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Patriots do the right things

Much talk of patriots and patriotism surrounds our July 4th celebrations, who is or isn’t patriotic and who is or isn’t a “real American.” Some thoughts:

Patriots defend the U.S. Constitution and constitutional processes, not corrupt them for their own political ambitions. Patriots place country before party.

Patriots respect the law. Patriots respect democratic institutions, not attempt to overthrow them.

Patriots respect democratic elections and duly-elected officials. Patriots accept the peaceful transition of power. Patriots despise autocrats desperate to preserve their own power at all cost.

Patriots pay their fair share of taxes.

Patriots respect others, not incessantly belittle and insult them. Patriots debate political disagreements, not bully, threaten and intimidate those who disagree.

Patriots defend their fellow Americans’ rights, not fight to erode them. Patriots are compassionate, welcoming those needing sanctuary, honoring ancestors who immigrated to America seeking these same protections and opportunities.

Patriots place their fellow Americans’ health and safety above minor personal inconveniences.

Patriots abide by demonstrable facts, not bizarre conspiracy theories, denial, disinformation or outright lies.

Patriots seek to unite, not divide by vitriolic, hateful rhetoric and physical violence.

Patriots recognize the Confederate Battle Flag as a historical artifact representing division and enmity among the States, the antithesis of our values as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In summary, Patriots don’t wrap themselves in the Stars and Stripes yelling “God Bless ‘Merrrica!” while engaging in the most un-Christian and un-American of behaviors.

TOM NAPIER

Champaign

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