it’s not often that i weigh in on much, other than what’s going on here at the Mill. i believe i did it once in our almost 7 years. last year during the civil unrest surrounding racial injustice. i feel now that i’d be remiss if i didn’t weigh in on what’s been going on in the U.S. over the past few months and week especially.

this probably won’t be long as there is so much to say and my mind hasn’t parsed it out into anything entirely orderly as of yet. but who knows.

my main thought is this. so many people have been wrapped up in, and washed away with the ‘idea’ of a man. the propaganda, the down right PROVABLE lies, that they’ve risked their lives, taken other people’s lives. for a lie. no that’s not true, for MANY lies. throwing in their lot with what one man perceives as right and what one man tells them is truth. that isn’t patriotism, it isn’t enlightenment, it isn’t bravery, it isnt courage.

it’s blindness.

when one lie stretches to another, when one conspiracy spreads into five, you must begin to ask yourself, ‘is this true?’ ‘is this really possible?’ or perhaps my favorite question, one i ask myself constantly, ‘am i right?’

if it takes believing that nearly ALL of government and society is rigged to believe what ONE man told you, then you need to reassess. become serious about examining doubts, become a lover of critical thinking. and yes, to do that properly, you MUST look at opposing views, not as something to debunk, but on the potential merit of IT debunking YOUR belief.

it’s a Biblical concept. that introspection. we’re called examine ourselves, to see if we are genuinely in the faith. well, i suggest, no i’m telling you, this is no different. be frank, not misguided. be honest, and open to your doubts. be critical of what you’re told, not blindly accepting of it. experience DIFFERENT views, be open to news from ‘opposing’ sites. above all think.

think about what’s true patriotism. what it means to stand up for your country. for that, i believe it best to leave you with some quotes, from those who came before, from those who truly built this country.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official… It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

—George Washington

“If ever the time should come, when vain & aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

—Samuel Adams

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

—Thomas Jefferson

be vigilant not just of leaders who would subvert the freely elected will of the country, who would see its ruin over accepting defeat, who would enjoy the chaos as they laugh in safety. be vigilant not just of leaders who would cower under the pretext of outrage, who fail to act out of fear. but be vigilant of yourself. your own thoughts, beliefs and actions.

do not align your support so strongly with a man that you’re blind to his failings, deaf to the calls and disturbances around him. he is but a man. not God, not principle, not an idea with which you should plant your roots so deeply as to be unmovable. the honor of that dedication belongs squarely on the shoulders of such beliefs as Truth, Justice, Freedom and God. covet those, seek those. and let go of anything merely human, small, violent, and selfish.

be vigilant of the times. be a steward not of criminality, not of upheaval when it’s cause is unfounded, but be a steward of the light. accept humility, embrace differences, support the will of the election.

donald trump is a man. a deeply flawed man. our instructions as patriots do not come from one such as that. our loyality is to the Constitution, the nation, the flag. not one single person…ever.

i know i may well be talking to the wind. but sometimes it may be worth it