When I was a kid, the word ‘patriot’ brought with it a rush of warm, proud feelings. Stories of the Revolution and those Patriots flooded my brain and lifted my spirits. All of the kids wanted to be patriots like our heroes in the history books.
When I hear that word today, no such feelings arise; rather, my brain signals danger. They have corrupted that perfectly good word. The extreme right wing here in America. They have hijacked ‘patriotism’ and twisted it into a code word for hate of ’the other.’
The Southern Poverty Law center just released a study documenting a 244 percent increase in the number of conspiracy-minded, anti-government “Patriot” groups in a single year. Militias — the paramilitary arm of the “Patriot” movement — were a major part of the increase. Like other extremists, “Patriot” groups have been fueled by anger over immigration, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama.
What's your opinion? Do you think it's silly for people to dress up like 18th century Minutemen and go to demonstrations? Are these people misguided or just passionate?
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