Protest is Patriotism

Protesting is as American as the Boston Tea Party.  The First Amendment to our Constitution includes the rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to petition our government for redress of grievances.  That sounds like a pretty good description of a protest march like the Women’s March in Knoxville which I attended today.

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Dictionary.com defines patriotism as “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.”  Today’s pre-march ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Many marchers carried American flags.  (I heard one of them expressing concern about whether it was disrespectful that his flag was getting wet in the rain.)  

Can I rage for a second here?  Protesting is NOT whining, it’s NOT being a sore loser, and it’s certainly NOT unpatriotic.  People gather in peaceful protest BECAUSE they love this country, because they believe in its ideals, and because they want it to be better. (Our new President has spent the past two years talking about how terrible this country is and how we need him to make it great again.  Was that unpatriotic?)

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On January 27, 2017, pro-life marchers will gather in Washington to voice their disagreement with this country’s abortion laws.  These marchers want abortion legally banned.  They disagree with Federal, State, and local laws allowing abortion and deplore Supreme Court decisions which have upheld those laws.  They believe in the ideals of this great nation–the ones guaranteeing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and that they should apply to everyone, born or unborn.  They think the United States of America can and should be better.

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I’ve participated in more local Marches for Life than I can recall.  I’ve slogged through rain and biting cold on behalf of the unborn.  (I’ve also marched against the death penalty, for what it’s worth.)  So I think that gives me the moral authority to tell you that the only difference between marching today and marching next weekend is what participants are protesting.

Women (and lots of men!) marched today to protest potential policies of the incoming administration, based upon the political promises of the President.  They marched for many reasons: for healthcare, for equal pay for equal work, for compassion toward immigrants and refugees.  And they also marched against things:  sexual assault, discrimination, prejudice, hatred.

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“Give him a chance,” people say.  “He hasn’t done anything yet.”  All the more reason for us to stand up now, before he has a chance to implement any policies, to assemble and use our right to speak freely and let him know how his proposals will grieve us!  Why wait to protest until after the fact?

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0 thoughts on “Protest is Patriotism

          1. Thank you! I will certainly take a look. And I took the opportunity to check out your blog. I loved your about section. And if your goal is to speak the truth in love you are doing a nice job today. Even if we continue to disagree, I respect your approach.

  1. Danny Rose

    Great article. I would love to see your opinion on what I believe is a media created hysteria that seems to serve an agenda. It would be nice to have someone from the left break it down in an honest way. 🙂

    1. I don’t know that I will write a post about it, but yes, I believe there is a little hysteria going on. I think people are keyed up and expecting the worst (for which I honestly cannot blame them) and so they are inclined to see the worst. I’ve already seen several incidents where things were not quite as bleak as they appeared when first reported. And of course the media is all about the clicks. I have cautioned others and am making it my policy myself to wait a day before reposting anything to make sure of the facts.

  2. You strike me as a very balanced person. Thank you for this post. The term “Patriotism” is being bandied about again, and the underlying tenet seems to be “love it or leave it.” President Trump’s day of patriotism is more likely to be a celebration of America in the fifties than America as it is today. If it’s OK, I’d like to dump a link here to my (short) thoughts on this topic https://jefftcann.com/2017/01/21/day-of-patriotism/ (Please delete if you don’t want this here).

  3. Having seen and been in protests before, I agree with what you say on it being a form of patriotism. If you believe and care about how something will affect your country you would certainly want to stand up and voice your opinions. I think the other side would also think they are patriotic too but what is good about the US in terms of freedom of speech is you get to hear both sides. Unfortunately, in my hometown, we are increasingly getting one side 🙁

  4. I hate writing about politics or commenting on anything about pertaining to politics. I rather stay inside my little bubble due to the fact I don’t like conflict. The only I will say I am glad the march you attended was peaceful.

  5. I love that people come together, to support, protest, do something. Many are unsure of things right now and it feels so good to be doing something. I hope this time in our history will be known bringing Americans together, that would be great! As of now we are all the same, wanting the same success, safety, and a good future for generations. Regardless of a political stance coming together for that can only bring on great things! We will see how things play out, and I hope the momentum of voices being heard and people fighting for what they believe is right continues.

  6. Pingback: 12 in 2017: A Year in Pictures | Life in Every Limb

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