Nixon: The Peacemaker: If Watergate had never happened, President Richard M Nixon would have been known as the peacemaker. His Presidency would have been one of the ten greatest in US History. Undoubtedly, Nixon was a brilliant savvy man. What brought Nixon down was paranoia. Nixon was supported by his party in foreign policy. His party supported him when he extended a hand of friendship to China to avert a war. They supported him when he signed treaties with Russia. They supported him when he withdrew our brave soldiers from Vietnam.
Bush: Man Of War: President Bush’s fatal error was also paranoia. His paranoia was more understandable because of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. However, the intelligence he received proved faulty. Removing Saddam Hussein and his clan was a good move. Attempting to change the Iraqi government into a democracy and spending billions rebuilding Iraq proved beyond a doubt that President Bush not only did not understand the 1500 year battle between Shiites and Sunnis. He also failed to understand their culture. He failed to understand that freedom on religion simply doesn’t work in an Islamic state. You are free to be a Christian, but you must follow Islamic law.
The Republicans supported Bush. Even when he made the major mistake of inviting the terrorists into Iraq with the words “Bring it on!” and the Iraq borders wide open. They supported Bush and his foreign policy. Some even supported his tentative plans of limited nuclear warfare. They supported Bush when he antagonized Russia. And anyone who didn’t support the war was a traitor according to the Republicans. Their motto apparently “My country: Right or Wrong.” and “Love it or leave it” They considered themselves patriots. They considered all who opposed Bush to be traitors.
When Bush signed the emergency economic stability act or 2008, did anyone hear the Republicans crying? As a matter of fact, the majority of the Republicans in the Senate voted for that act.
But who is the real patriot? Is the real patriot those who support the actions of the President only when the President is a Democrat? Is the real patriot those who support the actions of the President only when the President is a Republican. If a Republican had signed a arm’s reduction treaty with Russia and remove missiles from eastern Europe in order to have Russia support a UN ban on imports and exports to Iran, the Republicans would have supported it. If Obama was a Republican, the Republicans would be supportive of his efforts to avert war. If patriotism is defined by our support for our President’s foreign policies, then both Republicans and Democrats have failed the test.
The only conclusion one could reach is that the word “patriot”has become an empty campaign slogan. I think that’s shameful. Regardless of what people may say about this President or that President, I know who the real patriots are.
The real patriots are our brave soldiers who risk life and limb fighting wars for our nation without question. They follow orders. The real patriots are the war veterans who live their lives never overcoming the scars of war. You’ll find them everywhere. In the Veteran’s hospital. Working jobs. Looking for work. They are the patriots. They are our heroes. Believe me when I say, I know. My dad was one of those soldiers who came home from the second world war with scars that never healed. I’m not talking about physical scars. I’m talking about emotional scars and mental scars. He taught me in his own way who the real patriots are. Our soldiers. They fight for our country regardless of which political party has power.
The rest of us who claim patriotism by waving the US flag and supporting a political party — we have a lot to learn from our soldiers.