Letter: What is truly patriotic?



The attempt to shut down the federal government by self-described patriots opposed to Obamacare has this fiscally conservative voter wondering. Is it patriotic to willingly increase the misery of one’s fellow citizens? Or reduce the protection given our public resources? Or reduce our country’s ability to influence global decisions? Or reduce our country’s ability to withstand natural disasters or defend itself against those who would do it harm?

Tea Party individuals seem very concerned about government spending. I share their concern. Yet, I heard one national Tea Party representative repeatedly maintain during a radio interview that her cause was about equality. Curiously, she also opposed Obamacare, Supreme Court-vetted legislation geared toward increasing equal access to health care while lowering our exorbitant national health care costs. I guess I just do not get it.

However, what I do get is Ben Franklin’s saying that, “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.” Had the original Boston Tea Party members been as fractious as their would-be modern counterparts, I wonder whether I would be enjoying the honor and the privilege of flying our Stars and Stripes in front of my home.

Ole Helgerson