Conservatives talk ad-nauseum about “American exceptionalism” and love to paint Liberals as unpatriotic every chance they get, usually because Liberals dare to question government policy. Some right wing bloggers even seek out reports to support their claims of being “more patriotic”.
Conservatives believe “…our country, right or wrong … reflects “real patriotism.”
I think that reflects real ignorance.
The definition of patriotism according to Merriam-Webster:
“Love for or devotion to one’s country”
The two key words there are “one’s country”, and it is in the interpretation of those two words where Republicans and the rest of the nation part company.
Here’s a look at some of America’s conservative “patriots”:
The first shining example that springs to mind is Kansas Republican House Speaker Mike O’Neal. As def shepherd reported, he emailed his Republican buddies that:
“At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”
His prayer for our President was Psalm 109, verse 8:
“Let his days be few; and let another take his office
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.
May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.”
This is despicable on so many levels, and this guy doesn’t deserve to be elected dog catcher let alone a representative of the people of Kansas.
Another example of conservative patriotism would be Republican Sen. Michael Enzi; He believes,
“…it should be perfectly legal for a business to engage in employment discrimination against a person who is unemployed.”
Then there’s Eric Cantor, who invests in stocks that bet against America. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds—and perhaps on inflation in the future.”
As Salon pointed out during the debt ceiling debate,
“Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.”
Yeah, he’s a patriot.
How about corporations, is it patriotic for corporations to keep billions of dollars overseas to avoid paying taxes that would help the economy, or hold those funds hostage to gain a tax break? A few examples from Barron’s:
- Microsoft $6.4 billion of cash and investments in the U.S. and $51 billion in other countries.
- Cisco Systems $3.8 billion in the U.S. and $40.6 billion elsewhere.
- Oracle $8.5 billion held in the U.S., and $23 billion invested internationally.
In 2004, corporations got a “tax holiday” to bring those funds back to the U.S.at a substantially lower rate. Think Progress reported:
“The premise of a repatriation holiday is that the money brought back will be invested domestically and create jobs. However, corporations used the money from a 2004 repatriation holiday to enrich their executives, not expand U.S. operations. In fact, the companies that benefited most from that 2004 tax break wound up cutting thousands of jobs over the subsequent few years.”
That’s how those corporate “patriots” thanked America.
Then there’s Freddie Mac; Crooks and Liars reported:
“The mortgage-insurance company bought billions worth of complex mortgage-backed securities that profit if borrowers stay trapped in high interest rate home loans.
At the same time, Freddie also made it harder for homeowners to get out of their high-interest mortgages and into more affordable loans that could save them thousands of dollars a year.”
I could cite many more examples of corporate and conservative patriotism, but I’ll close this post with the Patriotic Republicans in action; this is them applauding because America didn’t get the Olympics, or the thousands of jobs that would have come with it. They only saw this as a loss for the President, not the country – how ignorant and how typical.