If your first response is Tom Brady (that’s where my search engine took me), I guess I can’t say you are wrong. Patriot, patriotism, loyalty and love of country have come to mean many different things to many different people in today’s 21st Century Fox split political level modern America. But there is one at least one sticky wicket that seems to remain with us from (and possibly even before) July 4, 1776. On cross-examination, I would argue, in leading question form, isn’t it true that since its inception, the United States of America has always been and continues to be two separate and distinct cultures tied together by little more than geography, a shared interest in defending from foreign invasion, and unity in matters of international trade? Specifically, the North and the South?

The North, led by Alexander Hamilton, had their British influenced ideal of a strong central government, industrialization and manufacturing our way into prosperity and a seat at the world stage. The South was a French influenced, agrarian, ante-bellum, plantation nation of limited outside influence and isolationism from the world (and soon, from the North). The Founders, for all their wisdom, could not draft a document preventing the inevitable clash of cultures that resulted in a bloody civil war. A war won by the North. The results of which added 3 new Amendments to the Constitution. The 13th abolishing Slavery, the 14th binding the States to the Constitution, and the 15th designed to ensure the newly freed slaves were not denied the right to vote. (Which they were, systematically,  until 1965 with the advent of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). And now that has recently been gutted by the US Supreme Court because Chief Justice John Roberts believes that discrimination no longer exists in the states previously affected by the VRA. (Shelby v. Holder) This despite the fact the North won. Ever wonder why we are still fighting over statues to rebel war “heroes?” Now you know. It must be nice to lose a war and still get your way. ‘Murica.)

Regardless of location or culture, it is time to revisit what it means to be an American patriot, one who loves not necessarily his or her country, but this country. The only country founded and born into political principals based on natural rights. To this, we must look to the US Constitution, including the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Constitutionally speaking, when it comes to:

·      Religion – Americans believe in separation of church and state. If you believe the Bible should be the law of the land, you’re probably a religious zealot and most assuredly not a patriot.

·      Immigration – We are a nation of immigrants. If you believe that “illegal immigration” is ruining American culture, you are probably a xenophobe and I guarantee you are not a patriot.

·      2nd Amendment – If you believe  “a well-regulated militia” includes anyone and everyone who dislikes the Clintons and has a gun you are most likely an ammo sexual, but you ain’t no patriot.

·      13th/14th/15th Amendments: If you do not believe that “for all” means “for all” including everyone regardless of race, color, national origins, gender, sexual preferences and all points in between, you may be horribly unaware of what makes America truly great (hint: it involves tolerance and assimilation) but in no way, shape or form are you a patriot because you clearly do not love America’s prime principles.

I’d like to say go back to where you came from, but you are probably already there.

Next Week: Racism is a Virus From Outer Space or, maybe, Alabama