Ingratitude And The Death Of Patriotism

Barb Wire

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers quarterback and starter for Black Lives Matter, is a celebrity poseur receiving accolades for slandering America.

Kaepernick refuses to stand for the national anthem, because, “I am not going to stand up to show pride for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” – says the athlete whose own oppression is symbolized by the $141-million contract he signed recently.

From the G20 Summit in China, Obama observed that Kaepernick “cares about some real issues” and “what he’s doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.” (Try to imagine our race-obsessed president expressing sympathy for a college student who was under attack for supporting Israel.) I suppose if he’d burned the flag, Kaepernick would have started a national dialogue.

Apparently, we oppress people of color by not lynching cops involved in fatal shootings who’ve been exonerated by the legal system.

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The bitterly oppressed Kaepernick lives in a country with thousands of black officeholders from our two-term president to city councilors and judges. Other forms of oppression include quotas and hypersensitivity to charges of racism, no matter how absurd.

Kaepernick’s indignation is highly selective. There were 92 homicides in Chicago last month, most black victims of black predators. But the 49ers quarterback could no more imagine protesting this than fatherless families, crime, substandard schools or lack of employment in the inner cities.

This isn’t about Colin Kaepernick who hardly rates a paragraph let alone an opinion article. It’s about the slow death of patriotism in this country. In a spiritual sense, we’re becoming a nation of walking dead. “Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said”… you know the rest.

In a June Gallup poll, 52% of adults said they were “extremely proud to be an American,” down from 70% in 2003. The survey showed Millennials are the least patriotic generation, with only 34% of them extremely proud to be an American. It’s fitting that the decline is most pronounced among the most ignorant, self-absorbed generation in our history.

This lack of devotion to the land of their birth is part of a pattern. Millennials have a problem committing to much of anything – including faith, family and employment. A story in Business News Daily notes, “It’s not uncommon for a 20-something to have worked for three or four different employers just in the last few years.” Only two in 10 Millennials consider church attendance important. A Pew Research survey predicts that 25% of Millennials will never marry. For many, marriage would interfere with their primary relationship – with themselves.

Millennials uncritically absorb the anti-Americanism they are bombarded with daily.

Public schools stopped teaching American history decades ago. Now they indoctrinate in the cult of America the Ugly. From tenured professors to textbooks, higher education is firmly in the grip of the anti-American left.

The news media treat patriotism as an affliction of bitter-clingers. In movies, we’ve gone from “Sergeant York” to “Bowling for Columbine.”

All in all, the culture teaches that our national saga is a chronicle of racism, exploitation and genocide – from Columbus and the Trail of Tears, to slavery, sweatshops and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans. If Benedict Arnold married Axis Sally, popular culture would be their progeny.

Outside of conservative talk radio, how often have you heard it said that America is the freest nation on earth, that our economic system is a marvel to behold, and that without our involvement in World War II and the Cold War, all of Europe would be doing business in Reich marks or rubles?

More important than pride in America is gratitude for America.

After all, what did most of us have to do with America’s greatness? We didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence or draft the Constitution. We weren’t at Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge or Omaha Beach. We weren’t part of the Westward expansion. We didn’t invent the incandescent light bulb or the airplane.

But I thank God every day that I was born an American.

Instead of being grateful, Millennials and many Gen-Xers take what we have for granted. It’s as if our Constitution, free elections, freedom of religion, the rule of law, and the right to protest happened spontaneously, instead of being the result of centuries of agonizing struggle and sacrifice.

They can’t begin to understand why what we have in America is so precious and so rare. Throughout history, most people everywhere lived in grinding poverty and abject fear of what their rulers, or conquerors, would do to them next.

In the course of human existence, America is the blink of an eye. Britain has more than 2,000 years of recorded history; we have less than 400.

But it’s been a time, however brief, when you didn’t have to ask anyone’s leave to live, when the idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights was – well, self-evident, when men were willing to die not for a piece of land but for the ideals expressed on a piece of paper.

It’s a country so rich and so tolerant that a young man who swallows clichés whole, and with not much more to his credit than a set of athletic skills, could earn millions of dollars while slandering the nation that showered opportunities upon him.

If we were still a nation of patriots, like the Greatest Generation, we wouldn’t sit still for the de facto invasion of our southern border. We wouldn’t import refugees from lands whose inhabitants are weaned on anti-Americanism. We wouldn’t transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to a regime sworn to our annihilation – funding which will facilitate its nuclear program. And there wouldn’t be a snowball’s chance in hell of an amnesty-mongering national security risk with chronic amnesia becoming president of the United States.

Sunday marks the 15th. anniversary of 9/11 – the greatest national disaster since Pearl Harbor. We’ve gone from “Remember Pearl Harbor,” to “Don’t Forget National Day of Service” (so designated by the community organizer in the White House).

If we were serious about our national survival – which is what patriotism is ultimately about – we wouldn’t stand for an arrogant twit in shoulder pads (who looks like Lydia the Tattooed Lady, without his jersey) refusing to stand for the flag that millions have fought and died under to preserve the freedom ingrates take for granted.

First published at

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Don Feder
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website,

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