Saturday, March 15, 2008

'Independent citizen-patriot'

I suppose this calls for a brief explanation.

I'm a citizen of the United States of America. As one who reaps the benefits of my citizenship, I pay my taxes. I vote. If I'm called to serve in just defense of my country, I'll serve. And because I'm a citizen of this nation and not of its government, I'm also obliged to raise my voice in dissent when our elected officials are, in this citizen's opinion, in error.

I'm proud to be an American. Although I often find the actions of our government misguided and shameful, I'm never ashamed to be an American. I'm a patriot. I honor our military veterans, revel in the singing of our national anthem and weep unashamedly at the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

I exercise thoughtful, independent judgment. I chafe against political parties, sweeping ideologies and other pigeonholes. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat, liberal nor conservative. Donning an artificial label simply because I favor a particular position or candidate is akin to claiming to be a canoe because I went for a swim in the river.