From Patriots to Traitors?

From Patriots to Traitors?

Gregory Hood’s recent goading of “Beltway Rambos” highlighted the kind of psychological shift that’s going to have to take place in the minds of Americans—in the minds of men who consider themselves American patriots—before they “start shooting people.”

Are beltway conservatives going to peel the “God bless our troops” stickers off their SUVs and start mowing down the Marines?

Probably not.

In his January 16, 2013 press conference on gun control, Barack Obama said that pundits and politicians and special interests lobbyists will call him a tyrant to “gin up” fear or ratings or money.

But we all know there’s no real money in treason or sedition. Pundits and lobbyists and politicians are going to stop short of saying anything that threatens their six figure salaries. If Congress passes the gun control laws Obama wants, they will be the first to hand their guns over to the authorities. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh aren’t going to jail for freedom or anything else. If they do, well God bless ‘em, but I just don’t see it happening.

What about the average NRA member? What about the average Ted Nugent-loving, Wal-Mart shopping, flag-waving, Budweiser-drinking, GODDAMN PATRIOTIC WOLF SHIRT-wearing, buck-hunting, God-fearing gun owner? What about the guy who prides himself on being a law-abiding citizen and still tears up when they sing the national anthem at the beginning of baseball games? Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Wayne LaPierre aren’t going to dig in and fight anyone. It’s the average American gun owner—the average American patriot—who is going to have to say “NO MORE” if this thing is gonna go down.

What’s it going to take for that patriot to become a traitor?

Because—make no mistake—that’s exactly what he’s going to be. That man may believe with his whole heart that he is making a brave sacrifice to defend America from tyranny, but Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Wayne LaPierre will call him a “nutjob” before the echo of his first shot fades. Republicans will injure each other in a wild scramble to denounce him. And it goes without saying that the anti-gun mainstream media will surely make a monster of any man who uses “violence” to cause social change. His former friends and neighbors will tell Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow every dirty detail of his personal life and all of them will conclude that he was “always a little bit strange” and that he probably had some sort of “psychological problem.”

What’s it going to take for that patriotic man to make peace with the idea of being publicly smeared, abandoned and charged with treason, and know that he is—at least legally speaking—guilty as charged?

What’s it going to take to peel off that red, white and blue and give everything he has for something new?

Well, for starters, that man is going to have to abandon all hope that he can vote his way to a better future. He’s going to have to let go of the idea that the US is governed by “We The People” and he’s going to have to accept the fact that it is governed by “those greedy assholes who don’t care if I live or die.” He is going to have to know—not simply fear—that the future of the Union is their future, not his. The agents and agencies of the federal government will have to become every bit as evil in his mind as the Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire. And frankly, that’s not so big of a stretch. After all, Lord Vader has an almost endless supply of fantastic weaponry, nuclear death stars, and armed drones to deploy against any rebellion. Hell, after a couple drinks and a pack of Marlboro Reds, I bet old Obama can probably even do a passable James Earl Jones impression.

C’mon, imagine it.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

“Commander, tear this ship apart until you find those plans!”

“If he could be turned, he would be a powerful ally.”

Do you see? I’m tellin ya, all the man needs is a mask and a cape.

Jokes aside, the point is that real red-blooded American patriots are going to have to pull off a major mental gear shift to go from lawn-mowing registered voters to wanted—and hated—outlaws.

This is where folks online have the opportunity to present some cajones.

Every time some guy on the right actually pulls the trigger, even the most radical anti-state writers look to find fault in his actions. They want to distance themselves from his actions and armchair quarterback the man. Well, like Teddy Roosevelt said:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

America is cracking. There may not be one breaking point, but there are going to be men in the next five years who reach their own breaking points. There are going to be men who decide a particular issue is their hill to die on. They aren’t going to be perfect and they are going to make bad decisions and they will absolutely be portrayed as unsavory and unlikeable characters by the media. They may be men without prospects, men who slipped through the cracks, men who failed at this or that in life. They will, in all likelihood, be the kind of men who have nothing else to lose, men who decide that taking a stand on an issue is more important than living to shop another day.

What are YOU going to say about it?

What are YOU going to write about that man?

Are you going to nit-pick everything he does or doesn’t do?

Are you going to write something disparaging so people won’t think that YOU are a dangerous kook, too?

Or are you going to have the courage to say:

“Here is a man who stood up. Here is a man who stood up for freedom. He wasn’t perfect, but he did something to hurt a system I hate, too.”

Are you going to be willing to let that traitor be a hero?

Are you going to let that traitor be your patriot?

Because that’s where it starts.

We don’t all have the skills or the software to be warriors.

But we can honor them.

In a virile society, that’s what writers and storytellers are supposed to do.

What will YOU do?

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