On the EDge: Are you a Yankee Doodle Dandy?

Photo of Lincoln is colorized, it derives from an albumen print by Matthew B. Brady circa 1863, from the George Eastman House Collection, via Wikimedia Commons; background image by Rawpixel / iStock / Getty Images Plus; St. George News

OPINION — There is nothing wrong with patriotism as long as you understand what it truly is.

Patriotism isn’t putting on your American Flag shirt on Independence Day as you grill those burgers and hotdogs.

Patriotism isn’t slipping into your flag bikini and lounging on the beach or local pool.

It’s not about slapping a “My country, right or wrong” bumper sticker on the back of your Toyota.

And, it’s certainly not about being a Yankee Doodle Dandy, which is, by definition, some guy with a foppish demeanor, bad hair – the macaroni wig, to be exact – and a dullard’s intelligence. We already have one or two people like that lurching about Washington, D.C. We don’t need another.

Mark Twain said patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.

Edward Abbey said that a patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Historian Howard Zinn says, simply, that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Patriotism is lost upon us, I fear, replaced by an arrogant sense of nationalism and jingoism that is rotting the foundation of our standing in the world.

We suffer from both right now, particularly the jingoism that is sustained by continued bullying of our global neighbors; the threats that have replaced decency in dialog; the false air of superiority that permeates all negotiations – from personal to international.

We can claim no moral authority as a nation if we refuse to acknowledge the importance and issue the respect deserved by our global neighbors and allies.

Make America great again?

I’ve got news for you, America has always been great.

We’ve detoured into murky waters, particularly of late, stirred by the paddle of ignorance, arrogance and intolerance. Those waters are roiling as we speak as the United States dips in its relations with the rest of the world, loses stature. Indeed, many observers now turn to Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, as the leader of the free world, not the President of the United States.

We’ve succeeded, of course, in many endeavors, but we have also failed. That doesn’t mean we are not a great nation, only that we are not a perfect nation.

Right now, we are chest-deep in a quagmire of anger and hate.

There’s a genuine bully standing behind the modern-day bully pulpit and if you question him, if you criticize him, if you disagree with him, if you demand truth from him you are labelled as fake, a hater, the enemy.

Yes, we have an axe to grind.

But we must hone that axe to carve through the layers of a delusional and distorted sense of reality we are being spoon fed.

The American public should strive to wake up in the morning and learn of the good we are doing in this world rather than punch in on our Twitter accounts to read the day’s most current outrage.

We need to look at each other with the understanding that in our differences, we find our commonality, which is to ensure unabridged liberty free from the influences of those with deep pockets and self-serving agendas.

That liberty is at stake when the federal government requests voting data from all 50 states, including not only the names of registered voters, but their party affiliation, their voting history and last four numbers on their Social Security cards to, it claims, investigate the “possibility of voter fraud and the integrity of the system.”

At a time when there are investigations of possible collusion between the Republican campaign and a foreign power during the 2016 election, this seems hypocritical at the very least.

That liberty is at stake when the will of the people gives way to special interests.

Evan Vickers, a member of the Utah Legislature, recently talked about how a potential voter referendum to legalize medicinal cannabis in the state is sure to find stiff opposition. Vickers claims the proposed initiative would be similar to a bill that failed in the Legislature several years ago because it was too broad and permissive.

During a recent interview on Utah Public Radio, Vickers outlined the opposition.

“You’re going to see the Utah Medical Association come out and pose an opposition,” he said. “You’re going to see the LDS Church most likely come out in opposition, you’re going to see law enforcement, you’re going to see health and behavioral sciences and drug abuse people. You’re going to see all of those groups come out in opposition. Where it ends up, I don’t know.”

Of course what Vickers doesn’t say is that the Utah Medical Association is in the pocket of Big Pharma and the drug companies that make the opioids that have ruined the lives of so many.

As a pharmacist, Vickers stands to lose money as patients move from the poison of opioids to cannabis.

He doesn’t explain that the church position on the issue is one of uninformed opinion and doctrine rather than science.

His argument about law enforcement’s stance is pure folly as he chooses not to share the results of a Pew Research Center survey that revealed that 68 percent of law enforcement officers agree that cannabis should be legalized for either medicinal or recreational use.

And, that liberty is at stake when the administration makes every effort to quash a free and unfettered press.

The President’s recent Twitter attacks on a morning show host were vile, crude, beneath the dignity of the office. The repeated antagonism and denigration of legitimate news outlets exploring legitimate news leads and expressing opposition in opinion pieces and discussion programming is tyrannical, a suppression of free speech.

An attack on one of us, whether we work for MSNBC, The Washington Post, FOX News, The Spectrum, St. George News, KONY, The Independent, CNN, or any other news-gathering agency or organization is an attack on all of us.

So on this day when we celebrate our independence, we must remember that patriotism is not judged by the medals on your chest and battle scars on your body; that it is not decided by your political affiliation or ideology; that it most certainly is not a result of your position as an elected official.

It is best decided by our actions, our thoughts, our willingness to work with each other instead of against each other and to truly establish a righteous, moral foundation from which to set the standards for a world in turmoil.

So, on this particular Independence Day, I share the desire of Abraham Lincoln, who said:

My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of Earth.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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23 Comments

  • high5 July 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Talking to Yourself Again Ed?

  • Utahguns July 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Ed said, “Many observers now turn to Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, as the leader of the free world, not the President of the United States.”
    Really?

    Merkel was brought up as a socialist; paid her fees as a member of the Communist Youth Group and became a leader of this organization. Her “green coalition” is what has brought Germany down to its current state of submission and malignant degeneracy.

    “Abraham Lincoln said: My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of Earth.”
    I’ll consistently take the side of Lincoln over communism.

    That’s why we’re trying to make “America great again:……

    • desertgirl July 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Happy Independence Day, Utahguns. Patriotism is a good thing, the progressives have brainwashed two generations to believe otherwise. This was a day to celebrate independence, liberty that guys like Ed are eroding. Sadly he and the George Soros followers don’t know the difference between good, evil, and the ability to understand and appreciate the incredible good this nation has done for the world; far more than all nations combined throughout history.

      • Utahguns July 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        Happy Independence Day to you as well !
        All the best M’Lady.

  • Sapphire July 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    This article is so wrong. America has always struggled with morality, equality, greed, and dishonesty in government. That is because a government is no more than the people and their representatives. We have moments of glory and years of darkness in our history. There have never been “the good old days”.

    Regardless of how childish President Trump’s comments are at times, he is still entitled to free speech. It is hypocritical for the press to demand perfection from others that they do not impose on themselves and there has been a lot of twisting, distorting, and embellishing when it comes to the media. Being the first with a story is more important to the press than being accurate and truthful.

    Both Lincoln and Jesus were vocal about a house divided against itself cannot stand. But in order to have continuity you have to have laws and order and a general way of behaving that produce a peaceful and productive society. That requires some willingness to put self aside for the greater peace. Since no two people see things identically it is impossible for all to agree about everything.

    Our government has an amazing Constitution to protect our individual rights and limit government interference. But again, there has to be a moral standard as well as a legal one or people cannot and will not get along. There is no way to “work together” when viewpoints are vastly different. How do those with strong religious and moral beliefs involving family, temperance, modesty, honesty and integrity, a sense of propriety, community service, patriotic duty to serve and protect our country, a strong work ethic involving self-sufficiency and education, and a respect for life compromise with those who believe in being entitled to government handouts and demand their right to be rude, vulgar, greedy, destructive, breeding indiscriminately with whoever or whatever, greedy, killing their unborn, neglecting their children, drugging themselves into a stupor.

    When people become a law unto themselves with no consequence or or consideration of others, then civilization dies and is replaced with anarchy (lawlessness and political disorder).

    I thoroughly resent the comment “So on this day when we celebrate our independence, we must remember that patriotism is not judged by the medals on your chest and battle scars on your body…” There is no greater love than to give your life for others, no greater patriots than those who will sacrifice themselves to protect those they do not even know. Many suffer daily because of their willingness to keep us safe. I am thankful for all those who were and are willing to give their all… from those who helped this be the United States of America to those who are still trying to keep this a productive, pleasant, and safe place to live.

    • comments July 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      “those who believe in being entitled to government handouts and demand their right to be rude, vulgar, greedy, destructive, breeding indiscriminately with whoever or whatever, greedy, killing their unborn, neglecting their children, drugging themselves into a stupor.”

      I’m picturing a run down trailer park in Oklahoma. LBA, if u see this, am I right on the money thinking that or what?

      “strong religious and moral beliefs involving family, temperance, modesty, honesty and integrity, a sense of propriety, community service, patriotic duty to serve and protect our country, a strong work ethic involving self-sufficiency and education, and a respect for life”

      And Sappire, good comment over all, but let me just tell u I don’t think it’ll be this modern republican party that represents these things Or our dear president “Mister grab ’em by the P****”. What kind of man says things like that at 60 years old? That actually is his true character.

      • ladybugavenger July 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

        I haven’t seen a rundown trailer park here. Then again, I live in a nice town and I just go to work and come home….I stay away from north Tulsa 😉 perhaps they have them there? If you ever come to Oklahoma stay away from north Tulsa

        • ladybugavenger July 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

          I live in broken arrow ok. You can google it and then you won’t think I’m living in the backwoods of Arkansas lol

          You want to find the tweakers? Go to Walmart and the casinos. I honestly don’t know anyone who’s on welfare. They are either keeping it secret or they are not on it. I’ve been looking but I’m the only one that I’ve heard say welfare. So they must keep it secret so that no one knows…..I sent an email to my supervisor that said, put me on the top of the list of people who get more hours- I’m trying to avoid the welfare office! So far so good.

      • Sapphire July 4, 2017 at 9:27 pm

        Sounds like a normal trip to Walmart….

  • desertgirl July 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    It is the American Independence Day, can you and your fellow negative progressives keep your bigoted, hateful mouths shut for a few lousy days of the year. No of course not. Your thrive on being as awful as possible when it comes to Americans.

    btw The 60’s called and want their garbage back.

  • John July 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    ED, hahahahahaha! your’e kidding , right? MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN !!!! turn it around from the embarrassment that the previous administration made of us around the world…MAKE AMERICA A WORLD LEADER AGAIN !!!..no more bowing to any third world liberal leaders MAKE AMERICA STRONG AGAIN !! MAKE AMERICA LIBERAL FREE AGAIN !

  • Real Life July 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Ed, you are losing it.

  • 42214 July 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    “We must remember that patriotism is not judged by the medals on your chest or battle scars on your body”. This is the standard disclaimer put forth by those that never served this country or did anything to better this country other than “patriotic dissent” like protesters in Berkeley. I don’t need a lecture on patriotism from a 60’s hippy.

  • comments July 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Are all those rapid muslim men that merkel let into germany still out trying to rape everything that moves. Ferral, rabit, sex-crazed, illiterate, goat herding “muslim migrants”. Why would anyone bring such things into their country on purpose? Muslim migrants have not integrated well in any European country, and Merkel, in my book, in a disgrace.

  • high5 July 4, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    He’s been lost for awhile ?

  • Henry July 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    A good synopsis of Ed’s latest hateful vendetta against those with whom he disagrees, was in the closing narration of one of the episodes from today’s “Twilight Zone” marathon:

    “prejudices can kill – and suspicion can destroy – and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own”

  • riccie July 4, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    That liberty is at stake when the federal government requests voting data from all 50 states, including not only the names of registered voters, but their party affiliation, their voting history and last four numbers on their Social Security cards to, it claims, investigate the “possibility of voter fraud and the integrity of the system.”

    Ed since you are against this statement and what it stands for. I am concerned about the voter fraud in the twin cities Hildale & Colorado City, warren jeffs controlled government, for all those years and decades. Remember there are city elections coming up and should we be concerned about his followers stuffing the ballet box? Let alone those who are called to officiate in overseeing it and checking addresses for proper residency. Would they, the election officials in those towns, not also allow this to happen since they are part of his clan?

  • dodgers July 5, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Finally a president who is willing to call out the Washington establishment and the mainstream media. For many years, there has been a growing infection in our country, driven much by an out of touch, self serving government, where lobbyists and re-election take precedent over the American people. And the mainstream media and PC police have been complicit. Addressing the longstanding infection requires significant and much different action. Holding hands, singing Kumbaya, and asking everybody to fall in line isn’t going to cut it. We have been blessed with a President who is willing to call out the offenders and the offenses, and who has put the establishment (government and media) in a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable position. Draining the swamp, curing the longstanding infection isn’t going to be quick, easy or painless. Finally, the HOPE and CHANGE has arrived.

    • comments July 5, 2017 at 11:25 am

      It’s all a show, buddy. You trumpites are in for a hard realization. Sooner the better.

      • John July 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        Yes we are..LIberals are proving they like to eat lead based paint chips everyday…

        • Utahguns July 6, 2017 at 6:23 am

          Yup…those rainbow colored chips.
          I hear dried mascara chips from Pelosi, Warren and Waters are also a delicacy.

  • commonsense July 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Here are the headlines at the Trump six month mark.

    750,000 new jobs. Stock market highest ever. Illegal immigration down 50%. Sanctuary of criminals not tolerated. Justice Dept backs police. Military moral is up. Second amendment safe.
    Supreme Court overturns liberal appellate courts. Hollywood is just entertainment. Rpublicans win all 5 special elections. Health care mess is being addressed in a non-partisan way by Republicans. Dems want no part of fixing Obamacare. Tax reform is a priority. America is safe.

    America is on her way to greatness, again. Have you seen any of these stories on CNN, ABC, CBS, Huffington Post, New York Times or Washington Post? I haven’t either. I guess the commercial media has its own agenda.

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