Dear Editor,

What does the word patriot mean?

According to the Webster dictionary, a patriot is “one who loves his country and supports its authority and interest.” The first thing is love of country. The problem is love does not say anything about behavior.

For example, wife abusers will claim to love their wives, child abusers their children, and defrauders/abusers of government power their country. Clearly love does not always mean actions or intent good or healthy for the country. The president’s actions and silence of the Republican Party in the manipulation of courts to stall and evade justice is one example. Profiteering by Trump is another.

The second part is the support of its authority. The question is where does the authority of the country come from. Is it from our Constitution and the ideals in its Preamble or is it from the president? If it is from our president, then he is above the law, the Constitution, and by extension the people as a whole. This is the foundation for autocracy. The founding ideal of the country was, over time, to perfect a participatory democracy run not by a strong man or elite group but by the will of the entire citizenry.

The third part is in the interest of the country. I think that is simply what is good for the people living within its borders.

I believe Trump and the Republican Party have been unpatriotic.


Gilbert Engel