Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Quotable | Patriot (Election 2016 Edition)

A Patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.-- Edward Abbey, authoressayist, and environmental advocate (1927-1989)


I posted this Abbey quote at the height of the 2008 election season and on the eve of the 2010 mid-term elections. And it is still relevant today on Election Day 2016. I am not, however, advocating a form of "tea party" patriotism or some progressive agenda. I use the quote as a warning that the "government" is not a monolithic entity. It is comprised of all the following:
  • Elected persons who are members of both major political parties
  • Candidates who are trying to become elected for the first time
  • Candidates who are trying to keep (or regain) political office
  • Lobbyists who work for, and against, parties and candidates
  • Think tanks who examine citizens' behavior and then attempt to mold it toward a certain purpose (without letting those same citizens know they are being subtly manipulated)
  • Members of the media who try to tell us what the government is doing, and sometimes chastise elected officials and candidates, even as they try to court favors and money from those very same officials (or promises from up-and-coming candidates)
  • Individual citizens who vote -- and voting is done directly at the polls as well as indirectly with every dollar a person spends or choice they make.
  So, what exactly is Abbey's patriot defending against? Well, in a word: "us."