I Am A Patriot
I am a Patriot. I love America, these United States. I’ve traveled, literally, around the world and still love this country best. From the Rocky Mountains, where I write this today, where Native Peoples were displaced and driven from their land. To the Pacific Northwest where internment camps for Japanese-Americans proliferated during World War II. To the East Coast where African-Americans were dumped from ships that had brought them to the shores, after brutally tearing them from their homes and enslaved them for 400 years. And to the Southwest where some Mexican Americans, whose indigenous peoples claimed this land long before the Spaniards arrived, today toil in the fields and restaurants to feed us. That we can look back on that sordid and oppressive history and love this country enough to make it a better place for all, is, I believe, a true testament to patriotism.
I am a Patriot. I honor the men and women who fought and served our country in the armed services. My father served in the Army in Korea during the war, my brother was in Germany during the tail end of the cold war, one of my cousins was in the Gulf War and many other family and friends have served in all branches. I thank you for your service and sacrifice.
I am a Patriot. I am a pacifist. I believe that there are better ways to settle disputes then killing one another. I would prefer that we no longer fight about oil in the middle east and instead build up the sustainable energy sources right here in our own country. Solar, wind, and water generated power is cleaner, more sustainable and builds jobs. Jobs that may employ the folks who served our country and aren’t dying for it in a war that isn’t needed.
I am a Patriot. I believe in sensible gun ownership and common sense gun laws. I grew up with family and friends who hunted to feed themselves and their families. Others have guns for target shooting and others for self-defense. I believe that no one needs an AK-47 and that if you have built up an armory of guns than you are not wanting to protect yourself. Rather your intent is to destroy lives, like at Columbine, Las Vegas, and the Pulse Night Club.
I am a Patriot. I believe that women are equal and deserve to be treated as such. Wether it is the right to fair pay, or being paid more for their accomplishments, like the US Women’s National Team who are on their way to possibly win yet another Soccer World Cup. Or the right to body autonomy. The right to choose contraception, the right to consent or not to consent to sex, the right to choose to raise a child, to give a child up for adoption, or to have an abortion.
I am a Patriot. I believe that everyone should be allowed to identify as who they believe they are and to love who they love. If you are a Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Trans, Queer or Non-Binary you have a right to live as such, just as I live my Heterosexual Cis-Gendered Female one. Love is love.
I am a Patriot. I am an atheist. I respect your right to believe and follow whatever religion you choose. When we both believe in kindness, love, and respect, though we go about it in different ways, we are bringing more good into the world and sharing it. When you have chosen to ignore the very things you state to believe, to love one another, to help one another, then I will speak up for those you choose to exclude and treat cruelly.
I am a Patriot. I believe in a Federal Government who helps those in need. I believe in state's rights so that our autonomy and diversity is strengthened. That diversity is reflected not only in our state flags, our license plates, or driver's license , and also the landscapes and the diverse people who live there. I love this melting pot and myriad voices that have contributed to it.
I am a Patriot. My great-grandparents were immigrants escaping poverty and persecution. I believe that the open arms that welcomed them now belong to me. I will welcome anyone seeking the opportunities they were.
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
On the Base of the Statue of Liberty
I am a Patriot. I believe in the United States of America and know, to the very core of my being, that we can be better than we are. And I believe, as our forefathers did, that civil disobedience, civil discourse, and tolerance are what made us become America back on July 4th 1776. I will uphold those beliefs.
I am a Patriot. I hope you will join me.