"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)
This is the true meaning, at least in America. Patriots love their country, and Patriots in America love their country not only because it is their homeland, but because America stands for the best in the world.
We were the first nation to be founded on a set of First Principles, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence. They include the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, limited government, and the right of the people to alter or abolish an oppressive government. We are really the only one that fully stands for those principles today.
Sometimes patriots feel compelled to support their government because they feel a need to support the country. When the government is acting to further the First Principles (or at least in conformity with them), such a sentiment is a noble one. However, if the government is violating those First Principles, then a Patriot's first duty is to oppose the government - just as Twain remarked.
AMERICA'S FIRST PRINCIPLES - KEY TO OUR LIBERTY AND FREEDOM
The Declaration of Independence declared that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed . . . ." America is bound together by those founding First Principles: the rule of law; unalienable rights; equality; the Social Compact; and limited government. For too long we have forgotten them and ignored them - threatening our very existence as a free people. These are self-inflicted wounds - the very definition of suicide. The time has come for us to reclaim our First Principles and preserve our liberty and freedom.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Thomas Jefferson
I am an Oakland County Michigan Circuit Court judge.
I am the author of America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles (Mill City Press; www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com).
I am an executive member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Center for Civic Education, and member of the Board of Directors of The New Common School Foundation. I am a Trustee for the Michigan Council on Economics Education. I received The Great Influence Award from the Michigan Council for the Social Studies, a Special Tribute from the Michigan Legislature, and the Distinguished Public Servant Award from the Oakland County Bar Association.
I am a former member of the Michigan State Board of Education.