Step One:  Separate the US government and its actions from the American people and the American system as an ideal.

“We” didn’t invade Iraq, the US government and its twisted leadership did.  “We” didn’t “invite the attacks of 9/11,” our government and its foreign policy created resentment by people who see it as an imperial occupier of their land, and manipulator of their governments.

When you see people get all up in arms because someone criticizes the government, and they attack that person as “un-American” or “unpatriotic,”  stop and think:  What is un-American about criticizing bad government?  What is patriotic about blindly following a government that is violating the law?

A true patriot stands for the principles upon which this country was founded.  He insists that his government follow the Rule of Law, the Constitution of the United States.  He remembers that the oath of office binds the sworn to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

There is nothing patriotic about blindly obeying and following government with a “my country right or wrong” mentality.  In fact, this is the opposite of patriotism.  It is belligerent nationalism, jingoism…State worship.  It is the major contributing factor allowing government to devolve from a constitutional republic to tyranny, because in order to survive, all governments, regardless of form, must have legitimacy in the eyes of their constituents.

The scoundrel is the one who, under the guise of “patriotism,” does not question the actions of government, he merely follows.  He values the status quo, and sees government as legitimate in its role of keeping the order.  And he is easily led to accept tyranny and despotism as necessary to keep order in a society of miscreants.

He would have been a Tory in the American Revolution.  He would have been a national socialist in Hitler’s Germany.   And he will be the one to accept without question those who rule him if this country becomes a military dictatorship.

I know several of them personally, and I see many of them in the news media.  To them I say, as Samuel Adams did:

Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.