Sugar Act? We might be attacked by the French again, or the Iroquois, they need that money.

So what if a rebellion was started now that listed among its grievances that the government is not, at least the Executive Branch, deriving its powers from the consent of the governed and that it is their right to alter or abolish it? A government of long standing should not be overthrown for trivial causes but what if something bordering tyranny exists for some time, would those rising up be supported?

How bad would the government need to treat its citizens before rebellion would flip from being unpatriotic to being patriotic, upholding the truths within the Declaration of Independence? We're not heading in a good direction but thankfully, I think we're far from that point...

20 comments:

Molly said...

But then again, now that this country has been established and running for over 200 years, it's such a beacon of truth and rightness that anyone who speaks out against it is clearly speaking out against everything the Founders believed we ought to stand for. The fact that freedom of speech was one such right is, of course, completely irrelevant.

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