I am progressive and I am an American Patriot. In our beautiful country, too often patriotism is associated with guns and loud, judgmental Christianity that’s reactive and ready for war. No more. I am a patriot, and my patriotism is not our flag wrapped around my body with a gun in my hand, it is our American ideals sewn into my beliefs. Those of us who live more by the First Amendment than the second are no less loyal to our country. Those of us who are critical thinkers are proud descendents of our forefathers who argued their way through the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
So you think you are the number one opponents of terrorism because of your bloodlust and jingoism? I argue that my fellow progressives embody everything ISIS hates. We embrace the American values of justice, equality, the separation of church and state and welcoming those who are struggling.
Unlike ISIS, I honor our forefathers by believing religion has no place in the running of a country. ISIS kills anyone who does not practice the extreme version of their faith. I know, that state matters through religious filters can be lethal. Many presidents since have also recognized the importance of keeping our First Amendment intact.
“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.” –Ronald Reagan
Unlike ISIS, who sacrifices their young men without regard, I value, worry about and believe we should handle the lives of our sons and daughters who serve in our military with care. I believe in diplomacy, measured response and not investing the young lives of our military in unwinnable conflicts. I know that sometimes a military response is necessary. And when all other options are exhausted and those brave souls deploy, I support taking care of our veterans in every possible way upon their return. Their sacrifice should not entail struggling for life.
ISIS responds with reaction and revenge. I believe in responding forcefully, but carefully. I do not support hotheaded declarations of force without thinking about the long-term impacts to our people. Two of our presidents who experienced war in a way I hope to never know, did not take its declaration lightly.
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.” –Dwight Eisenhower
“The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am. None who would do more to preserve it.” –Abraham Lincoln
Unlike Isis, I do not support a media that embraces propaganda and fear to control the masses and divide our nation. I approve of a diversified media that encourages us to think critically and thoughtfully. I believe in an educated populace that understands current events in the context of history and does not just react to the latest propaganda where there is a vacuum of knowledge. I support questioning crazy and fact checking before I pass on that crazy.
“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” –Abraham Lincoln
Unlike Isis, I believe in equality for women. I believe women are equal in worth to men and should be paid the same amount for the same job. I believe as men have complete control over their bodies, women should have complete control over theirs.
ISIS judges and harms anyone who believes or lives differently from them. I believe in equality for the LGBT community. I know diversity is what makes our country interesting, innovative and embracing. Like the stars in our flag reflecting our infinite sky—our embrace of different people who contribute to our society should be as expansive.
“We must never remain silent in the face of bigotry. We must condemn those who seek to divide us. In all quarters and at all times, we must teach tolerance and denounce racism, anti-Semitism, and all ethnic or religious bigotry wherever they exist as unacceptable evils. We have no place for haters in America — none, whatsoever.”—Ronald Reagan
“I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, “Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?”
ISIS believes in eradicating anyone who does not believe as they do. Though bitter enemies, both Syrian’s president Assad and ISIS have led to the greatest refugee crisis of our generation. We have always been a land founded by Native Americans and a country built by immigrants and refugees. In the wake of WWII, our great nation admitted more than 500,000 displaced Europeans. Since 1975 the US has resettled more than 3 million refugees.
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…” –George Washington
I believe my progressive ideals and my freedom to practice them, makes me a defender of American liberty. It makes me the opposite of ISIS.