Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2023 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

July 6, 2023

The Media’s Pretended Patriotism

The Associated Press warns about the “wrong” sorts of people identifying with the word “patriot.”

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism,” warned George Washington in his 1796 Farewell Address. Washington was a man who dedicated his life to his country and loved it dearly. He knew a thing or two about real patriotism.

“Gentlemen,” he said to an audience 13 years earlier in 1783, “you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.”

Would that we had more leaders today who embodied, as Washington did, the model of presidential character and patriotism.

With that setup, for obvious reasons, your humble Patriot Post team was intrigued by an Associated Press story about how a “polarized” America is having trouble with the word “patriot.” We’ve written a fair bit about the subject of patriotism over our nearly 27 years in operation, so we couldn’t pass up this story.

But the AP article, published on Independence Day, isn’t a deep-diving investigative report. It’s a hit piece by what the late Rush Limbaugh dubbed the “drive-by media.”

For starters, says the AP, the definition of the word “patriot” is in the eye of the beholder:

Today, the word and its variants have morphed beyond the original meaning. It has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying definitions, while being appropriated by white nationalist groups. Trying to define what a patriot is depends on who is being asked.

Naturally, many beholders are people the AP doesn’t like very much. “Far-right and extremist groups have branded themselves with American motifs and the term ‘patriot’ since at least the early 20th century,” the AP notes. After the requisite name-dropping of Timothy McVeigh, the article continues, “Many right-wing groups have called themselves ‘patriots’ as they’ve fought election processes, LGBTQ+ rights, vaccines, immigration, diversity programs in schools and more. Former President Donald Trump frequently refers to his supporters as ‘patriots.’”

Can it get any worse? they must be thinking.

We’re not here to defend the nation’s paltry handful of actual white supremacists but to rebuke the Left’s mischaracterization of virtually all Republicans as such.

In any case, how do the AP’s trio of intrepid journalists know that the “wrong” people are choosing the word? By appealing to the experts at the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as in academia. The writers just don’t bother including a single word identifying or even hinting at the ideological bent of the supposed experts opining on the subject. We’ll dispel the mystery: Those experts are far-left extremists who view anyone to the right of Karl Marx with contempt.

Lest you think we’re totally unfair, we’ll acknowledge that the AP gets a couple of things right. The opening paragraph sets up a widely agreed definition of the word “patriot” by recounting “the courage of the nation’s 18th century patriots who fought for independence from Great Britain.” It also notes festivities honoring “the military and those who sacrificed in other conflicts that helped preserve the nation’s freedom over its 247-year history.”

Later, the article quotes Republicans like “former Reagan-era education secretary Bill Bennett” who want to instill patriotic curriculum in schools.

But the AP scribes conclude with a rebuttal by a Democrat “who previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard,” a fact included so as to thwart any challenge to his view. Moreover, on the subject of curriculum, it is leftists in public K-12 schools and colleges and universities who are teaching kids to hate America because of its supposedly systemically racist and oppressively capitalist past.

As the AP paraphrases the favored Democrat, “Saying one curriculum is ‘patriotic’ suggests that others currently in use are not.” Well, if the shoe fits. There’s nothing patriotic about, say, the 1619 Project or critical race theory more generally. Teaching love of America, warts and all, is by definition more patriotic.

The AP and the rest of the Leftmedia are too busy treating “patriot” like the new “Nazi” while running op-eds that someone wrote from the fainting couch after enduring the ghastly sight of … lots of American flags.

It’s not just school and the media. Earlier this year, Joe Biden’s Department of Defense — which oversees the Patriots who voluntarily give their lives to defending the flag and the Liberty it represents — prohibited certain flag displays.

Don’t even get us started on that garish “progressive pride” flag display at Biden’s White House recently, which dishonored the U.S. flag and made a mockery of patriotism.

True patriotism won’t flourish in more people without better instruction on what it is. The Associated Press and the experts cited fall woefully short of anything resembling helpful analysis. For that instruction, we suggest you start here.

And remember these other immortal words from Washington’s Farewell: “The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.”

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.