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Posted on 10/24/2003 10:14:19 AM PDT by LJPenney

I'm writing a paper for school to answer the question "what makes a person a patriot?," and it has really got me thinking...

I have several ideas, but I was wondering what all of you older and wiser reps think makes a person truly patriotic. Also, who do you think is the ultimate, modern-day patriot???

I would love to have your thoughts. (My teacher has some weird ideas regarding Bush and I would LOVE to rumple her feathers with this.) Thanks all!


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1 posted on 10/24/2003 10:14:19 AM PDT by LJPenney
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To: LJPenney
A couple of fins and a guidance system?
2 posted on 10/24/2003 10:16:08 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: LJPenney
The ultimate modern day patriot is the son or daughter that gives up his or her life while serving as a member of the armed forces of the United States.
3 posted on 10/24/2003 10:17:23 AM PDT by hresources
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To: LJPenney
Seriously, I would say it's the idea that one defends their country and its ideals from the guts to the skin, and lives their life in that accord.
4 posted on 10/24/2003 10:18:07 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: LJPenney
I personally consider a patriot to be one who works towards restoring the Constitution and moving our government towards how the founding fathers envisioned it. With that in mind, I feel the "ultimate" high-profile patriot today is Rep Ron Paul (R-TX).
5 posted on 10/24/2003 10:18:12 AM PDT by jmc813 (Michael Schiavo is a bigger scumbag than Bill Clinton)
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To: LJPenney
Walking the Republican Party Line, what ever that is from one day to the next. Blackbird.
6 posted on 10/24/2003 10:18:32 AM PDT by BlackbirdSST
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To: LJPenney
I'm not an older rep by any means, but...

Being a patriot is, to me, loving your country so much it makes you stomache hurt. Loving your country so much you want to cry. Giving your heart to your country is what it's all about. You don't have to be famous, you don't have to be a soldier, you don't have to be old and wise. You just have to love your country with all of your heart, and defend it til you die.
7 posted on 10/24/2003 10:28:29 AM PDT by 4mycountry (Here's to Bush '04, Mr. Limbaugh, the outlawing of speedos and the banning of kiddie animes! *glug*)
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To: LJPenney
The answer is Michael Moore.

You were asking what is a fat idiot right ?
8 posted on 10/24/2003 10:30:11 AM PDT by XRdsRev
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To: LJPenney
I would consider a patriot to be a person who puts the interests of his country first, according to the principles of our Constitution. And anyone who acts to assure those principles for those who cannot act for themselves.

Today's patriots are, as previously stated, our military personnel fighting and dying in our name.

And perhaps one of our modern patriots would have to be Ronald Reagan. Bob Hope also did pretty well in striving to put America ahead of himself.

9 posted on 10/24/2003 10:33:37 AM PDT by mukraker
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To: LJPenney
Patriotism just means country before self, nothing more or less. While it doesn't require military service, government service, or party affiliation, it does require action. One can go through one's whole life feeling patriotic without ever actually doing anything for the country. Only when acting on the feeling in a positive way does one become patriotic.
10 posted on 10/24/2003 10:38:31 AM PDT by squidly
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To: LJPenney
Maj. Sullivan Ballou of the Second Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers. Then 32 years old, Ballou had overcome his family's poverty to start a promising career as a lawyer.

He and his wife, Sarah, wanted to build a better life for their two boys, Edgar and Willie. An ardent Republican and a devoted supporter of Abraham Lincoln, Ballou had volunteered in the spring of 1861, and on June 19 he and his men had left Providence for Washington, D.C.

He wrote the following letter to his wife from a camp just outside the nation's capital, and it is at once a passionate love letter as well as a profound meditation on the meaning of the Union.

It caught national importance 129 years after he wrote it, when it was read on the widely watched television miniseries "The Civil War," produced by Ken Burns.

The beauty of the language as well as the passion of the sentiments touched the popular imagination, and brought home to Americans once again what defense of democracy entailed.

Ballou wrote the letter July 14, while awaiting orders that would take him to Manassas, where he and 27 of his men would die one week later at the Battle of Bull Run.

July 14, 1861

Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movements may be of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of some conflict and death to me. "Not my will, but thine, O God be done." If it is necessary that I should fall on the battle field for my Country, I am ready.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys, I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows, when after having eaten for long years the bitter fruits of orphanage myself, I must offer it as the only sustenance to my dear little children, is it weak or dishonorable, that while the banner of my forefathers floats calmly and fondly in the breeze, underneath my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children should struggle in fierce, though useless contests with my love of Country.

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm Summer Sabbath night, when two-thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying perhaps the last sleep before that of death, while I am suspicious that death is creeping around me with his fatal dart, as I sit communing with God, my Country and thee. I have sought most closely and diligently and often in my heart for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I love, and I could find none. A pure love of my Country and of the principles I have so often advocated before the people - another name of Honor that I love more than I fear death, has called upon me and I have obeyed.

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and burns me unresistably on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortunes of this world to shield you, and your children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the Spirit-land and hover near you, while you buffet the storm, with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience, till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladest days and in the darkest nights, advised to your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys - they will grow up as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long - and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolicks with him among the dim memories of childhood. Sarah I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters, and feel that God will bless you in your holy work.

Tell my two Mothers I call God's blessing upon them. O! Sarah I wait for you there; come to me and lead thither my children.


11 posted on 10/24/2003 10:43:20 AM PDT by apackof2 (Watch and pray till you see Him coming, no one knows the hour or the day)
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To: LJPenney
Read them the patrick Henry speech of March 23, 1775.
12 posted on 10/24/2003 11:08:57 AM PDT by jbstrick (Behold the Power of CHEESE!)
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To: LJPenney
A verse of "America the Beautiful" addresses your question; it starts out like this:

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life...

Patriotism has to do with giving all you have from love of country. Some countries are not worth anyone's patriotism. This one, however, most definitely is.

My patriot-on-a-pedestal is Clarence Justice Thomas. He stands in there against every outrage leveled against him, when he could easily have shrunken from it to live out a relaxed retirement on a fat government pension. That is the selflessness of patriotism. It's like the guy who bellyflops on a grenade so that his platoon can fight for liberty yet one more day. "Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life". Justice Thomas is not in it for himself; he is in it for us.
The non-patriots, the anti-patriots, the globalists in this country probably hate him above all other of their foes. That, too, is a good reason for me to honor him.

13 posted on 10/24/2003 11:14:06 AM PDT by Migraine (my grain is pretty straight today)
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To: LJPenney
I would say that a patriot is somebody who identifies with a nation or national identity so strongly that they are willing to endure significant hardships to protect or promote the fortunes of that nation or identity. A Scottish Jacobin who fought at Culloden might be a patriot; a "tippling Jacobin" who simply drank to Charles's good health would not.
14 posted on 10/24/2003 11:18:05 AM PDT by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: LJPenney
KC's Tip: Sitting in a campus cafe, hating America, is not being a patriot.
15 posted on 10/24/2003 11:19:04 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space for rent)
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To: Little Ray
An addendum: Liberals (aka commie pinko fellow traveling scum) like to scream "How dare you question my patriotism!"
Simply quote them the dictionary definition of patriot:
One who loves his country, and zealously supports its authority and interests.

Then point out that they do NOT love this country NOR do they support its authority or interests, so they cannot be patriots..
16 posted on 10/24/2003 11:23:36 AM PDT by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: LJPenney
You ask a great question. I'd be interested in seeing your paper when it's done, because the question has been on my mind a lot since 9/11.

A lot of people equate military service with patriotism, but I think there are thousands of other ways a person can be a patriot also.

Here's something I've been thinking about, for what it's worth. I think people make a contribution to this country just in the way they live their everyday lives. Citizens who do their "job" (whether work, school, parenting, etc), basically follow the law, basically pay their taxes, try to invest something for the future, etc, are supporting this country. They make the country work. What they do is an underrated virtue. (Some liberals and some conservatives try to say that pursuing our self-interest is a bad thing -- it's "greed" or whatever. I disagree. People pursuing their self interest has made this country the greatest.)

That may not be a stirring message! But I think it's true.
17 posted on 10/24/2003 11:24:26 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: LJPenney
I've given this some thought lately, as the members of a local morning show I tended to listen to have repeatedly droned on about how some unidentified individuals are calling many "unpatriotic" because they would criticise the administration.

I believe several who posted have made good points. Certainly dying for one's country is the ultimate sacrifice and I can only hope that those who have had the honor and misfortune to do so believed in the cause to which they gave their lives.

However, I think that patriotism, and especially American patriotism has three components.

One is the intent. Why are you "doing" what you are "doing" as a patriot? Americans historically have believed (and most of us still do) in the concepts of right and wrong. We've embodied a lot of this in our Constitution, and in our culture. IMHO, "right" in the American sense means ensuring that every individual is able to live their own lives as they see fit, as long as their actions don't infringe upon that same ability of others. Logically extended, this embodies the concept of limited government that, as a nation and people, we used to embrace.

Secondly, is action. It isn't enough to believe, you have to act to preserve and defend your rights (either via the political system - voting, or being an advocate for yourself or others, or even taking up arms against those who would infringe on your rights or those of others)

However, and most importantly, I think, your beliefs and your actions must be based on a responsible, thoughtful, and persistent quest to know the truth. I know that word has fallen out of fashion by the elite, but for many of us, it has enduring meaning. As with computers, garbage in equals garbage out. If you don't know the facts, the history, or the reason behind a situation, then your actions, and your beliefs in relation to it, will be flawed. Coming back to the radio personalities I alluded to, they believe they are patriots because they are questioning the government. Yes, they may believe they are right, and yes, it is important to defend the right to speak against the government, but unfortunately, they are so sadly and woefully misinformed that it negates the purity (for lack of a better word) of both their actions and their intent. I think many well-intentioned liberals would be patriots but for their complete obliviousness to truth.

So I guess, in my opinion, a patriot is a person who believes in right and wrong as Americans have historically defined it and as it is embodied in our Constitution, is willing to fight to secure and defend those rights for himself and others even if it means giving their own life or fortune, and who bases their belief and action on truth to the best of their ability.

The word honor used to sum up a lot of the same sentiment. Its telling that we seldom use the words honor and patriot these days.
18 posted on 10/24/2003 11:30:16 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: 68skylark
Here is the outline and roughly what I'm going to say...

I started to think a great deal on what makes a person a patriot. After thinking about it for quite some time, I have come to the conclusion that a patriot is a person who is:

1. Always working to better their country. Whether it is by trying to elect better officials to fix problems, or just cleaning up trash off the road, a patriot tries to make this great country even better.

2. Devoted to America in times of war. They would never dream of skirting a draft or defecting when their country needs them to fight.

3. Cheerful even when America needs some fixing. They neither complain, nor huff off to another country. They then work to fix those problems.

4. Supportive and obedient to president and our leaders in the good and in the bad. Unless a leader goes against God, a patriot always follows them.

There are several things that a patriot is not, including:

1. Believing that our country is the all-powerful, righteous body, and that we can do no wrong. Some who fails to see where America has made a mistake is not a patriot but is just plain blind. We can never fix this country if we are not willing to acknowledge that it has some faults.

2. Using your right of free speech to slander a leader simply because you do not agree with him. Such as we saw with the war in Iraq, people claimed to be “patriotic,” but said terrible things against the president just because they disagreed with what he said. Surely you may speak that you disagree with a leader, but never insult and attack their intelligence (as if Julia Roberts knows more than Dr. Condoleezza Rice anyway!)

The ultimate, modern-day patriot is anyone who dies defending our country in a time of war. Also, I think that Bob Hope was a great patriot in the way that he put the needs of our fighting men ahead of his own, and entertained them for so many years. He did a great deal to boost the morale of the nation during WWII.

19 posted on 10/24/2003 2:14:40 PM PDT by LJPenney
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To: All
I think a patriot is someone who loves their country enough to see the negatives...and who wants to change things for the well as seeing the positives.
20 posted on 10/24/2003 5:04:22 PM PDT by Pedantic_Lady
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