We are living an Orwellian nightmare, where up is down, bad is good and ignorance is strength. We are living in the world of fake patriots.
They’re not so hard to spot. They sport American flags, wear t-shirts with sayings like “America: Love it or Leave it” or “I Stand For the Flag. I Kneel For the Cross” and, other than that, seem relatively normal. They can be your neighbor, your co-worker or even your relative. But what they really are is fake patriots.
So, what is a fake patriot?
They are the ones who drive a car with an American flag alongside a Confederate one. They scream that abortion is murder, but won’t give up their guns and proudly display their AR-15s. They attend a white power rally on Friday night and attend church on Sunday. They support free speech, but call anything that challenges their beliefs “Fake News”. They attend rallies chanting “Lock Her Up” and “Build the Wall”. They are fake patriots.
They get their “news” from a propaganda network, yet troll real media sites to spread their false narratives. One has to wonder why they do this. Do they fear facts so much that they have to attempt to discredit real news? Are they so insecure that they must rant in the face of reason?
A fake patriot has stopped watching the NFL because players have kneeled in protest over the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement. Instead, they believe the lie that they are being disrespectful of the American flag. A fake patriot denies facts.
A fake patriot believes in the Constitution, so long as it is their interpretation. Free speech is great, if it includes hate speech and incendiary language. Freedom of the Press is fine, so long as it supports your beliefs, otherwise it’s “Fake News”. They support the Second Amendment, or at least the “right to bear arms” part. The rest is gibberish. This is the rhetoric of fake patriots.
A fake patriot is devoutly religious, so long as it is their religion. Any other beliefs are to be violently opposed, unless you happen to want to take issue with someone who speaks against Israel. A fake patriot isn’t pro-Israel inasmuch as they are anti-liberal.
A fake patriot lives in the world of “whataboutism”. When faced with damning facts, they will invariably resort to the lame defense of “What about Obama, Hillary” or whoever else they can use to deflect from the facts.
We need to wake up from this national nightmare. We need to oppose fake patriots.
CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.