I received a great compliment last week. An organization called Gathering of Eagles, made up of military veterans, wrote me a very nice thank-you note regarding my last column, and put it and links to quite a few of my other columns on its website.
Its website is www.newyork.gatheringofeagles.org. This group is one of many that include the men and women whom I consider to be the real patriots of this country.
There are those who write mindless, angry, often-incoherent diatribes that show their distaste for anyone who is proud of his country.
These are the people who have been fed mind-numbing swill, mostly lies, and they truly want to believe it rather than think for themselves. When someone asks them to give one or two examples of their patriotism, they angrily lash out and simply show their fake indignation.
Webster, not I, defines a patriot as "a person who loves his country, and zealously supports and defends it and its interests."
We all know quite a few people who fall far short of this definition. Two big examples who fall short are our media and our left-leaning political representatives.
Considering the latter group, isn't it strange that most of them are Democrats, especially the Democrat leadership? Harry "we can't win the war" Reid, Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Tom Harkin are just a few.
I'm sick of these Democrats who refuse to meet with groups that don't share their beliefs. A group called The Vets for Freedom finished its national bus tour in Washington, D.C., in early April, and most of the Democratic leadership refused to meet with it.
However, when anti-war groups request an appointment, they trip over each other to be first in line to greet them. Why do you think six to eight Code Pink members were allowed in the hearing room where General Petraeus was speaking? Do you think the Vets for Peace got the same equal treatment?
Make a list of all the good things the United States has done around the world. As you make it, you will feel yourself getting smaller and smaller. Why don't you redirect some of your hate and anger to those regimes that deserve it?
You come up with your cute little chants like "Bush lied, people died" (which isn't even true) and ignore the atrocities going on in Iran, Cuba, North Korea, China, Syria and others of the same ilk.
You actually enjoy living in the state of depression, envy, gloom-and-doom misery and get upset when others don't want to come down to your level.
Now you have another spokeswoman in Michelle Obama. She's got some great quotes: "America is downright mean," and "for the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country."
It makes you wonder what kind of indoctrination she went through in those elite, Ivy League colleges she went to. How about a last one: "America is more a source of shame than pride."
Makes you feel comfortable knowing people like this actually have a chance to reside in the White House, doesn't it?
Maybe you should listen to the likes of Dan Maloney, NYS coordinator of the Gathering of Eagles, when he talks about a book called "Moment of Truth in Iraq" by Michael Yon.
Maloney says the author "as an independent journalist, confirms that the counterinsurgency program is working better than many had hoped. The beauty of his report is that he tells you how we are doing it and why it is working at the boots on the ground level."
Let's see if your own great leader Bill Clinton can shake you up. In a speech given to the graduating class at Michigan State University in 1995, he said, "How dare you suggest that we, in the freest nation on Earth, live in tyranny? How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes? I say to you, all of you, there is nothing patriotic about hating your country or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government. There is nothing heroic about turning your back on America or ignoring your own responsibilities. If you want to preserve your own freedom, you must stand up for the freedom of others with whom you disagree, but you also must stand up for the rule of law. You cannot have one without the other."
Does the shoe fit? If so why are you still here? Oh, I see, you want to greedily take all the good things and opportunities America offers you every day, refuse to recognize that fact and not bother to give anything back.
Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.