I was watching CNN with Lou Dobbs recently and witnessed a troubling fact. The network took a poll of viewers and asked them if their preferred candidate’s opponent won the election, would they then support that president, no matter who it were. An alarming 66 percent indicated they would not support him.
As a patriotic veteran who has served in both Iraq and Afghan-istan, I am deeply disturbed by this dominant frame of mind in the United States. I personally fully support President George W. Bush, and always have. However, if Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry were elected, I would not whine and display signs about hatred and disgust. I would accept he would be the new president and would do my best to support him. That is patriotism. When you are more concerned about being loyal to our leaders than forever being angry that you didn’t get your way, is when you have become a patriot.
When you are more concerned about our great country’s welfare, than who’s going to do more for your personal benefit, then you are a patriot. When I see bumper stickers displaying utter hatred for the president, disgust at the United States’ current situation, and general complaining about how bad our homeland has become in the last few years; it pains me to know there is a very ungrateful element of our society that cares for no more than always asking, “What does the government do for me?” A famous Democratic president, John F. Kennedy, stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but instead, what you can do for your country.” That is patriotism. That is loyalty to your country. Loyalty to and faith in our country’s leaders is what will continue our unrivaled prosperity.
Yes, it is very important for a democratic society to hold its public servants accountable for their actions, but when we begin to expect absolute perfection from imperfect people, we’ve gone too far. Unfortunately, that freedom of expression, taken too far, can and is causing us to destroy ourselves from within. The distrust of elected officials, and constant social dissatisfaction, is what could be our downfall; which only emboldens our enemies, as they know we are doing those same things right now! My estimation is this, if your “other guy candidate” gets elected, don’t despise him. Respect him for endangering his and his family’s lives, so that he can serve this country as its leader. Really – our country is still the greatest place to be in the world.
Alex Ursel is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]