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Defining True Patriotism: A Reflection on Misinformation and Democracy

In my living room from Nashville, on a chilly January day, I stood frozen as I watched the bedrock of American democracy tremble. The attack on the Capitol was not just an assault on our elected leaders; it was an assault on the very ideals that bind us as a nation. As I reflect on this, I can’t help but think about the so-called patriots who led this charge, and how they have betrayed the true essence of patriotism.


The Myth of “2,000 Mules”

In the wake of the 2020 election, many were captivated by the film “2,000 Mules,” which peddled baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. This narrative, rooted in conspiracy theories, was embraced fervently, blinding many to the actual facts.



Recent Revelations about the Film

  1. Publisher Apology and Halt of Distribution

    1. Salem Media Group, Inc., the conservative media company behind “2,000 Mules,” recently issued a formal apology and ceased the distribution of the film and book, removing them from all its platforms. This was a significant step in acknowledging the falsehoods it had propagated.

  2. False Depiction and Legal Action

    1. The apology specifically addressed Mark Andrews, a Georgia voter who was falsely depicted in the film as engaging in illegal voting activities. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation cleared Andrews of any wrongdoing, leading him to file a defamation lawsuit against Salem, Dinesh D’Souza, and True the Vote.

  3. Settlement and Threats

    1. In response to Andrews’ lawsuit, Salem settled for an undisclosed “significant” amount. Andrews reported receiving violent threats due to the false allegations, which caused significant distress for him and his family.

  4. False Claims and Debunking

    1. Despite thorough debunking by law enforcement and media outlets, including NPR, “2,000 Mules” gained a substantial following among those who falsely believed the 2020 election was stolen.

  5. Salem’s Defense and Future Actions

    1. Salem Media explained that they had relied on representations from Dinesh D’Souza and True the Vote. They expressed regret for the harm caused to Andrews and his family, emphasizing that it was not their intent to cause damage.

  6. Ongoing Legal and Financial Issues

    1. The effect of Salem’s apology on the ongoing defamation lawsuit is yet to be seen. Additionally, Salem is suing its insurer for not covering the legal costs incurred from Andrews’ lawsuit.

  7. Internal Disputes

    1. There have been internal conflicts between D’Souza and True the Vote, especially concerning the book’s allegations of illegal “ballot trafficking.” True the Vote distanced itself from these claims, leading to the recall and revision of the book.


The Dangers of Misinformation

It is crucial to understand the broader implications of spreading misinformation and the importance of holding accountable those who disseminate falsehoods. This blog aims to dissect the latest updates and reflect on the impact of unfounded conspiracy theories.


As we reflect on these recent revelations, it becomes clear that misinformation and conspiracy theories not only distort reality but also pose a significant threat to the very fabric of our democracy.


Supporting insurrection under the guise of patriotism undermines the principles on which our nation was built. True patriotism lies in upholding the Constitution, respecting the democratic process, and ensuring the will of the people is honored. It’s time to explore why genuine patriotism is incompatible with supporting actions that seek to dismantle our democratic institutions and incite violence against fellow citizens.



A Veteran’s Perspective

As a veteran, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Although I am no longer in service, the spirit of that oath remains a guiding principle in my life. Many of you took the same oath.


Reflecting on the events of 2020, I ask: Do you consider those protesting police brutality as domestic terrorists? How does that compare to the MAGA cult that incited an attack on the Capitol?


True patriots fight for equality and justice, not for personality cults. Promoting unity behind the Constitution and holding individuals accountable for their actions is essential for the strength and integrity of our nation.


My Heritage of Patriotism

My love for this country is deeply rooted in my heritage. I discovered a profound connection to America’s early history through my 7th great-grandfather, Benjamin “The Immigrant” Rogers. Born around 1714 in Middlesex, England, Benjamin was convicted of theft and transported to Virginia in 1734 aboard the ship Caesar. Despite these humble and challenging beginnings, Benjamin’s resilience saw him build a life in America.

Benjamin’s story, marked by significant historical events and contributions, reflects the broader American journey of overcoming adversity and contributing to the nation’s development. This lineage has enshrined a sense of patriotism that is unwavering.


Seventy-seven years after Benjamin’s son William settled in Adair County, my grandfather Joe Norris Collins, Sr. was born in the final year of WWI. At 23 years old, he completed his draft card for service in the Pacific theater of WWII. My family’s commitment to this nation spans from nation's genesis. Generations of my kin now have decade over decade pledge to support and defend the Constitution.

Defining True Patriotism

What defines a true patriot? A true American Patriot always strives first to unify our country - as is the predicate of our foundation.


A true patriot loves their land, embraces its environmental conservation, societal diversity, and strives for the common good. They uphold the principles of liberty, justice, equality, and freedom. Fearless in their critique, yet proud and humble, true patriots serve with selfless grace, never letting hope crumble.


The quote, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, captures the essence of true patriotism. It is about caring deeply for one’s country and its people, recognizing its strengths, and striving to address its flaws.


Conclusion

Patriotism is not blind loyalty to a country's leader but an unwavering love for one’s country as such, recognizing its strengths and striving to address its shortcomings. Supporting insurrectionists is incompatible with true patriotism. National unity and democratic integrity depend on upholding the values of genuine patriotism. If it isn't steeped in creating unity around the constitution, it isn't patriotic to the United States of America.


Reflective Questions

How do the attributes of a true patriot align or conflict with the support of an insurrectionist?


What are the potential consequences for national unity and the integrity of democratic processes if individuals who support insurrectionists are also considered patriots?


How might this redefine the concept of patriotism in our society?


 

Join the Movement!


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