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Military Veterans Are No More Patriotic Than Any Other American –

There is another thing that irks me… bigly… about far Right conservatism.  Why do they flaunt their military service (those who did serve) as somehow translating that to actionable patriotism?  Does your military service make your level of patriotism any more or less than any other non-serving American?  I’m a veteran myself.  But other than keeping faith to the pledge I made at time of induction well into my civilian life, I don’t wear it as a badge of patriotism.  If anything, I am proud of the fact that I did serve my country in a capacity that allowed me to defend our Constitution as being our way of life.  My patriotism is because I am an American… not because I spent some time in the service of defending it.  But each veteran has to decide for him/her self the interpretation of their military service.  I just don’t find favor when vets use it to define their level of patriotism.  Patriotism isn’t a pissing match and it’s not defined that way.  A perfect example of so-called patriotism run amok by self-serving conservatives has been in the news the last couple days.

Alvin Bamberger: A True American Patriot… Um, Idiot –

In March last year, candidate Trump had yet another of his idiotic rallies that promote hate and divisiveness.  There was some heckling disruption in the crowd and Trump told the crowd to remove those causing the ruckus.  The two photos below illustrate how 75 year old (WTF? see caption below) Korean War veteran, Alvin Bamberger, allegedly starts shoving an African-American woman (herself surrounded in a sea of white males), who has ostensibly caused an anti-Trump verbal ruckus, and being the subject of Trump’s removal request.  Now this is exactly what I mean regarding veterans using their past military service to promote their politics, and/or level of patriotism.

All the networks everywhere are reporting this Korean War vet’s age as being 75. I was born in 1951, smack in the middle of the Korean War; I am now 66. This means this guy was 9 years old at the time of the war (our respective age difference). Am I missing something here??  Even if we add another ten years to his age using the rule of reasonableness, making his service age an acceptable 19 years of age… he seems pretty spry and agile for being an 85 year old.  Maybe we can conjure up a  conspiracy theory just like the right-wingers?

So here you have an obvious veteran, wearing the uniform of the Korean War Veterans Association, shoving not only a fellow American, but also a woman.  There is SO MUCH wrong with this image.  First off, do we thank this gentleman for his service?  Of course we do… as we do any other service veteran.  Does that mean we accept his actions with this woman?  Not in the least…on so many levels.

  1. The most obvious is that he fought in battle defending our country against Communist aggression on the Korean Peninsula; one assumes that means he was defending our form of government and the ideals we hold dear.. like our Constitution and freedom of speech. Apparently the only freedom of speech he prefers is his own… or that of his Dear Leader, Trump.
  2. For whatever reason, he has no self-control and he allowed himself to get caught up in Trump’s divisive rhetoric… and apparently refuses to take responsibility for his actions; suing Trump for convincing him to treat that woman badly (“the devil made me do it” defense) likely to distract from the suit against him by the victim(s) of his assault.
  3. He not only bullied a female, he bullied her physically simply because of politics; he failed in his inherent role as a U.S. soldier to defend those who cannot defend themselves; to protect those who cannot protect themselves… especially fellow Americans.  His actions spoke poorly of American veterans everywhere.  In the least, given the situation in that floor area was likely to get ugly, he should have offered to escort her from the floor for her own safety.
  4. He is wearing a uniform. Uniforms have meaning.  They serve to set you apart from the crowd, thus making you a very visible representative of that organization.  To my knowledge, veterans organizations chartered by Congress must be politically neutral while always representing the welfare of its members regarding public treatment, memorials, and striving for veterans benefits, etc.  This old fart wore his uniform that day NOT as a representative of the Korean War Veterans Association but to promote his personal idea of patriotism as it relates to his military service.  Uniforms are to be worn at specific functions of the organization, like parades, meetings, and other sanctioned events.  Otherwise he could just have worn the obligatory baseball cap with his service record and branch of service displayed like everyone else.  But few organizations attempt any enforcement of these things for fear of pissing off their memberships.  I’d want his old arrogant, white entitlement ass kicked out of the organization for showing the organization in such a negative light… and even more so if I was also a member but not a Trump supporter.  But that will never happen.

Bottom line, this guy acted like an old moron and just embarrassed himself and veterans everywhere… and in typical right wing conservative fashion, like Trump, he does’t want to take responsibility for his own actions… blaming others for his own shortcomings.


In Conclusion…

When far right conservatives harangue on their blogs that they are the sole defenders of the Constitution and have some divine monopoly of what is patriotism, they are only pushing hot air.  I should point out that conservatives in general, right, left, in between… seem to favor two things…

  1. Making you afraid of it, and,
  2. Telling you who to blame for it.

…and that, dear friends, defines Trump and his supporters to a T.  Sitting in your armchair yelling at the TV while caressing and dry firing your AR-15 does NOT make you a patriot any more than any other American.  Quit using it as a crutch for your absurd political opinion.


A couple quotes to help illustrate what patriotism is… and is not.

Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, then a Progressive Party advocate said the following about patriotism…

“Patriotism means to stand by the country.  It does not mean to stand by the president ir any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.  It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.  It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by his country.  In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

Then there’s Malcolm X.. and, yes, I know, a revolutionary in his own right, but he places patriotism very well here…

“You’re not to be so blinded with patriotism that you can’t face reality.  Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it.”


So.. you ultra-Conservatives out there… please don’t bore us with the idea that your level of patriotism is any greater than any other American and that it somehow justifies your radical and unsubstantiated and unbalanced opinions.   Not to worry… you can still be a patriot and also have idiotic political opinion.  Freedom of Speech.

Carry on, America.